FWP Begins Somers Beach State Park Planning Process

KALISPELL- Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is launching a public planning process to help guide the future use and development of the new Somers Beach State Park on Flathead Lake.

This process will begin with a virtual public information meeting on March 16 at 6 p.m. Information about the meeting and the planning process is available online at https://fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/somers-beach-planning-project.

The overall planning process is expected to take several months, according to FWP.

During the initial phase, FWP will conduct public review through a survey posted online asking general questions about preferences, interests and ideas for the site. The survey will be available until April 15.

“This scoping survey will help create baseline information to kick off our planning process for Somers Beach,” said Dave Landstrom, regional parks and outdoor recreation manager. “Public participation is extremely important to an informed planning process. »

Throughout this planning process, FWP hopes to engage with a diverse set of residents, current and potential park users, subject matter experts and key stakeholders, a press release says. FWP will conduct surveys, hold in-person and virtual meetings, and gather the necessary data from a variety of sources to help develop a vision for Somers Beach.

Later in the year, FWP will host additional rounds of public comment to refine a site development proposal. A final planning document will be released for public comment before a recommendation is forwarded to the State Parks and Recreation Board for final approval.

FWP notes that the overall goal is to strike a balance between providing safe and enjoyable recreational experiences and protecting fish, wildlife, habitat and heritage resources.

FWP acquired the 106-acre Somers Beach property on the northwest shore of Flathead Lake in October 2021 with the intention of adding it to Montana’s state park system. For more information, visit https://fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/somers-beach-planning-project.

Louisa R. Loomis