the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
Despite significant public opposition, FWP Helena "moving"
to approve Elk Brucellosis modifications
I just downloaded the
FWP cover letter and adjustments to the Elk Management in Areas
with Brucellosis 2014 Work Plan - Local Modifications which were
submitted by the Park County watershed "working group",
which they dominated and controlled. This was no working group.
I combined the two documents and uploaded
them, so nothing gets altered or "disappeared". Here
is the link.
Helena FWP is moving
that the FWP Commission
adopt these modifications with the FWP "adjustments".
They state, "In response to public comment that included
significant opposition to the original Paradise Valley brucellosis
work plan proposal, please see adjusted final proposal below.
Proposal adjustments reflect efforts by FWP to respond to public
concern and opposition while also providing additional risk mitigation
in the Paradise Valley where there is history of repeat livestock
infections in specific areas. Given FWP’s charge to manage
Montana’s wildlife in perpetuity, the department believes
these proposed efforts represent a measured approach to risk management
that will broadly maintain elk on the landscape and help insulate
them against more deleterious management advocacies."
Yes, this would be the bloody
APHIS/DOL plan I found when I began investigating,
which they have quietly been moving towards, the one that would
turn their machinery they have been using against the bison, to
the elk. The APHIS plan they mentioned in the Nov. IBMP meeting
where APHIS stated they wanted to include elk in the discussion,
which was capture, test, slaughter and vaccinate of as many bison
as they could get their hands on.
They are going to keep the May 15th
extension for kill permits. "To further reduce risk and public
concern with the late stage of pregnancy, emphasis shall be given
to lethal removal of yearling and bull elk."
3 kills per permit btw.
As to the fencing, they are going to
proceed with the 6-8 ft high elk proof fencing, but requiring
- "any proposed fencing project with FWP support shall require
a written plan submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Commission for
review and potential approval. This shall include a public review
and comment period and potentially a checklist EA depending on
project size." So far the public has been repeatedly objecting
to this program and they just keep right on passing everything.
So now we, the public, are going to have to keep an eye out for
their fencing project plans and continue to submit our public
opposition comments? Like the public was notified about the work
group meetings? How many of y'all were notified about those?
"Any such fencing project may
be only with those landowners that have developed and followed
a livestock risk management plan for brucellosis. This may include
risk management plans developed by the Landowner with the Montana
Department of Livestock." Every cattle producer in
the Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) is already required by
the APHIS Brucellosis Management Plan, forced on Montana, to have
these risk management plans with DOL. This APHIS/DOL
Montana Brucellosis Management Plan is what hijacked our FWP in
Helena through the governor.
Then they go on to describe the cattle
and elk proof fencing. "Consistent with the concept of a
'pilot project', not more than two of these fencing projects may
be implemented without at least one full year of evaluation after
the fences have been put in place. Any evaluation shall assess
effective wildlife passage around these fenced areas. In the event
adequate wildlife passage is not maintained or there are consistent
wildlife captures, the landowner and FWP must pursue appropriate
modifications. Individual fencing projects may include multiple
This is what our Helena FWP is proposing
to do with our elk on April 10th, hand them on a silver platter
to APHIS/DOL, with nary a wildlife agency steward word to be heard!