A public meeting scheduled for July 22 in Stanford regarding a proposal to reintroduce bighorn sheep to the Little Belt Mountains has been canceled due to concerns about potential exposure to COVID-19. The public is still encouraged to submit comment on the environmental assessment, which can be viewed online at fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices. Public comment will be accepted through Aug. 3.
Historically, bighorn sheep were common in the mountain range, but were extirpated by the early 20th Century. However, the range still contains extensive high-quality habitat. A small number of bighorns have existed and expanded in the mountains since 2015.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ proposal would reintroduce sheep to the Little Belts following the guidelines of the 2010 Montana Bighorn Sheep Conservation Strategy. The intent of the proposed reintroduction is to establish a self-sustaining and genetically diverse herd.