Background: On January 10th, 2013,
the FWP Commission passed the Elk
Management Guidelines In Areas With Brucellosis Working Group Proposed
Final Recommendations. This whole program is existing
outside of Montana law and scientific wildlife management. The
program has not even been following what was passed in the Proposed
Recommendations, but is a law to itself - hence the lawsuit.
Within the Proposed Recommendations
- Fundamental Objective #2 stated: Maximize acceptability
of elk management tools and populations in the DSA for:
Sportspersons (measure with satisfaction survey),
Wildlife enthusiasts (measure with satisfaction survey),
Landowners (measure with satisfaction survey), and
Livestock producers (measure with satisfaction survey).
FWP elk brucellosis management actions have not maximized acceptability.
Instead, the more awareness of the situation has caused increased
public comments against the program, many
upset hunters going to Helena to speak to the FWP Commissioners
at the April 10th meeting, a
lawsuit, even public statements and public comments from some
of the Statewide Elk Brucellosis Working Group Members.
Now FWP has issued a survey (Aug. 2014),
3 versions: catering to general Montana resident, landowner and
hunters. I was alerted to this survey through a friend who knew
my work concerning this program. I then requested the watermarked
surveys from FWP which I converted to pdf's for the public (documents
Here's the thing, the presentations that
FWP administrators from Helena put on when embarking on this program
were not only created using parts of a Department of Livestock presentation
and very slanted towards livestock interests, but FWP has never
done independent research into the claim by DOL that elk (they used
to blame wild bison without any evidence) in Montana are the reason
for the cattle infections. Yet, independent investigations are turning
up evidence that the bulk, if not all of the cattle infection cases,
have been cattle to cattle transmission and one case of a domestic
bison in 2011 was from an RB51 vaccine infection, not elk (infection
timeline and documentation page being set up). DOL has been obstructing
public information requests for over 8 months now, involving the
cattle infection cases.
administrators do not share the truth of these situations and their
elk brucellosis management program, so how can they accurately conduct
a survey to access acceptability? The survey language is leading
and a number of the questions should concern conservation hunters
that are quickly loosing scientific wildlife management, govenmental
transparency and accountability with the Helena FWP administrators
of this elk brucellosis program and the FWP Commission.
Brucellosis General Household Survey
Brucellosis Hunter Survey
Brucellosis Private Landowner Survey