Yesterday the Montana Board of Livestock held their August Board Meeting in Helena.
One of the bright spots this summer has been the steadily improving operation of the Brands Enforcement Division. Division Administrator Leslie Doely and her team have been working hard to get staff positions filled at the Auction Markets this fall, to get the Department positioned for the “Fall Run” of shipping season. Three positions have been filled and there are still a few positions open that they hope to have filled by September.
The new Deputy Chief Brands Administrator was introduced to the Board for the first time. Central Montana Brand Inspector Ty Thomas was named to fill the position, that was recently vacated by Marty Clark this past spring.
In other action, Department of Livestock staff reported on their tour of the new Bison Quarantine facility on the Fort Peck Reservation. They seemed favorably impressed with what they saw, but some ag groups remain opposed to any quarantine facility for Yellowstone Bison outside of the Park. They say they are worried about the perception of out-of-state buyers of Montana cattle….who are nervous about Yellowstone Bison roaming in an 80-square mile quarantine area of Northeast Montana.
A report from John Steiber with USDA Wildlife Serviced noted that Grizzly/Livestock conflicts are up dramatically this year and they are just now getting into the traditional busy season. Typically they work on preventative work to protect sheep this time of year, but now spending more time on wolves and grizzly investigations. Particularly busy this year in Madison, Carbon, Park counties and all along the Rocky Mountain Front. They did 44 investigations for Grizzlies in 2014, in 2015 had 88. Already Wildlife Services have been called for 69 investigations this year, and anticipate finishing out the year with just over 100 investigations.
© Northern Ag Network 2016