MISSOULA — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public input on revisions to the statewide Elk Management Plan last adopted in 2005. FWP began work on the revised plan in 2020, when a citizen’s group was convened to develop guiding principles for the new plan.
At this point of the process, FWP is seeking input on the existing elk population objectives and local elk management challenges that should be considered in the revision. The scoping period started earlier this summer and continues through October 15.
“We’ve been hearing concerns and interest from hunters and landowners about the current Elk Management Plan for a while now,” said FWP Director Hank Worsech. “This is a great opportunity to participate in revising that plan. We can’t have a good plan without knowing what people want elk management and elk objectives to look like in Montana.”
Information on current elk population objectives being considered for revision can be viewed online at fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities/elk-plan-scoping/hd-info. In addition, FWP has been hosting public meetings to share more information and answer questions. Meeting places, times and details are posted on the FWP website.
In west-central Montana, FWP is hosting nine public meetings over the next month:
Sept. 22: Hamilton, Daly-Leach Memorial Chapel (1010 W. Main St.), 6 p.m.
Sept. 27: Anaconda, Metcalf Center (115 Pennsylvania Ave.), 6 p.m.
Sept. 28: Drummond, Community Hall & Senior Center (54 E. Broad St.), 6 p.m.
Sept. 29: Deer Lodge, Powell County Community Center (416 Cottonwood Ave.), 6 p.m.
Oct. 4: Ovando, Ovando School gym (108 Birch St.), 6 p.m.
Oct. 5: Seeley Lake, Community Hall (3248 Hwy 83), 6 p.m.
Oct. 6: Missoula, FWP office (3201 Spurgin Road), 6 p.m.
Oct. 11: Lincoln, Location TBD, 6 p.m.
Oct. 13: Superior, High School multipurpose room (410 Arizona), 6 p.m.
There will also be a statewide virtual meeting on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. that will look at hunting districts around the state. To participate in the online session, you must register at fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities/elk-plan-scoping by noon on Sept. 25.
More information and additional locations for public meetings across Montana can be found online at fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities/elk-plan-scoping.
“If you’re interested in elk management in Montana, we need to hear from you on this,” Worsech said. “Please attend a meeting in your area, go online, read through the information and make comments.”
The deadline for public comment is Oct. 15. Comments can be submitted online, emailed to FWPWLD@mt.gov or mailed to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Attn: Wildlife, P.O. Box 200701 Helena, MT 59620-0701.
Once the draft Elk Management Plan has been developed and released, there will be additional public comment opportunities.