|Subject: Elk Management in Areas with Brucellosis 2014, Work Plan Modifications Paradise Valley|
|From: Kathryn QannaYahu <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date: 2/12/2014 4:18 PM|
|To: Gary Wolfe <email@example.com>, 'Dan Vermillion' <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Larry Wetsit <email@example.com>, Matthew Tourtlotte <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Richard Stiker <email@example.com>|
FWP Commissions, I have been attending
these Park Co. watershed meetings, which have also been called
“working group” meetings. I say this, because they are truly an
extension of the Upper Yellowstone Watershed Basin group, which
Quentin Kujula has referred to them as.
This “working group” is not set up
as the Statewide Elk Brucellosis Working Group Proposed
Recommendations, which y'all approved Jan. 10, 2013, envisioned
the multi stakeholder representation and input. As a result, you
clearly see from the audio recordings of meetings (at the link
above), this is not really
about reducing any possible risk of brucellosis risk transmission,
but about the elk on their land during all times of the year, what
they can get FWP sportsmens dollars to subsidize, without any
hunter access in the general season. Though not hidden, when
of this group realized that I was recording the public meetings
other members of the public that could not attend, some of the
comments and dialogue changed, becoming calmer and more
acceptable. Their 3rd recommendation was to do away
the hunt roster and utilize only Park County hunters of the
landowners choosing. Thankfully, Dr. Mark Albrecht pointed out how
this would be perceived by Montana hunters and they did not submit
that one to you.Yet, I still do not have my requested documents
for the previous seasons dispersal hunts, involving the hunt
roster, which is doubtful it was followed, as other portions of
the law were not, from public meeting obstruction, minutes, record
of attendees, kill permits, etc.
I have numerous objections to these modifications, besides the base objection to this whole Elk Management in areas with brucellosis program not complying with any MCA or ARM statutes. Montana Legislative Services Division - Legal Services Office, Legislative Inquiry into the MT Elk Management In Areas With Brucellosis finding - "Based on a review of the foregoing information, it appears that there is no specific reference in the Montana Code Annotated regarding the Departments's authority to manage elk for purposes of reducing or preventing the transmission of brucellosis between elk and livestock." Dec. 6, 2013
I object to any of these actions/modifications being at the expense of sportsmen's dollars without any public hunter access during the general season. Public hunting access on these private lands, during the general season, would help to move these elk away, seeking better security, reducing the potential exposure to a brucellosis abortion event during the risk period.
I object to the extension of the kill permit and EMR kill dates being extended beyond the current date, which is beyond the Feb. 15th date set, based on sound biological management. This is the beginning of birthing periods for elk. The gut piles, as well as any fetal materials on the ground, will act as a potential abortion event. In addition, there are elk declines in these areas to begin with. Lethal removals will only add to that decline, depriving sportsmen of hunting opportunities and healthy elk population numbers in this region.
I object to large scale fencing with sportsmen's dollars for a number of reasons. 1. Again, this action is without any public hunter access during the general season. 2. This large scale fencing will not only serve to possibly restrict the elk movements from the land, but can also be used to harbor/capture them for the hunting season, which benefits private landowners who lease to outfitters or sell hunts on their land. 3. It is not the responsibility of MT sportsmen to subsidize the ranchers pasture fencing. 4. What would we be spending all this money for? A 0.00024% chance that any one MT cattle could become infected with brucellosis from an elk? This is not a fiscally responsible use of FWP sportsmen's dollars.
I object to this blatant livestock management of our wildlife, instead of a science based wildlife management program, in accordance with the Public Trust Doctrine and North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
I object to FWP supporting such drastic measures against our elk, instead of defending our wildlife from special interests, in accordance with Supreme Court of Montana. State V. C. R. Rathbone decision, "Montana is one of the few areas in the nation where wild game abounds. It is regarded as one of the greatest of the state's natural resources, as well as the chief attraction for visitors. Wild game existed here long before the coming of man. One who acquires property in Montana does so with notice and knowledge of the presence of wild game and presumably is cognizant of its natural habits. Wild game does not possess the power to distinguish between fructus naturales and fructus industriales, and cannot like domestic animals be controlled through an owner. Accordingly a property owner in this state must recognize the fact that there may be some injury to property or inconvenience from wild game for which there is no recourse." C.R. Rathbone was convicted for shooting an elk, out of season, for eating the grass at his ranch.
request the necessary Environmental Review, according to MCA
87 -1-301 (J) FWP
Commissioners requirements shall comply with, adopt policies
comply with, and ensure the department implements in each region
provisions of state wildlife management plans adopted following
environmental review conducted pursuant to Title 75, chapter 1,
parts 1 through 3. (Last Statewide Elk Management Plan 2004).
87-1-323 Management of viable elk populations are based on
acreage, not brucellosis management.