The Montana Citizen's Elk Management Coalition will be hosting an Elk Management Symposium on August 13, 2022 in Bozeman at the Rialto Theater. You can RSVP for the event here: https://www.montanaelk.org/elk-management-symposium
Seating is limited so if you want to be there in person, sign up for the RSVP.
We are still finalizing individual panelists, but the panel discussions are set:
Panel 1: Shared Elk/Shared Values: Landowners, Hunters & Outfitters all value elk. Oftentimes, the language that we use separates us from understanding the needs and desires of different stakeholders. This panel is meant to explore how we can speak to each other and understand the various issues that each stakeholder group is dealing with from a place of empathy, rather than conflict.
Panel 2: The Science of Elk Management: Panelists will discuss the science around elk management both in of elk distribution, disease and predator/prey relationships. This includes both biological science and social science. Both are necessary when managing elk, and both can influence not only conservation metrics, but season setting as well.
Panel 3: Season setting in other states - How do they do it? Other states have approached the issue of season setting differently based on the overarching management prescriptions in place, and through various landowner programs meant to acknowledge landowner contributions to Habitat. Panelists will focus on how season structure was developed in their respective states and why their programs are part of the solution or part of the problem. Current panelists are from Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico and we are working on finding the appropriate individuals from Colorado and Nevada.
Panel 4: Solutions: How do we get to a better outcome - This panel will explore possible solutions relative to season structure, legislative changes and administrative changes that would help end the fighting and start bringing people together. It is a mix of legislators and thought leaders in the hunting and agricultural community.
Kathy Hadley: Kathy is a long time conservationist and rancher in the Deer Lodge Valley. She was instrumental in getting both Habitat Montana and Block Management established in the 1980's & 190's.
Ken Hamlin: Dr Hamlin wrote the 2005 Elk Management Plan and was involved in some of the best work relative to elk movement during hunting seasons. He is a highly regarded researcher & public servant. His focus will be on the social side of the elk management equation.
Dr. Brent Race: Dr Race focuses on the interplay between humans and cervids in relation to CWD transmission between species but he also is well versed in the management prescriptions relative to dealing with CWD and brucellosis. He also serves on the FWP Citizen's Elk Advisory Board.
Jeremy Vesbach: Jeremy is a long-time conservation advocate from New Mexico and was recently relieved of his duties on the NM Game Commission over his questioning of the EPLUS system and how the current model is not equitable for all New Mexicans.
Tom Jacobson & Jeff Welborn: Tom is a Democratic State Senator from Great Falls and Jeff is a Republican State Senator from Dillon. Both individuals are strong proponents for the sound management of wildlife, and both are tired of the fighting and are searching for solutions for the 2023 session.
There will be a social after the event from 6 PM to 9 PM. We'll post more on that as it develops. Looking forward to seeing up to 125 of you in person. We're also working on ensuring that the symposium will be streamed and we'll have a proceedings published afterwards.