On July 26, Fish, Wildlife and Park’s elk citizens advisory group held their final meeting and finalized 15 recommendations that were presented to the agency for consideration. MSGA members Chuck Rein and Race King served in the working group and were instrumental in providing landowner perspectives during meeting discussions.
In light of elk populations being chronically over objective, new disease concerns, continuing calls for more access, reports of crowded public lands, and more people than ever coming to the state, a group of 12 citizens were selected by FWP to participate in the working group in May. The group was tasked with developing a set of recommendations to address elk management issues and improve relationships among stakeholders and met half days, every other week for roughly two months. The final recommendations include the following:
- Choose your weapon/area
- Promote focused damage hunts
- Use of shoulder seasons
- Establish local elk work groups
- Understand and mitigate the disease of brucellosis in elk
- Enforce stricter penalties for trespass violations and other bad behaviors by hunters and landowners
- Access plus program
- Expanded hunter education
- FWP landowner liaison
- Create an A9 tag bundle
- Improve accessibility to the FWP videos that promote the desired behaviors between landowners and hunters
- Stakeholder meetings
- Promote FWP, USFS, BLM, and DNRC collaboration
- Develop user friendly and effective methods to collect data
- Manage elk where they are not
To review the full details on the 15 recommendations, visit the Rancher’s Resources page of www.mtbeef.org.
If you have thoughts, feedback or comments on these recommendations, please share those with the MSGA staff. In the coming months, staff will have a variety of opportunities to work with FWP staff and share member’s feedback.
The Montana Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots membership organization and is the trusted voice of cattle ranchers. With a 135 year history, MSGA advocates and ensures cattle ranching remains relevant, safe and a sustainable way of life for generations to come.
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