Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

"Danger Will Robinson!"
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 landowners."

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!

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu



Wildlife &


Bozeman, MT

For More EMWH

War On Montana's
Wildlife & Environment






















If you would like to be subscribed to the EMWH newsletter, please click EMAIL and type "subscribe" in the subject line. Likewise, if you would prefer not to receive email updates, simply reply with "unsubscribe" in the subject line and we will promptly remove you from the list. Thank you.