Thursday, September 30, 2010
The Private Land/Public Wildlife Council has developed a proposal for a different way to seek solutions to the complex issue of a farmer, rancher or other party who is adversely impacted by wildlife unnaturally concentrated on private land.
The PL/PW is currently seeking public comment through Nov. 15 on a draft recommendation entitled “Collaborative Solutions for Problematic Wildlife Concentrations.”
This draft recommendation defines the issue, noting that problematic wildlife concentrations (PWC) pose significant risks to landowners and neighbors, the health of domestic and wildlife herds, Montana’s hunting heritage, and legally-mandated game management objectives. There are currently only three options for recourse: going to court, going before the FWP Commission, or attempting to get new laws passed.
The draft proposal outlines a three-phase process of progressive actions delivered through a suggested new FWP program. The process initially would use one-on-one facilitated efforts between affected parties. If that effort failed, a local PWC solutions committee, involving a broad range of interested parties, would work on the issue. If necessary, a final resolution could require action by a statewide PWC committee of landowners, hunters, outfitters, and a member from the FWP Commission and the Board of Livestock.
The recommendation notes that FWP does not have authority to force public hunting access on private land and nothing in this proposal seeks to create that authority.
The draft recommendation can be found at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/
To submit comments electronically, use the link available at the website listed above. Written comments may be sent to: FWP – PL/PW Council, ATTN: Alan Charles, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701. The deadline for public comment is 5 p.m. Nov. 20.
The Private Land/Public Wildlife Council is a group of hunters, anglers, landowners, outfitters, a FWP Commission member, and two legislators, appointed by Governor Schweitzer, charged with making recommendation to the Governor and Legislature regarding hunting and fishing access, public wildlife and private lands, and related issues. More information about the PL/PW Council, including a list of current members and meeting summaries, can be found at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/hunterAccess/plpw/ .