Montana's Fish & Wildlife Commission is seeking comment on a work plan aimed at aimed at reducing the risk of transmitting brucellosis infections between elk and livestock in southwestern Montana.
The 2013-14 work plan from the Elk Management Guidelines in Areas with Brucellosis Working Group continues the risk management course set in motion last winter and calls once more for the oversight of local work groups. Creating local working groups is a high priority for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, officials said.
Key work plan efforts for 2014 would include providing landowners resources for hazing and fencing to help keep elk away from livestock from January to June, the high-risk months for transmitting the bacteria. It also sanctions limited late season dispersal hunts and landowner kill permits when events demand.
Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection in domestic animals, wildlife and humans worldwide. In Montana, brucellosis has been detected in elk, bison and, several years ago, in cattle in areas surrounding Yellowstone National Park. The disease results in miscarriages in some pregnant animals, including domestic cattle, and bison and elk.
For more information and to comment on the work plan, visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov. Click "Elk Brucellosis Work Plan." Comments are being accepted through 5 p.m., Sept.9.