Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is continuing to take steps to revise its Elk Management Plan, first drafted in 2005. The process began with the created of a citizens group to provide initial guidance to the Elk Management Plan. The group was tasked with identifying and articulating issues with current elk management and defining durable and overarching principles regarded the future of elk management in Montana. Now FWP is asking for public comment on the Elk Management Guiding Principles.
Last week the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA), the Montana Public Lands Council (MPLC), and the Montana Association of State Grazing Districts (MASGD) submitted joint comments on the Guiding Principles. In the comments, the groups commended the citizens advisory group and their work in crafting the plan’s guiding principles. MSGA member Ed Fryer of Melstone was one of the 14 citizens chosen to serve in the advisory group.
In the comments, the groups stated their support of the principles outlined, and specifically:
- Highlighted the importance of minimizing transmission of brucellosis to livestock.
- Recognized landowners for providing elk habitat.
- Supported minimizing elk impacts on agricultural products, private rangeland, and infrastructure.
The comments also emphasized the need for collaboration with landowners and maximizing partnerships between landowners and agencies.
The public comment period on Montana Elk Management Plan Guiding Principles is open until Monday, May 3, 2021 at 5 p.m. The guiding principles can be reviewed and comments can be submitted here: https://fwp.mt.gov/hunt/public-comment-opportunities.
Following the 30-day comment period, the Fish and Wildlife Commission with review comments. If adopted, the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks department plans to build upon the Elk Management Guiding Principles to develop a more specific elk management strategy and actions in Montana’s Elk Management Plan.