|Subject: Elk Management In Areas With Brucellosis 2014 Proposed Work Plan|
|Date: 8/6/2013 6:05 PM|
"To date, local working groups (which are supposed to have representation by Sportspersons, Wildlife enthusiasts, Landowners that do not raise livestock and Livestock Producers) have not been identified in all areas." As I supplied the commissioners with documentation, the first local working group meeting ended up being a number of ranchers in Park County, meeting in one of their kitchens and possibly Hayes Goosey of the Park County Rod and Gun Club (PCRGC) in Livingston. Gallatin Wildlife Association (GWA conservation hunters) had notified Quentin Kujala on Jan 12th, that we would like to participate in a local working group. Two members, one of which was Glenn Hockett (president), were on their way to the meeting when they received a call from Karen Loveless, the wildlife biologist involved, per instructions by Quentin Kujala, to inform the GWA members that they could not attend the meeting. Having received an invitation from Lou Goosey (PCRGC) to attend an FWP elk brucellosis mtg being hosted at their club, several GWA members accepted the invitation, only to be told once again, that we could not attend. Hayes Goosey stated it was a private mtg. When Glenn Hockett pressed Quentin Kujala about the open meeting aspect of the FWP presentation, contrary to Montana Annotated Code 2-3-101 - 107. , Kujala stated, "Glen—My understanding is this is Livingston Rod and Gun Club meeting. That definition is theirs to make. Quentin".
When I wrote a complaint letter to Dan
Vermillion, Ken McDonald, including Quentin Kujajala and Pat
in the communication, complaining about what Glenn and I had
through that day to try and get into this meeting ( I
attended with a
copy of the Code, even though I had no confirmation I would
allowed in at that point) Quentin Kujala replied to Ken
be frank again, my first inclination (probably not the
best?) is to
make no response. " Which is what occurred -
no response was made to a complaint about open meeting
After waiting two weeks for some response and receiving
filled a FOIA with Dir. Jeff Hagener on May 3rd, to receive
information on this elk management process. Hagener approved
sending it to McDonald telling him to comply. McDonald sent
Kujala and it has been obstructed as well, with only a
fulfillment. I have sent a follow up on June 14th, with no
Also of note, in this "local working group" process, Hayes Goosey, in an email to Glenn Hockett on April 22nd, the day of the meeting at the Park County Rod and Gun Club, stated, "The Park Co. Rod and Gun Club is part of the Brucellosis working group and this is a presentation with the intent of communicating with our board of directors and membership." Another point, the Madison Elk Working Group was an already established group to deal with elk. I was there the day that Kujala made a brucellosis presentation. No educational presentation was done, just an explanation of the original Working Group and a copy of the voted on Proposed Recommendations. There were 5 of us that were sportsmen, all the rest were ranchers, no other stakeholders represented per the Proposed Recommendations – if this is to be counted as one of the “local working groups”. I sat across the room from ranchers that openly stated they wanted all the elk killed, that they were eating all “our grass”. This statement was repeated a number of times during the meeting.
It was not until I began speaking up about the FWP obstruction of the public meeting and varied stakeholder process that certain members of FWP began saying that there were no local working groups. I have documentation to show that there has clearly been an obstruction of the FWP Commission approved process and this should be accountability and transparency in this process. Please address this situation. I would be glad to provide you with any and all documentation you require to research this matter.
Why has FWP used sportspersons dollars to supply stackyard fencing, hazing, kill permits, etc. to ranchers that do not allow public access hunting during the established hunting season as the Game Damage Program requires (Landowners may be eligible for game damage assistance if they allow public hunting during established hunting seasons. Assistance may include hazing, repellants, temporary or permanent stackyard fencing, damage hunts, kill permits, or supplemental game damage licenses.)? When this question was brought up by one of the Elk Brucellosis Working Group members at the July 11th meeting in Bozeman, Quentin Kujala quickly replied to them that they, the Working Group, did not include it in their Proposed Recommendations that the FWP Commissioners approved. I have a number of questions with this. 1. Why did not Quentin Kujala, FWP's representative and manager of this program point this out to a “civilian” working group when they were compiling their proposed recommendations? 2. Why did no other FWP representative reviewing this document before presentation point this out? And if they did, why was it not presented to the Working Group? 3, Why did the FWP Commissioners not add this as an amendment to the Proposed Recommendations to protect Montana Sportsmen, their access and their dollars coming into FWP? 4. Why is this still not required in this work plan?
With that I will conclude my comments, again
asking you to please not pass this 2014 Work Plan, please do an
audit of what has been taking place and please manage our elk as
wildlife, for the benefit of Montana, her public and her hunting
community, not certain private ranches and the livestock
industry special interests. The reduction of brucellosis
transmission can be attained without throwing our elk, the
public process and accountability/transparency under the bus.
Thank you for all your hard work.
Thank you, Kathryn QannaYahu