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cation between landowners, hunters, outfitters, ….

cation between landowners, hunters, outfitters, and local FWP biologists. Citizen science would be heard concerning elk movement, and together the group would address redistribution of elk, objectives, access and other related issues. Season structure and number of permits could also be topics.

Expanded Hunter Education: The intent of this recommendation is to improve hunter/landowner relationships with programs similar to the Master Hunter Program. This would improve hunter quality and, with certification possibilities, a potential way for program graduates to access private land to hunt.

Promote Focused Damage Hunts: This recommendation would allow landowners and biologists to have a list of willing, local participants to choose from. This is a harvest tool to help landowners strategically redistribute elk, mitigate disease and improve stakeholder relationships.

Improve Accessibility to the FWP Videos, Programs, PSAs, etc. that Promote the Desired Behaviors between Landowners and Hunters: This recommendation would make existing communication pieces readily available or easy to find.

FWP Landowner Liaison: This recommendation creates a liaison position to work with landowners and creates a communication pathway between community partners. This could improve stakeholder relationships and mitigate disease.

We have to Manage Elk Where They Are Not: The intent of this recommendation is to restore historic elk numbers in northwest Montana to alleviate the excessive elk hunting pressure that is experienced in the rest of the state. This proposal also is intended to strategically redistribute hunters, improve quality access to harvest and encourage better data collection by the department.

Understand and Mitigate the Disease of Brucellosis in Elk: This recommendation recognizes the impacts on livestock producers within the designated surveillance area who deal with the risk of disease transmission from elk to cattle and improve stakeholder relationships.

Use of Shoulder Seasons: The intent would be to assess the benefits of shoulder seasons, redistribute elk, and reduce landowner hunting fatigue, thereby improving relationships between landowners and hunters.

Stakeholder Meetings: This recommendation fulfills one of the key components of the group’s intended purpose — “to forge new relationships among stakeholders.”

Enforce Stricter Penalties for Trespassing and Other Bad Behaviors by Hunters and Landowners: The intent of tougher laws is to discourage trespassing and other unethical behaviors that occur, including landowners illegally blocking or detouring access to public lands. The intent is to improve stakeholder relationships and address quality access to harvest.

To review the recommendations and to comment, go to public-comment-opportunities/ emcag-recommendations. The deadline for comment is 5 p.m. Oct. 14.

For more information about the advisory group, including access to meeting recordings go to https://fwp. citizen-advisory- group.

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