Hunters have through Feb. 18 to give input on Fish and Game’s updated draft of its Upland Game Management Plan. The plan is a six-year document that describes the direction for Idaho’s upland game program, outlining the department’s management priorities, conservation goals and recreational goals through 2024.
The draft plan and a comment form are available on Fish and Game’s Upland Game Management Plan page. The final proposed changes, which will take public comments into account, will be presented to the Fish and Game Commission for its consideration at their March 12-13 meeting in Boise.
The Upland Game Management Plan applies to 14 species of birds and animals:
- Red squirrel
- Ruffed grouse
- Dusky grouse
- Spruce grouse
- California quail
- Gray partridge
- Mountain cottontail
- Pygmy rabbit
- Snowshoe hare
The plan identifies major issues affecting each upland game species, and it will guide future decisions in ways that enhance populations and habitat while providing hunting opportunities that align with hunter preferences. The department factored in the results of an August 2018 opinion survey of upland hunters in developing the draft management plan.
Fish and Game’s upland game planning team identified three main priorities in the proposed management plan, including improving population and harvest monitoring, protecting and improving upland game habitat, and working to increase hunting access.
The responses to the 2018 upland game opinion survey reinforced the importance of habitat improvements and enhancement, as well as increased access for Idaho’s hunters. The plan outlines those and other statewide goals, as well as strategies that can be used to accomplish them.
The plan also includes regional species priorities, which outline region-specific goals and strategies for reaching them.