Montana Predator Management Plan Released for Public Comment


A new environmental assessment on alternatives for reducing damage to livestock, agricultural resources, and property and risks to human health and safety caused by predators in Montana has been released for a 30 day public comment period.  This EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts of alternatives for the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Wildlife Services (WS) involvement in predator damage management in the State of Montana.


According to John E. Steuber, Montana Wildlife Services State Director, the preferred alternative would be to continue the current integrated predator damage management program in Montana that currently looks at both nonlethal and lethal methods to prevent or reduce damages by predators.  


From the assessment:

When appropriate, nonlethal methods, such as physical exclusion, habitat modification, or harassment would be recommended or utilized to reduce damage. In other situations, wildlife could be removed as humanely as practicable by shooting, trapping, using registered pesticides, and other methods. In determining the damage management strategy, preference would be given to practical and effective nonlethal methods. Nonlethal methods may not always be applied as a first response to each damage problem based on the nature of the problem and practices already implemented by the landowner/manager. The most appropriate response would often be a combination of nonlethal and lethal methods but could include instances where application of lethal methods alone would be the most appropriate strategy (e.g., risks to human health and safety). 


Other alternatives examined in the EA include:  Alternative 2) Wildlife Services-Montana does not participate in Predator Damage Management;  Alternative 3) Wildlife Services-Montana applies and recommends only nonlethal Predator Damage Management methods; and Alternative 4) Wildlife Services-Montana uses lethal methods only after cooperators’ sustained use of nonlethal methods and any applicable nonlethal methods recommended by Wildlife Services-Montana are proven ineffective.


Steuber noted that comments are important and do have an impact so be sure to get your comments in.   Comments are due by October 14.  CLICK HERE to for a link to the EA and to leave a comment.  





Coyote by Larry1732, on Flickr
Coyote” (CC BY 2.0) by Larry1732

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