Thursday, November 8, 2018

Testing confirms chronic wasting disease in deer harvested in Liberty and Carbon counties

Testing confirms chronic wasting disease in deer harvested in Liberty and Carbon counties
Second tests on tissue samples from a white-tailed buck harvested in southern Liberty County and a mule deer doe harvested within the CWD-positive area in Carbon County came back positive for chronic wasting disease. The lab at Colorado State University confirmed the tests.
The whitetail in Liberty County was harvested in hunting district 400, but outside both the current CWD-positive area and the 2018 priority surveillance area, which includes the northern half of Liberty County. As a result, FWP expanded the CWD-positive area to include all of Liberty County. All of HD 400 is now included in the 2018 CWD surveillance effort.
The suspect deer in HD 575 was harvested northeast of Joliet in a current CWD-positive area, which encompasses Carbon County, east of U.S. Highway 212 and the Roberts-Cooney Road.
Information for hunters
With FWP establishing all of Liberty County as a CWD positive area, hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose within the county must adhere to the established Transport Restriction Zone (TRZ) rules, which means hunters cannot move brain or spinal column tissue outside of the TRZ. Hunters harvesting a deer within the expanded Liberty County positive area are also encouraged to have their animals tested prior to consuming the meat.
The TRZ for the Liberty County CWD positive area is all of Liberty, Hill and Toole Counties.
Hunters also need to be aware that by expanding the priority surveillance efforts to include all of HD 400, FWP is relying on collecting more samples from the area to determine CWD prevalence among the deer population and potential distribution of the disease. This information is critical for FWP in developing a plan for managing the disease.
HD 400 and neighboring HD 401 are unique in that they both have three-week deer seasons as opposed to the standard five-week season typical in the state.
FWP would like hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose within the priority surveillance area, which includes the Hi-Line from the Blackfeet Reservation to the North Dakota border and HDs 210, 212 and 217 in western Montana, to submit the animals for CWD testing. This can be done by visiting surveillance area check stations, which are open on weekends, or by contacting or visiting the FWP regional office in Great Falls at 406-454-5840, Glasgow at 406-228-3700, Havre at 406-265-6177, Missoula at 406-542-5500, or Billings at 406-247-2940 during the week.
Check station locations that will sample for CWD:
  • Scobey (first half of season) 
  • Glasgow (second half of season)
  • Hwy. 223 at the Teton River (Nov. 3, 7 and 11)
  • Malta
    • Hunters can also bring animals into the Havre and Glasgow offices during the week
  • Laurel
  • Chester
  • Shelby
  • Great Falls office during the week
  • South of Hall
  • South of Phillipsburg
There currently is no convincing evidence that the agent of CWD affects humans. However, public health officials recommend that human exposure to the CWD agent be avoided as they continue to evaluate any potential risk. Research indicates that it is unlikely that direct transmission of CWD from infected animals to humans occurs. However, the similarities between CWD, mad cow disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease are cause for concern, and appropriate precautions should be taken with harvested animals. Hunters should not harvest animals that appear sick, nor should they eat meat from suspect animals.
Animals that are suspected of having CWD should not be eaten. If you harvest an animal and are unsure whether it is safe to eat, contact your local FWP staff for guidance soon after the animal is harvested.
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CwdHds_2018_11-5-2018.jpg

Friday, November 2, 2018

GET OUT AND VOTE FOR SPORTSMEN FRIENDLY CANDIDATES!

PLEASE VOTE


Once again we find ourselves bracing for another election. For a long time sportsmen/women have failed to elect sportsmen friendly candidates. In order to see things change....ITS IN THE VOTE!
As you chose candidates, look at their stands on issues critical for us. Are they Fed. Lands transfer advocates...Vote no! Has the candidate stood up for sportsmen in the past? Who is the candidate aligned with? Has this candidate participated in efforts to defund FWP? Vote NO! Has this candidate tried to manage wildlife as a politician with no background instead of using science? Vote no! Have they supported Habitat Montana and its charge? Is this candidate in favor of transferrable tags?? Vote No! Has this candidate been a mouthpiece for commercial interests over those of the public??? Vote No!

We have so many blow hards running and falsely claiming to represent resident Montana sportsmen that one must not take their word for it. BE PREPARED to vote for folks you are sure of. Feel free to visit our legislative scorecard(s) for that kind of info. 


http://www.montanasportsmenalliance.com/legislature.htm


No matter what, please get out and vote. Consider those issues important to you!  We can't help you if you vote in bad actors!

MSA Leadership Team

MSA PAC ENDORSED 2018 CANDIDATES



MSA PAC ENDORSED 2018 CANDIDATES
2016 Endorsed Candidates
Jon Tester US Senate
Kathleen Williams US Representative
Senate
Tom Jacobson SD 11
Carlie Boland SD 12
Jennifer Merecki SD 22
Mary McNally SD 24
Dan Vermillion SD 30
JP Pomnichowski SD 33
Janet Ellis SD 41
Jill Cohenour SD 42
Pat Flowers SD 32
House
Rachel Stansberry HD 29
Jessica Karjala HD 48
Margaret Gorski HD 88
Willis Curdy HD 98
Andy Shirtliff Public Service Commission #5
Tom Clark Flathead Co. Commissioner


Welcome to Montana Sportsmen Alliance PAC!
Our group was born out of the disastrous 62nd Montana Legislature. Sportsmen have gathered together to support the philosophy and programs we subscribe to.

ALERT: CWD Suspects

image001.png
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Nov. 1, 2018
CWD samples from regions 4 and 5 come back suspect
A white-tailed buck harvested in southern Liberty County was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease.
In addition, a mule deer doe harvested within the CWD positive area in Carbon County was found to be suspect for CWD.
The lab at Colorado State University is running a confirmation test, with results expected next week.
The suspect deer in Liberty County was harvested in hunting district 400, but outside both the current CWD-positive area and the 2018 priority surveillance area, which includes the northern half of Liberty County. 
As a result, the CWD-positive area has been expanded to include all of Liberty County and FWP is now including all of HD 400 in the 2018 CWD surveillance effort.
The suspect deer in HD 575 was harvested northeast of Joliet in a current CWD-positive area, which encompasses Carbon County, east of U.S. Highway 212 and the Roberts-Cooney Road.
FWP has notified the hunters who submitted the suspect samples. Though the samples are considered suspect at this point, it is very rare that a suspect sample isn’t ultimately found positive. Therefore, FWP is moving forward as if both deer will ultimately be determined positive for CWD.
“Though this is disappointing news, it’s not a surprise,” said Gary Bertellotti, FWP’s Region 4 supervisor. “By expanding our surveillance efforts to include all of hunting district 400, we’re really emphasizing the need to get animals sampled from this area and the rest of our surveillance area.”
What hunters need to know
With FWP establishing all of Liberty County as a CWD positive area, hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose within the county must adhere to the established Transport Restriction Zone (TRZ) rules, which means hunters cannot move brain or spinal column tissue outside of the TRZ. Hunters harvesting a deer within the expanded Liberty County positive area are also encouraged to have their animals tested prior to consuming the meat.
The TRZ for the Liberty County CWD positive area is all of Liberty, Hill and Toole Counties.
Hunters also need to be aware that by expanding the priority surveillance efforts to include all of HD 400, FWP is relying on collecting more samples from the area to determine CWD prevalence among the deer population and potential distribution of the disease. This information is critical for FWP in developing a plan for managing the disease.
HD 400 and neighboring HD 401 are unique in that they both have three-week deer seasons as opposed to the standard five-week season typical in the state.
FWP would like hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose within the priority surveillance area, which includes the Hi-Line from the Blackfeet Reservation to the North Dakota border and HDs 210, 212 and 217 in western Montana, to submit the animals for CWD testing. This can be done by visiting surveillance area check stations, which are open on weekends, or by contacting or visiting the FWP regional office in Great Falls at 406-454-5840, Glasgow at 406-228-3700, Havre at 406-265-6177, Missoula at 406-542-5500, or Billings at 406-247-2940 during the week.
Check station locations that will sample for CWD:
  • Scobey (first half of season) 
  • Glasgow (second half of season)
  • Hwy. 223 at the Teton River (Nov. 3, 7 and 11)
  • Malta
    • Hunters can also bring animals into the Havre and Glasgow offices during the week
  • Laurel
  • Chester
  • Shelby
  • Great Falls office during the week
  • South of Hall
  • South of Phillipsburg

Background
CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is part of a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal’s body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.  
CWD is a slow-moving disease. However, left unmanaged, it could result in long-term population declines within affected herds. All the states and provinces that border Montana, other than Idaho and British Columbia, have found CWD in their wild deer, elk and moose. The closest positive to Montana was in Wyoming, about 8 miles south of the Montana border and less than 50 miles southeast of where Montana’s suspect deer was harvested.
Though there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, it is recommended to never ingest meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it. If hunters harvest an animal that appears to be sick, the best thing to do is contact FWP and have the animal inspected.
Some simple precautions should be taken when field dressing deer, elk or moose:
  • Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when field dressing.
  • Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
  • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning out of a carcass will essentially remove all of these parts.)
CWD was discovered in Montana in 2017. FWP is carrying out surveillance and management of the disease according to the agency's CWD management plan. 
For more information, including maps, detailed information on the disease and to look at test results, go online to fwp.mt.gov/CWD.
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Monday, October 22, 2018

Bullock takes questions over conservation easements to the Montana Supreme Court





breakingtopicaltop story

Bullock takes questions over conservation easements to the Montana Supreme Court



Ranch land in the proposed Horse Creek conservation easement near Glendive, Mont.
Ranch land in the Horse Creek conservation easement near Glendive.
Whether the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission or the Montana State Board of Land Commissioners has the final say on state conservation easements is now in the hands of the Montana Supreme Court.
Gov. Steve Bullock and FWP Director Martha Williams filed petition with the court Monday morning, seeking to overturn a legally binding opinion made last week by Attorney General Tim Fox. The opinion faulted the Bullock administration for bypassing the Land Board earlier this year to allow FWP to close on the Horse Creek conservation easement in eastern Montana.
Monday’s petition asks the court to decide if the term “land acquisition” includes not only land purchases but the purchase of conservation easements.



Bullock believes the plain language of statute and legislative intent show that the law requiring Land Board approval of land acquisitions does not include easements, which typically allow public access while curbing subdivision.
After filing the attorney general’s opinion last week, Fox said in an interview that while he supported the easement, he believed Bullock, “decided to unilaterally ignore the law,” and found that the Land Board has the final legal say over state conservation easements. The opinion, which came at the request of Senate President Scott Sales, R-Bozeman, carries the weight of the law unless overturned by the court.

  • Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    Montana Sporting Groups Coalition

    Oct. 15, 2018
    Montana State Land Board
    1539 Eleventh Ave.
    Helena, MT 59601
    Dear Montana Land Board members,
    The Montana Sporting Coalition is comprised of a dozen hunting and angling organizations with tens of thousands of members in Montana. We were formed in 2015 over concerns about the Habitat Montana program. This program is now more than three decades old, and it has a strong track record of conserving wildlife habitat and providing public recreational access through targeted land purchases and conservation easements with willing private landowners. Habitat Montana is one of our state’s most successful conservation programs. It has conserved more than 400,000 acres and is a large part of why hunters in Montana enjoy the longest big game seasons in the West.
    In 2015, the Montana Legislature put restrictions on Habitat Montana that barred land purchases, making it clear that it wanted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) to focus on private land conservation easements. These easements keep land in private ownership, often times making it easier for parents to pass ranches and farms down to the next generation. Easements help preserve the agricultural way-of-life, protect the land from development, and help provide public recreational access to public and private lands, while maintaining landowner control. Simply put, Habitat Montana is a prime example of the decades-long partnership between hunters and landowners that has helped build the abundance of wildlife in the state and increase opportunities for fishing, hunting and other recreation.
    The funding from Habitat Montana for conservation easements is a solid way of preserving our agricultural heritage. It allows landowners to plan for their economic future, expand their farming and/or ranching operations, and maintain quality wildlife habitat on their properties. Landowners spend years putting these agreements together. They usually start with serious conversations within the family before they approach FWP or another agency and/or land conservation organization. These deals take tremendous effort to put together, and often a landowner has invested thousands of dollars in attorney’s and accountant fees, appraisal costs, document preparation and other work to plan a project.
    While the Horse Creek Complex Conservation Easement has been completed, the disagreement over the necessity of Land Board approval for easements has put a halt to projects pending an Attorney General’s opinion. Currently, FWP has 12 pending easement projects totaling 86,000 acres, according to data provided by the agency. Several landowners have land exchanges and purchases pending approval of these easement projects. It is unfair to these landowners, who have typically entered the process with FWP years earlier, to hold up projects that benefit their
    farms, ranches and families. It’s also unfair to the hunters and anglers who pay for this program that provides so much benefit to wildlife, agriculture and local economies.
    The unfortunate controversies being played out around conservation easements do not simply impact one agency or elected officials. They impact Montanans who are trying to maintain traditional agricultural operations and ensure hunters, anglers, hikers and other recreationists always have a place to experience this special place like past generations have.
    Sincerely,
    Montana Wildlife Federation
    National Wildlife Federation
    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
    Ducks Unlimited
    Montana Bowhunters Association
    Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
    Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
    Mule Deer Foundation
    Montana Wild Sheep Foundation
    Montana Sportsmen Alliance
    Pheasants Forever

    Tuesday, October 2, 2018

    Montana Sportsmen Alliance Endorses Kathleen Williams for Congress


    Those of us who treasure Montana’s great outdoors—our hunting, fishing and recreational heritage and public lands legacy—know that we must have people in the state legislature and in Congress who can knowledgably and enthusiastically work for, and when necessary defend—those resources.
    Kathleen Williams has the policy experience and ability to act on behalf of Montana’s outdoor heritage in Washington D.C. Her work, both in her long career in public resources as well as in the Montana legislature, has yielded solid, tangible results, not just empty partisan rhetoric. She has a proven track record of working with a wide range of interests and people civilly and productively and has done so with the best interests of all Montanans foremost. As a staunch defender of our public lands she has fought vigorously against transparent efforts to move them into private ownership, which would deny all citizens access to that magnificent legacy. She understands the larger, long-term view and remains an ardent advocate for those boundless resources.
    We need a voice in Congress that is one of us, who can speak for the resource concerns of all Montanans, whether from the tall mountains of western Montana or the shortgrass prairies of the east. The Montana Sportsmen Alliance PAC whole-heartedly supports Kathleen for US Congress.


    Montana Sportsmen Alliance Leadership Team
    Sam Milodragovich-Butte
    John Borgreen-Great Falls
    Jeff Herbert-Helena
    Steve Schindler-Glasgow
    Joe Perry-Conrad
    JW Westman-Park City
    Robert Wood-Hamilton
    Don Thomas-Lewistown
    Dale Tribby-Miles Ci