Commission backs off elk privatization scheme

Missoula Currant reporter Laura Lundquist has some great reporting up regarding the FWP commission backing down on  FWP Director Hank Worsech's dumb proposal to solve Montana's elk overpopulation problems by taking hunting opportunities away from Montana elk hunters. In a press release last week urging members to oppose the scheme, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said the proposal would "privatize wildlife," and pit the "haves" and "have nots" against one another when it comes to elk hunting in Montana.

BHA's effort worked as FWP was bombarded with hunter opposition to the move.

And then there's this choice quote from Lundquist's report:

On Tuesday, Worsech admitted the proposal started a “firestorm,” but that he succeeded in getting a conversation going.

Apparently, someone told Worsech his job at the commission meeting was to act like an incompetent bureaucrat. Maybe he wasn't acting. Or maybe it's because he's new to the job and in over his head. In case he didn't know, Montanans have had a conversation going about elk management, since forever. All he did was redirect that conversation, briefly, to shooting down his dumb idea about creating the King's deer in Montana.

The competent bureaucrats at FWP, the biologists, should lead these management conversations, not political appointees.

If you want to solve the elk problem in districts where the population is over objective, you first need to solve the private land, hunter access problem. Transferring title of wildlife to wealthy landowners is just a giveaway. And unconstitutional.

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