HELENA – After reviewing 243 applications, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has selected 12 individuals to serve on a citizens advisory group to address the future of elk management. The 12-member group will help craft a new future for elk management and elk hunting in Montana.
Members are Ian Wargo, Heath Hansen, Brent Race D.V.M., Stephanie Prater, Scott Tinklenberg, Matt Wickens, Race King, Chuck Rein, Druska Kinkie, Staci Ketchum, Scott Van Dyken, and Aaron Iverson. This group represents a broad range of viewpoints and experience and will use that diversity to focus on two broad tasks – developing a set of recommendations to address elk management issues and improving relationships between stakeholders.
The members were selected for the diversity of viewpoints they represent and their expressed eagerness to make progress on the complex challenges facing elk management in Montana. The members were selected irrespective of group affiliation.
“I was blown away by the interest in this effort. The quality of applicants was tremendous. With so many groups interested in helping out, the fairest way to select members was to focus on the experience each applicant had and their willingness to work with others to find a solution,” said FWP Director Hank Worsech. “The work I’m asking this group to take on will be tough, but I’m convinced lasting solutions will come with folks like these working together. I’m grateful for all of the people who applied to be a part of the working group.”
The first meeting, which will be held virtually and streamed online, is scheduled for the afternoon of March 22. The group’s recommendations will be presented to Director Worsech by July 31.
The applicants who weren’t selected for the advisory group, will serve as a sounding board. This board will be invited to attend every meeting and will review and provide input on the advisory group’s work throughout the process.
For more information about the advisory group and sounding board and to watch the March 22 meeting, go to https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/elk-management-citizen-advisory-group.