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Group seeks to join lawsuit over private landowner influence on elk management decisions

Bull elk

A Montana hunting and conservation organization Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed by United Property Owners of Montana in May.

United Property Owners of Montana has argued in Fergus County District Court that elk are overgrazing on ranch lands, leading to grass shortages for cattle. The group wants private landowners to have more say in how Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks manages elk herds.

The “Keep Elk Public'' coalition filed to intervene in the case. The coalition says that, if successful, the lawsuit would “upend” state wildlife management by giving landowners authority over management of elk on their properties.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' 2021 report shows nearly 50,000 more elk in Montana than the state’s management plan says is ideal.

Austin graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program in May 2022. He came to MTPR as an evening newscast intern that summer, and jumped at the chance to join full-time as the station’s morning voice in Fall 2022.

He is best reached by emailing
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