Montana Outdoors

Jan 6, 2013 12:50 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center

FWP Commission to consider elk management plan

HELENA - Montana's Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission will meet in Helena on Jan. 10 to consider final approval of elk management recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of transmitting brucellosis infections between elk and livestock near Yellowstone National Park.

Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial disease than can result in miscarriages in some pregnant animals, including domestic cattle, and bison and elk.

A working group of a dozen landowners, livestock producers and hunters has led an effort over the past year to look at effective elk management options to reduce brucellosis transmission in hunting districts that border or are near YNP.

The recommendations are focused on keeping elk away from high risk areas where they could comingle with cattle-or in unusually high concentrations-that could increase disease transmission risks.

Officials stressed that a program to test elk and then cull those exposed to brucellosis is not under consideration.

The commission's agenda also includes commercial fishing and permit regulation proposals for Canyon Ferry Reservoir and Lake Helena, near Helena; and an informational presentation on northwestern Montana's Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Water Rights Compact.

The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday at FWP's Helena headquarters on East Sixth Avenue.

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