Outdoors

Flathead Basin Commission to Meet in Whitefish

Three new appointees seated on commission despite funding woes

Members of the Flathead Basin Commission, including four new appointees, will meet Feb. 21 in Whitefish to discuss its future plans related to its aquatic invasive species prevention program.

The meeting is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grouse Mountain Lodge.

Gov. Steve Bullock recently appointed three new members to the Flathead Basin Commission — Stephen Frye, a retired regional manager for the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and former head ranger at Glacier National Park; Mike Koopal, executive director of the Whitefish Lake Institute; and Ed Lieser, a retired U.S. Forest Service silviculturist and former state legislator.

The morning portion of the meeting will focus on orienting new commission members by revisiting the Flathead Basin Commission’s enabling legislation, purpose and status.

In the late-morning and afternoon, the FBC will focus on next steps for the commission including current and future plans for its aquatic invasive species prevention program, as well as other potential activities related to its mission.

The Flathead Basin Commission was established by the Montana Legislature in 1983 to protect the water quality of the Flathead River drainage system.

In November, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation eliminated funding for the water-quality watchdog group, a decision the state says is necessary to backfill a sizable budget gap.

All Flathead Basin Commission meetings are open to the public.

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