Brett French reports: New elk management plan praised, panned
By angelamontana

Posted: December 15, 2023

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks unveiled its new elk management plan on Dec. 1 after three years of development. Once conservation and landowner groups had a look at the final edition, they both praised and criticized the guiding document. The board of the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers’ analysis of the document said it gives the Fish and Wildlife Commission, a board appointed by the governor, too much power because elk quota ranges have been removed. The United Property Owners of Montana, which has sued FWP over its elk management, said the new plan still doesn’t reduce elk populations, calling it a “continuation of the failed policies that created this problem in the first place.” The Montana Wildlife Federation praised the fact that the new plan can be reviewed and altered every five years, allowing the document to be changed as conditions are altered. For more on the story, as well as a comparison of two elk hunting districts in central Montana, check out my stories at and

Brett French | Outdoors editor | Billings Gazette Communications

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