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NOTE: This newsletter is very long and, depending on your email program, may have its height compressed. To expand it, look just under the first horizontal line for a small rectangle with three dots inside or some other indication that your email is compressed or shrunk in length - click on this to expand the newsletter to its original length.

AND, the plain text version does not support the images from the various online apps I'm describing.  If you can, use the browser version for more complete details.
 
Vol. 25, #4, December, 2016
 
In This Issue:
 
 
  • FOAM Annual Meeting Info
  • Board of Outfitters Online Applications Tutorials
ANNUAL MEETING INFO

FOAM's annual membership meeting will be held at the Bozeman Hilton Garden Inn on North 19th Street beginning Friday afternoon, March 17 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and continuing on Saturday, March 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. or so.

We're still mapping out our Friday and Saturday agendas, but we expect to offer new sessions on business planning, a talk on how to handle a resource damage or closure like this year's Yellowstone Emergency Closure, and our popular case studies of real emergencies and how they were handled.

We've asked Board of Outfitters Executive Officer Steve Gallus to return this year and walk us through the new online applications from the board, and we'll have Art Hoffart, our insurance agent, handy for any new insurance updates and a Q&A session.

Add in our Saturday lunch, afternoon beer and snacks, and the raffle and you've got the idea.  I'll add more details in a meeting mailer after early January.
 

MBO ONLINE APPLICATIONS TUTORIALS

This is the information I meant to send in an eBlast last week, but I figured it would be better in this issue of the FOAMLINE.

FOAM outfitters:

You may or may not know about or have tried the new online applications the Board of Outfitters has launched, so I thought an explanation and some basic instructions would be helpful.

All the apps are found online at ebiz.mt.gov/pol/

One online app allows outfitters and guides to renew their licenses - you may have used this one during the last few years.  If not, instructions on how to use it are on the "landing page" at ebiz.mt.gov/pol/.  On that page, you can also learn how to register for an eBiz account, update your account information, or print your license.

Three other apps help outfitters update their operations plan, fill in client logs, and update a variety of license details, including:
  • affirming and uploading a copy of your First Aid certification, your current insurance certificate or a U.S. Coast Guard Captain's License 
  • self-reporting and uploading recent citations you may have received
  • requesting a temporary watercraft ID decal 
  • handling an NCHU transfer
  • applying to have an Outfitter Assistant 

Operations Plan Tutorial

Here's how to locate that app and use it:
  1. Login at https://ebiz.mt.gov/pol/
  2. On the landing page, you'll see the tab HOME in dark blue.  Click on the tab next to it titled "Professional and Occupational Licensing" to start your session
  3. You should see a page listing your Records, including one with your license info in blue with a small link in blue titled Amendment
  4. Click on Amendment and you should see a page asking you to select an Amendment Type followed by a line with a small triangle next to an AMENDMEND link
  5. Click AMENDMENT and a drop-down list of three choices appears.  Using the radio buttons, select "Operations Plan Changes & Update", then click on the large blue button "Continue Application >>"
  6. You will see three paragraphs, each certifying various op plan requirements and radio buttons for Yes or No
  7. Below the certification statements, look for the line "Operation Plan Update - Fishing:" with a small checkbox to the right.  Check the box
  8. You'll see two choices for what waters you want to operate on according to rule 24.171.505.  First, "all surface waters accessible by public access points not requiring a permit issued by a state or federal agency."  Or, second, a somewhat confusing statement intended to suggest you'll select individual water bodies that don't require a permit rather than "all surface waters." (FOAM will work to get this selection more accurate according to rule.) Remember, too, that if you will only be operating on a specific regulated river, you don't need an FAS permit.
  9. Below that section, look for CUSTOM LISTS followed by FISHING LAND USE PUBLIC where you can list specific public waters accessed via permits, naming the agency, name of the permitted water body, and your permit number.  For example, you may list the FWP regulated waters like the Madison, Blackfoot, Alberton Gorge, Beaverhead, or Big Hole, or list USFS permitted waters within a certain forest.  I also listed my FWP statewide FAS permit, using my ALS# for the permit number.
  10. Next, you'll see FISHING LAND USE PRIVATE, an online version of our L-1 permission forms, where you can list any private land you may use to access water bodies by listing the owner, water body name, authorizing agent, and county of location
  11. The same kind of op plan info is available for HUNTING LAND USE PUBLIC and PRIVATE. I have not used those, but they are similar to the fishing sections except for hunting, you'll need to list the various areas on a ranch or piece of ground you'll be offering services on by Township, Range, and Section down to the second quarter section. Instructions on this land listing detail are at the top of the section.
  12. Finally, there's a section where you can upload any black-and-white documents you need for your op plan.  
  13. REMEMBER, the new op plan rules require only the data requested on this online form WITHOUT submitting any supporting documents; annual random audits of licensees will ask for those documents
  14. NOTE: At the bottom section, you'll see large blue buttons offering to CONTINUE APPLICATION >> or SAVE AND RESUME LATER.  If you've completed your plan, hit CONTINUE APPLICATION >>.  If you want to come back to work on the plan later, hit SAVE AND RESUME LATER.  (Obvious, I know, but every instruction helps)
  15. If you select CONTINUE APPLICATION >>, you'll see a listing of what you've entered with EDIT buttons to change a listing, with a final CONTINUE APPLICATION >> button to go on to pay any associated fees and complete the process.

Fishing Outfitter Client Log Tutorial

Since you can still send paper logs for 2016, this tutorial is keyed on using the online client log system for 2017 and following years.
  1. Login at https://ebiz.mt.gov/pol/
  2. On the landing page, you'll see the tab HOME in dark blue.  Click on the tab titled "Professional and Occupational Licensing" to start your session
  3. You should see a page listing your Records, including one with your license info in blue with a small link in blue titled Amendment
  4. Click on Amendment and you should see a page asking you to select an Amendment Type followed by a line with a small triangle next to an AMENDMENT link;
  5. Click AMENDMENT and a drop-down list of three choices appears.  Using the radio buttons, select "Outfitter Client Log Reporting", then click on the large blue button "Continue Application >>"
  6. You should see a title LOG INFORMATION with *Season Year under it and a drop-down list of years to the right.  Select the year you are creating logs for, then hit CONTINUE APPLICATION >>
  7. Under CUSTOM LISTS, you will see FISHING OUTFITTER LOG and a series of columns with info like "Client's First Name", "Client's Last Name", etc. across the page
  8. Look below that bar with column names for the blue button ADD A ROW with a drop-down list showing how many rows you want to enter info for during this session.  REMEMBER, you will always have a big blue button titled SAVE AND RESUME LATER you can use to store entered information before submitting it as a record
  9. For this tutorial, I chose 1 row, but the info is repeated for any number of rows up to 10
  10. Fill in each field one at a time.  NOTE: You can click on the next field or TAB between them
  11. For Client's DOB, type in their date of birth using two digits for month, date, and four digits for year (01/01/2017) or use the calendar icon to select a date.  NOTE: The ALS# is added in the next field.  Why the separation of DOB from ALS#?  The DOB is useful for youths under 12 who don't have a license or folks on the trip who aren't fishing and don't have a license
  12. When you get to "Guide Type", select Guide, Outfitter, or Outfitter Assistant
  13. If you selected Guide or Outfitter, when you enter the license number in the next field, the full name of the guide or outfitter will be automatically entered; that's why the Guide Type field exists
  14. The Stream, River, or Lake Used field is a long drop-down list of water body names; you can either type in the name you want if your browser has "autofill" working - do it quickly or you'll be frustrated - or scroll down and select any water body.  OR, if you don't find your particular water body, click or TAB to the next field called Other Stream, River, or Lake Specified and type in the name yourself
  15. Stream Section FAS from = Put-in and uses another long drop-down list of FWP and some BLM sites.  Again, if you don't find the one you've used, click on "Other", then fill in the next field with a put-in name.  I'm told the outfitter-created "Other" list may eventually add frequently used sites to the regular drop-down list.
  16. Follow the above technique for entering the FAS to (take-out) field
  17. Finally, in the Walk or Wade field, select N/A for a non-angling trip, Yes for a walk/wade trip, or No for a float trip.  I've asked that this field change to Trip Type with Row, Wade, or Non-angling as drop-down selections.
  18. If you're satisfied with the data you've entered, his SUBMIT to create a record with however many rows you've used.  If not happy, hit CANCEL to start again.
  19. Once a record is created, it should show up as a listing on the FISHING OUTFITTER LOG section and be available for editing (EDIT SELECTED) or deleting (DELETE SELECTED).  And, the record will show up on your HOME page in blue with the name Outfitter Client Log Reporting in black to the right.  Since the log record is blue, it's a link to review the info in that particular record.
  20. I haven't touched on the HUNTING OUTFITTER LOG, but may review that and send a future eBlast about those logs in the future if asked.  
  21. REMEMBER, if you're stuck, confused, or frustrated, you can always hit your browser's BACK button (usually an arrow pointing left) to leave any section of this application.
FOAM members on the Board of Outfitters have worked once with the department to streamline the fishing outfitter client logs and we're looking to work out some kinks and recommend other techniques to make client data entry quicker for the many members who have multiple hundreds of clients. We've suggested the department create a spreadsheet template with columns with titles exactly like the various form fields and rows for each client entry that outfitters could use as a substitute for the field-by-field online entries. Once created and filled in, the spreadsheet could be uploaded and automatically populate the database form fields with the info in each cell of the spreadsheet.

We'd also like a form that would allow an outfitter to enter a single client name with multiple guides, rivers, put-in's and take-out's siimilar to the paper rotating guide form we use now. This could get complicated if the spreadsheet idea works out, so we'll just have to see what outfitters prefer.

We're also working to add info fields or spreadsheet cells that gather data needed for FWP's currently regulated rivers so outfitters could use a single format (database form or spreadsheet) to enter the data, then have separate reports created in (hopefully) electronic spreadsheets we could submit to replace the various regulated river paper forms we use now.  

Understand that, while important to us, the spreadsheet idea and the shared info replacing duplicate forms will be a product of the MBO, FWP, and the department that must be reviewed by the department before it can be used.  This will take time and will certainly require your support and suggestions.  When the time is right, FOAM will ask for your help in asking for these new features to be developed.  Stay tuned.

For now, I hope this brief intro and two tutorials help outfitters get their op plans up to date before the deadline of February 15, 2017 and get oriented with next year's client logs. If you have any questions, contact the FOAM offices at 406.763.5436 or info@foam-mt.org.  We'll try to help as best we can, though what I've explained here should get you  a long way toward completing your op plan update.
FOAM Directors and Staff
Region 1 (Kooteani, Flathead)
Matt DiPaulo
837-0918

Region 2 (Bitterroot, Clark Fork)
Russell Parks
546-6305

Region 3 (Missouri)
Mark Raisler
459-8739

Region 4 (Big Hole, B'head)
Matt Greemore
684-5639

Region 5 (Madison)
Phil Sgamma
539-4239
Region 6 (Gallatin)
Pat Straub
439-4545

Region 7 (Yellowstone)
Brant Oswald
223-2047

Region 8 (Bighorn, Ft. Peck)
Matt McMeans
666-2326

Guide-at-Large Director
Jason Brininstool
370-8029

FOAM Office
Robin Cunningham
763-5436
Copyright © 2016 FOAM, All rights reserved.


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