The Environmental Quality Council (EQC) will review changes to proposed rules that guide special hunts designed to reduce the damage game animals cause to land or crops.
The meeting begins at 11 a.m. Monday, November 16 in room 172 of the Capitol. In September, the bipartisan council reviewed rules proposed by the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, took public comment, and asked the agency to allow the council to review any changes before the rules were enacted.
The wildlife agency is required by law to respond to a complaint of game damage within 48 hours and assess the situation. If damage is substantiated, the agency may use nonlethal methods to stem the damage, kill the animals, allow the property owner to kill the animals, or authorize a game damage hunt.
Agency rules provide for the selection of hunters who can participate in the game damage hunt. The original proposal allowed that the landowner could provide a list of hunters. The revised rule states that no more than one-quarter of the hunters allowed to participate in the hunt may be from the landowner list. Also, hunters selected from the landowner list would not be allowed to hunt antlered animals.
The agenda, the revised proposal, and an explanation of the changes are available on the EQC's website at http://leg.mt.gov/eqc.
EQC members will meet by phone. Members of the public may attend in person and provide comment in Room 172 of Capitol. The meeting will be streamed live at http://leg.mt.gov. Written comment may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.