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Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte Monday said directors nominated to lead 12 state agencies will receive an average salary increase of 20 percent over their predecessors. Funding for the pay increases will come from their respective departments.

“Montana’s pay for agency directors has been among the worst in our region and country," Gianforte said in a press release. "We’re looking for folks who can make our state agencies more responsive to the people they serve and more responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars."

Former Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Martha Williams was appointed on Wednesday as second-in-command at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Biden Administration. William’s replacement within Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s cabinet was also named today.

Two grizzly bear cubs killed by a train near Trego were discovered Oct. 15, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

The BNSF Railway Company Tuesday published a long-awaited habitat conservation plan intended to reduce grizzly bear mortalities in Northwest Montana.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

Wildlife officials say new data show that the Ruby Valley in southwest Montana has become a hotspot for chronic wasting disease, a disease fatal to deer, elk and moose.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesperson Greg Lemon says this year’s data has shed light on the prevalence of the disease in the Ruby Valley near Sheridan, where CWD showed up in 23 percent of samples.

Fish cooking over a campfire.
iStock

Wildlife managers across the region noted a drastic increase in the number of people recreating in bear country this year, but that spike didn’t lead to a bump in conflicts between humans and grizzlies. 

That's the takeaway from a year-end review of grizzly management in the Lower 48 states this week.

Public access to roughly 7,200 acres of private timberland in northwest Montana is now permanently protected. State regulators Thursday approved purchasing an easement on the land for $4.5 million.

Cow elk.
PD

A citizens group met for the first time Thursday to begin the process of revising the 15-year-old statewide elk management plan in Montana.

Elk numbers in Montana have rebounded from about 8,000 in the 1920s to more than 150,000 today. But agreeing on how many of those ungulates there should be — and where — is a complicated affair.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks logo on the side of a department truck.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana's Republican Governor-elect Greg Gianforte announced his transition advisory team for the department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks. 

A press release Monday says the team will review candidates for the next director of FWP. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is advising people to limit the amount of fish they eat from Piedmont Pond south of Whitehall after elevated levels of arsenic were detected in the water.

Long term exposure to arsenic can cause cancer and skin lesions, according to the World Health Organization. It’s also been linked to negative cognitive development and death in young children.

In a press release on Sept. 22, FWP said women of child bearing age and children younger than seven shouldn’t eat more than one small fish from the pond per month.

A citizen committee appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock finalized a report on how the state should manage grizzly bears last week. They envisioned a future with fully recovered populations of grizzlies in Montana, but could not agree on what that future looks like, in particular when it comes to hunting.

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