Montana Fish, Wildlife
Elk Mangement In Areas With Brucellosis
Below are the quotes from the
APHIS-VS Concept Paper which drives the MT FWP Elk Managment In
Area With Brucellosis Program. This is how APHIS/DOL are strong
arming our wildlife agency to throw our elk and bison under the
APHIS brucellosis eradication bus.
Concept Paper For A New Direction For the Bovine Brucellosis Program
- APHIS VS 2009, "The
goal of the program is to eradicate
brucellosis from the United States." "Despite
cooperative Federal-State-industry efforts to eradicate this disease
and the significant progress we have made, final eradication will
not become possible unless the country adopts new strategies to
address current challenges. Eradication depends on finding the last
remaining brucellosis-reactor animal, the last remaining brucellosis-affected
herd, and eliminating the disease
from wildlife reservoirs. All potential risks for
exposure and transmission of brucellosis from infected wildlife
populations must be mitigated and eliminated as well. Currently,
the last known reservoir of disease is the wildlife populations
in the GYA. A new direction is needed that will allow VS and States
to apply limited resources effectively and efficiently to this unique
disease risk."(pg. 2)
"While the term 'disease management area'
has been used in this document to describe a national concept, the
term 'designated surveillance area' is being
used for the GYA. This term can be found in the core principles
that were presented at a meeting held in Idaho Falls, Idaho, on
June 18, 2009. This meeting included representatives from the
Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming State livestock, agriculture,
and fish and wildlife departments; representatives
of the offices of the governors of Idaho and Wyoming, congressional
staff for each State; staff from APHIS VS and Legislative and Public
Affairs; and representatives of the National Park Service. This
meeting focused specifically on the issues associated with the endemic
brucellosis situation in elk and bison in the GYA and the risk posed
to livestock in the area." pg. 11
brucellosis in the GYA remains the long-term goal,
with the short-term goals of disease management and prevention.
Resources and cooperation from all partners are needed to achieve
these goals." pg. 12
of brucellosis in wildlife should not be the burden
of livestock stakeholders; it should
be the responsibility of wildlife agencies.
Implementing a disease managment area is only part of a successful
approach to eliminating brucellosis in an area of increased disease
risk such as the GYA. It also requires a concurrent planning effort
with the many wildlife and land-management agencies and entities
that have jurisdiction and authority over the impacted area. VS
fully recognizes the role that wildlife plays in spreading brucellosis
and the critical role that the U.S. Department of Interior and State
Departments of Natural Resources and Land Management play in managing
wildlife and combating this disease. VS has engaged these entitites
to ensure that the wildlife issue is addressed appropriately. VS
is eager to partner with these entities to develop and implement
appropriate strategies for the disease management area concept."
pgs. 13, 14
I like how APHIS VS writes of their strong arm
tactics, forcing the GYA States to "cooperate", "partner",
or they dont get their Brucellosis Class Free Status for the state.
I believe, that is called extortion.
The following are FWP Documents,
Timeline of Events and Local "Working Group" Meetings
that reveal the APHIS, Department of Livestock control over Fish,
Wildlife & Parks concerning our wildlife (primarily elk and
bison) exposed to the livestock disease of brucellosis - with the
objective of eradication of brucellosis in wildlife.
- Fall 2011 - FWP and Commission
initiate the Elk Management Guidelines in Areas with Brucellosis
- 1/12/2012 - a 12
member Working Group, chosen from over 40 applicants by
FWP Director Joe Maurier, are notified of their acceptance.
Noland and Raths are also ag/livestock, making 8 of the 12 members
with ag/livestock interests.
- 11/9/2012 - FWP Commission tentative
adoption of Working
Group Proposed Recommendations
- 10/31/2012 - 1st
FWP wildlife biologist comments against draft Proposed Recommendations.
This one is a large list of points and very pertinent, "There
are some points here that take us down some very dangerous roads.
They are playing interests against one another, and I really
have to wonder where the sportsmen’s voice is in all this.
We could be paying landowners to fence out elk? Paying for vaccination?
All the while reducing elk populations and thusly elk opportunities
for sportsmen? I really hope that SOMEONE in our agency stands
up to some of the points presented in here, or we may face some
major problems in the future.", 2nd
wildlife biologist comments. "Are livestock producers
and other constituents willing to stand by this when other members
of the public , MOGA, etc cry foul on us?" Neither of these
statements were provided to the Working Group members, nor the
FWP Commissioners by Quentin Kujula.
- 14/11/2012 - Dr. Mark Albrecht's
(member of the Working Group) letter
to FWP Commission asking them to reconsider their vote on
the Proposed Recommendations because test and slaughter was
added back in by Quentin Kujula, when the Working Group had
rejected it. Dr. Albrechts letter was first sent to Quentin
Kujala to see if it should be passed on to
the Commission members, by the commission secretary. I am including
the version from my Public Information Request, so you can see
that it was intercepted first. Dr. Albrecht was concerned,
"...now it appears that the FWP Department had a fundamental
objective to ultimately eliminate brucellosis. - this cant be
- 1/10/2013 - FWP Commission vote
to approve Proposed
Final Recommendations with commissioner's amendments. Dan
Vermillion suggests that implementations go through Regional
Supervisor and Regional Commissioner for authorization. Dan
Vermillion is the Regional Commissioner. Commission
minutes (page 5) verifying amendments and vote approval.
At this point Gallatin Wildlife Association (of which I was
a member then) notifies FWP that they would like to participate
in the local working group process.
- Feb.-April 2013 elk dispersal hunts
take place, $2000 stack Fencing paid to ranchers with sportsmen
request before Final Recommendations were even voted on,
fencing in Feb., county
commissioner has bigger stacks, wants more money (at least
two documented cases of fencing showed the ranchers did not
allow "public hunting access for wildlife distribution
and population management", hazing - hunt details below
- 2/15/2013 - 1st
local brucellosis working group meeting at a Mill Creek
Melin's ranch, Friday
Meeting, where 2 Gallatin Wildlife Association members (MWF
affiliates), one of which Glenn Hockett the president, were
on their way to Livingston to participate called FWP Karen Lovelss,
told they cannot attend that it is private, directed by FWP
Quentin Kujala, approved
by FWP Commission Chair Dan Vermillion as a "smart move".
Oct. 2013 email
reply on working group attendee's, when I was finally able
to get at least some information on who attended this working
group meeting. This was part of my original information request
from May 3, 2013.
- 3/10/2013-4/7/2013 Dispersal
Hunts on T-Bar, Elbow Creek, Strawberry Ridge and Melin
- 4/22/2013 - 2nd local brucellosis
working group meeting at Park County Rod and Gun Club. Again,
invitation from one of the Park County Rod and Gun Club members
is rescinded and we are told it is a private meeting by FWP
Quentin Kujala. I, Kathryn QannaYahu, receives clarification
from Pat Flowers, Region 3 Supervisor, that according to Montana
Statutes, this is a public meeting while the FWP employees are
there and presenting. I take the Montana statues and go to meeting
anyway, despite Kujala's obstruction and is admitted to meeting.
See email below for this verification. Kujala stated he checked
with legal beforehand, but in a conversation with Dokter, not
knowing Kujala stated this, she confirmed it was a public meeting
while FWP was there. Montana
- 4/24/2013 - As a concerned member
of the public, conservation hunter and wildlife advocate, I
emailed an official
complaint letter concerning local working group meeting's
obstruction with FWP Quentin Kujala, Ken McDonald, Pat Flowers
and Dan Vermillion. Kujala replies to recipients, "to make
no response." No response was ever made by these officials,
which prompted my Information Request.
- 5/2/2013 - Email
referring to Rep. Alan Redfield (Paradise Valley Rancher,
who sponsored the HB 312 Elk
Brucellosis Test & Slaughter Bill) being complimentary
of the elk brucellosis actions, late season dispersal hunts.
He also had an LC2040, which
would have gutted the required PUBLIC hunter access requirement
of Game Damage laws. But this Elk Management In Areas With Brucellosis
did far more than that. All these actions in the Proposed Recommendations
never required Public Hunter Access and when I pointed this
out to the FWP Commissioners, it was never amended to require
it, making all actions paid for by sportsmens dollars, but no
public hunter access in return.
- 5/3/2013 -I,as an individual, since
GWA president did not wish to file, filed official
Information Request Relating to Elk Management in Areas of Brucellosis,
with FWP Director Jeff Hagener. Hagener forwards request to
Ken McDonald stating, "We need to comply with this request".
Ken McDonald forwards to Quentin Kujala stating, "My first
inclination is to send her to the website where the workgroup
documents were placed. If she comes back for more..."
- 5/24/2013 - I received a CD in the
mail with 388 sporadic emails, a fraction of the requested documentation.
- 6/14/2013 - After trying to call
FWP Dir. Jeff Hagener about obstruction and partial Information
Request fulfillment, I was told Hagener will not be available
until mid-July, call is forwarded to FWP attorney Rebecca Jakes
Dockter, who advises to send Hagener another Information Request
email outlining the missing documentation. Email
is sent and according to return receipt, opened at 8:31
PM. This has not been fulfilled.
- 6/24/2013 - Realizing I forgot to
include the hunt
roster information request in the unfulfilled information
request, I sent another.
- 7/1/2013 - Hunt
Roster reply from Dokter, via Kujala.
HD 317 (zoom
to see clearly), HD
560 . Actually, anyone without a legal degree, reading my
request will be able to see, once again, I have not received
all of what I asked for - order the rosters were at, as of January
10th, which hunters were utilized on which dates since then
- to current date, where they hunted, what the classification
of the hunt was labeled (game damage, dispersal, etc.) and what
- 7/4/2013 - Rest of documentation
has still not been received, nor any response to obstruction
process by Hagener.
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
Elk Brucellosis Management Acceptability Surveys
Lawsuit Against FWP & FWP Commissioners
Over Elk Brucellosis Management Program
& ARM Violations of the Elk Managment in Areas With Brucellosis
Co. Elk "Working Group"
Not local working groups as defined
by Statewide Elk Brucellosis Working Group Proposed Recommendations,
passed on Jan. 10, 2013 - Local Working Groups- "At a minimum,
they should reasonably represent the various constituencies that
would typically include sporting and other wildlife interests,
livestock producers, landowners that do not primarily raise livestock
and any associated resource or land management agencies...All
would be open meetings." Obstructing a number of
sportspersons from attending the original meetings, primarily
of local ranchers, I repeatedly brought before the FWP Commission
the obstruction of this process and the lack of various stakeholders.
FWP decided to say they never had any "local working groups,
couldnt get any public interest." See Timeline to the left
for proof otherwise. What is taking place in Park County now,
is the Watershed group, made up of ranchers, chaired by rancher
Statewide Elk Brucellosis Working Group
Charlie Noland is also Ag, according
to the EWG ag subsidies database, and Dr. Raths is involved with
Raths Livestock, so there are actually 8 of the 12 members involved
with ag/livestock, though the list tries to make it look about
2012 Draft Proposed Recommendations
Which included Test and Slaughter, originally
rejected by the Statewide Elk Brucellosis Working Group, added
back in by FWP Quentin Kujala
10, 2013 Final Proposed Recommendations
While these Recommendations were passed,
they were not implemented as they were written. Along with the
local working group obstruction, concerns over the obvious lethal
objectives in this management, rather than the risk mitigation,
forage habitat improvement, etc., began raising red flags, which
prompted the investigation into this program. Further research
has resulted in the uncovering of the APHIS/DOL Brucellosis Management
Plan required by Montana, which compromises elk and bison management
by FWP - managing for USDA and local livestock. See Brucellosis
Elk Brucellosis "Work Plan"
This was not a plan, it was an
open ended, unlimited number of, outline at best.
2013 FWP Commissioner Minutes
Approving 2013 Elk Brucellosis "Work
Elk Management Actions Region 3
Elk Management Actions Region 5
11, 2013 Elk Brucellosis Working Group Review Meeting
The day before this meeting,
I went to Helena, to the FWP Commissioners meeting, to speak for
three minutes in the public comment period, concerning this Elk
brucellosis debacle. I ttok folders for each commissioner of documentation
concerning the public meeting obstruction, the wildlife biologists
statements on this program, the stats on the elk in this region
being under objective, no public hunter access requirement, asking
them to call for an independent audit of this program.
I attended this Working Group meeting
from beginning to end. A number of concerning subjects were brought
up, primarily by Dr. Mark Albrecht, such as: obstruction of public
meetings, why are there no local working groups, gut piles from
the dispersal hunts not managed (if an elk had been infected with
brucellosis, the gut piles would have been transmission vectors
for cattle or other elk to become infected).
Joe Cohenour asked why there was no
required public hunter access for this program. FWP's Quentin
Kujula, quickly replied that they, the Statewide Working Group
members, had not included it. This is bullshit to put that off
on the working group members, who are not FWP employees, knowing
the laws involving Game Damage and public hunter access. As the
administrator of this program and an employee of the FWP agency
working for wildlife and hunters, it was Quentin Kujulas responsibility
to make sure these "civilians" were advised of this
point. Neither did the FWP commissioners amend the Proposed Recommendations
on Jan10, 2013, nor did Ken MacDonald, Quentins supervisor, bring
it up to the commissioners. And when I have, they ignored it and
there is still no public hunter access required for this program,
which does not follow any Montana Code Annotated to operate. So
basically, hunters are subsidizing the ranchers to kill elk in
an area that is under objective, as well as pay for stack fencing.
Elk Brucellosis Work Plan Original
This plan was basically the same
open ended, do whatever you want to benefit certain ranchers,
to hell with the wildlife biology and Montana hunters plan that
was submitted to the Commission spring of 2013, with some "Cover
My Ass" thrown in. I very vocally, email
and internet networking complained about this "work plan".
Elk Brucellosis Work Plan
Altered Work Plan submitted to FW Commissioners Aug. 8, 2013
Elk Brucellosis Work Plan Final