Commissioners take comment on large predators

At their regular meeting in Virginia City on Tuesday the Madison County Commissioners took public comment on Resolution 33-2012, the Madison County Large Predator Policy.

The policy begins by citing Montana Code Annotated 87-1-217 (6) as stating that “the department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks shall ensure that county commissioners and tribal governments in areas that have identifiable populations of large predators have the opportunity for consultation and coordination with state and federal agencies prior to state and federal policy decisions involving large predators and large game species.”

Commissioner Dave Schulz offered his support for having such a policy in Madison County but expressed his concern about the language of the first paragraph, questioning the identified intent of the policy.

Twin Bridges resident Pat Bradley voiced similar concerns about the language in the policy, and urged the board to postpone any action on the resolution until the legal definition and intent of coordination is determined by the state legislature.

Commissioner Dan Happel serves as a member of the Large Predator Working Group of the Montana Association of Counties’ Agriculture Committee, and he drafted the proposed Madison County policy. Happel agreed to supply the other commissioners with a copy of the large predator policy from other counties in the working group, and the item was placed on the agenda for the commissioners’ next meeting.

The commissioners also met with Jim Nys, president of Personnel Plus Consulting Services, to review a revised Personnel Policy Manual to go into effect on January 16, 2013. The next regular Madison County Commissioners’ meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8 2013.

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