Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

FWP is again sued over public meeting laws; Public meetings set for wolf management plan

A gray wolf walking in the snow.
Holly Kuchera
A gray wolf walking in the snow.

Wildlife groups sue Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for violating public meeting laws

For the second time this month, wildlife groups are suing Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) for violating public meeting laws.

The complaint is centered around an emergency Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting held the morning of September 25. FWP announced the meeting on the previous Friday afternoon, which groups said was not enough time for public notification.

Helena Edelson is the President of the Large Carnivore Fund, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit

“That was a two hour-business day window notification of a change that they were making. Most people didn't even get that notification, let alone be able to investigate what it was that they were proposing for this emergency meeting,” Edelson said.

The suit alleges that FWP violated Montana’s public participation laws, by giving inadequate notice. The meeting was about changing rules for wolf population control.

Edelson is asking the court to declare all changes made in the meeting void as a result of the violation.

FWP admitted to violating public right-to-know in other commission meetings earlier this month and must now abide by a set of terms to improve public transparency.

Officials announce a series of public meetings to discuss the wolf management plan draft

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has announced a series of public meetings to discuss the draft Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

FWP released the draft plan and accompanying environmental impact statement last week. It will be replacing the current statewide management plan that has been in place since 2003.

Public comment on both documents is open until December 19. FWP will host public meetings on the proposal prior to the deadline.

There will be in-person sessions held in Kalispell, Missoula, Bozeman, Great Falls and Billings in the first two weeks of December, as well as one virtual meeting.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information