Montana Mule Deer Hunters Here’s Your Chance To Get Involved
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is taking proactive steps toward crafting a comprehensive strategy for conserving and managing mule deer across the state.
In this endeavor, the formation of the Mule Deer Citizens Advisory Council (MDCAC) marks a crucial initial phase in shaping a new statewide mule deer plan.
Objectives of the MDCAC
The MDCAC, comprising 10 to 12 individuals, aims to outline the framework for the upcoming mule deer plan.
Its primary responsibilities include identifying expectations concerning the plan's development process, management actions, set goals, and desired outcomes.
Embracing novel approaches aligned with public preferences is paramount as we embark on the creation of a new mule deer plan, stated Director Temple. Addressing concerns voiced by landowners and hunters regarding the state's mule deer populations is pivotal. The council's insights will steer us towards a fresh, comprehensive plan that addresses these concerns and more.
Rationale Behind the Plan
In recent years, mounting apprehensions regarding mule deer populations and their management have surfaced due to various factors.
These include declining mule deer numbers in certain Montana regions, the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), and proposed harvest regulations to mitigate CWD impacts.
Council Composition and Process
Comprising diverse stakeholders representing various interests across the state, the MDCAC's meetings will be carefully facilitated to ensure productivity and efficiency.
Facilitators will endeavor to reach a consensus among members, and ample opportunity for public commentary will be integrated into the transparent public meetings.
Prospective council members are expected to attend multiple multi-day meetings scheduled between February and May of 2024.
FWP will reimburse expenses related to travel, lodging, and meals incurred during these sessions.
Roadmap for Development
Once the MDCAC defines the new mule deer plan's expectations, FWP staff will develop the plan through an extensive public process.
This comprehensive approach will involve scoping, robust public commentary, and other engagement avenues.
The ultimate aim is to finalize the new plan by the conclusion of 2024.
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