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Group seeks to join lawsuit over private landowner influence on elk management decisions

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A Montana hunting and conservation organization filed a motion on Wednesday to intervene in a lawsuit filed by United Property Owners of Montana in May.

United Property Owners of Montana has argued in Fergus County District Court that elk are overgrazing on ranch lands, leading to grass shortages for cattle. The group wants private landowners to have more say in how Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks manages elk herds.

The “Keep Elk Public'' coalition filed to intervene in the case. The coalition says that, if successful, the lawsuit would “upend” state wildlife management by giving landowners authority over management of elk on their properties.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' 2021 report shows nearly 50,000 more elk in Montana than the state’s management plan says is ideal.
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Austin Amestoy