By Rob Chaney, Missoulian
A state plan to fence and shoot wild elk suspected of spreading brucellosis to domestic cattle has drawn a lawsuit claiming the idea is based on bad science.
The Bozeman-based Enhancing Montana’s Wildlife and Habitat group sued the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and its board of commissioners on Friday in Lewis and Clark County District Court. The suit asks the court to block FWP’s 2015 elk brucellosis management work plan, which could take effect this spring.
“They’re using the work-group process as an end-run around the requirements to do environmental impact studies,” said Enhancing Montana’s Wildlife and Habitat leader Kathryn QannaYahu. “I’m trying to force them to do the scientific wildlife management they’re legally required to do.”
An advisory group called the Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group drafted the plan, which directs how FWP will protect cattle ranchers in Park, Gallatin, Madison and Beaverhead counties from elk infected with brucellosis. The disease causes many species of domestic and wild ungulates to abort their first calves.
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Posted by Jami Howell