FWP Considers Fencing, Extending Elk Kill Season - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

FWP Considers Fencing, Extending Elk Kill Season

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Cattle ranchers in Paradise Valley are proposing several changes to cut down on the amount of elk livestock interactions.

A two-part proposal designed to keep elk away from cattle in Paradise Valley is raising some concerns.

A local working group of Paradise Valley producers is asking FWP to extend elk kill season, different from hunting season this allows landowners to kill a small number of elk to encourage the herd to move to another location.

The ultimate goal is to avoid co-mingling and the spread of brucellosis to cattle.
Those permits used to only be allowed through April 30 and now would be open until May 15.

"That's a real critical time for livestock producers. We've got cows and calves out in different pastures," said Druska Kinkie, Paradise Valley rancher. "If you can get those elk to stay away then for the most part they will stay away for the rest of May."

The second part of the proposal is asking FWP to approve building larger fences to keep elk from migrating into the valley.

"What we're trying to do is move from small-scale fencing to a somewhat larger fencing area," said Kinkie.

The group is asking to add these changes into FWP's 2014 working plan, that is already in place.

"The goal would be to stop the elk in that critical time period from going through those cattle every single day," said Druska.

But, FWP commissioners have some concerns about the groups' proposal.

"The funding would not request what parcels are slated for fencing, but how also that project would maintain permeability for elk to move across that landscape," said Quentin Kujala, FWP.

Kinkie said the goal of the proposal is to put the elk back where they belong and to convince the elk they don't want to be there.

"Our goal is always push those elk back to their winter range that is acceptable and to discourage any year-round elk," said Kinkie.

FWP is accepting public comment now until March 21. Approval of the proposal will go before the FWP commissioners on April 10.

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