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FWP Commission Listens To Public, Proposes Removing Planned CWD Hunt

Following a round of public comment sessions held by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider an amendment at their Dec. 14 meeting to remove a special chronic wasting disease hunt area and associated licenses in northeast Montana.

A proposed amendment for an item on the Dec. 14 Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting agenda is available for public review and comment.

The proposal, which had received public opposition, would change hunting regulations in the area by adding either-sex mule deer licenses and seasons in Hunting Districts 600, 640 and 670 (LPT 699-20 and 699-21).

The rationale from FWP for the amendment states, “This amendment removes a proposal that was developed to address the prevalence of Chronic Wasting Disease in mule deer within portions of Region 6. Montana’s CWD Management Plan establishes a goal of maintaining or reducing CWD prevalence at 5 percent or lower within an effected population and guidance for long-term management of CWD, which can be tailored to specific areas.

“There is public opposition to the proposal. The department prefers to withdraw the proposal to spend additional time and effort to discuss the issue broadly with the public rather than create an atmosphere of distrust. This amendment would allow time for more local stakeholder involvement and integration of any new biological findings prior to any future management proposals.”

To see the proposed amendment in its entirety, visit binaries/content/assets/ fwp/commission /2023/ dec/deer-and-elk/region-6cwd-seasons-amendmentfinal- version-for-web-posting- 11162023.pdf. FWP offered to remove the proposed regulation changes and commission chair Lesley Robinson agreed to sponsor the amendment.

Two more amendments to agenda items for the December Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting were added Tuesday, Nov. 21, and are available for public review online.

The first amendment looks to change the hunting district boundary in 313 just north of Yellowstone National Park. This is a deer and elk hunting district and the proposed change would add a portion of HD 314 into HD 313. Commissioner Susan Brooke proposed the amendment. To see the proposed amendment, visit https://fwp. fwp/commission/2023/ dec/deer-and-elk/final_deerelk- 313-314-boundary-changeamendment- all-edits-withresponse. pdf. The second amendment would split FWP region 7 into two hunting district — north and south — for antelope. Currently, antelope are managed as a region without any hunting district split. The amendment is proposed by Commissioner William Lane. To see the proposed amendment, visit content/assets/fwp/commission/ 2023/dec/antelope/ final_comm-lane-amendment- to-split-district-7-forantelope_ with-response.pdf. Other commission amendments may be announced prior to the Dec. 14 meeting.

To see the topics the commission will consider, visit commission/december- 2023-meeting.

Comments on commission amendments can be emailed to the commission at this address: Comment will also be taken virtually and in person during the meeting.

The commission will meet at the Capitol and virtually Thursday, Dec. 14, at 8:30 a.m. A full agenda and a Zoom link will be posted on the FWP website at a later date.

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