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Graham To Stay At Montana FWP

Friday, January 21, 2000

Headlines

Pat Graham, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, has withdrawn from consideration for the position of director of the Idaho Fish and Game. Graham, who was among three finalists for the position, said a combination of professional and personal considerations factored into his decision.

"I am impressed by the professionalism of Idaho's agency and the optimism and energy of its commission," Graham said. "While the Idaho department faces some significant challenges in the short term, I feel very optimistic about its future."

Graham, 47, began his career with FWP as a fisheries biologist in 1977. Gov. Marc Racicot appointed him as the agency director in 1993.

"Right now, I want to finish the jobs we started here in Montana," Graham said. "Our priorities will be to work on issues related to improving hunting and fishing access, strengthening the state's role and flexibility in endangered species management, and passage of the federal Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 2000."

CARA, which will be on the upcoming Congressional agenda, would provide funding for managing grizzly bears, wolves and other sensitive species that currently are, or will, come under state management, Graham said. The legislation also provides for landowner incentives, habitat conservation and enhancement, open space, and state and local parks.