Posted: Aug 20, 2012 9:24 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
HELENA - Republican candidate for governor Rick Hill says if elected he plans to revamp Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, starting at the top.
During a press conference in Helena on Monday, Hill said that it's time to "bring trust" back into Montana's wildlife management.
Hill said, "People are saying to me that Fish, Wildlife and Parks has lost its mission, has lost its sense of purpose. Confrontation has replaced cooperation and whether it's landowners or sportsmen and women or anglers, just about every group is expressing frustration with the administration of Fish, Wildlife and Parks."
Besides changing out FWP's direction and leadership, Hill says he wants to aggressively manage predators like wolves and mountain lions by opening up hunting. Hill says he wants to bring science back into the equation of wildlife management.
Representatives from FWP and Gov. Brian Schweitzer's office said they have no comment at this time.
Hill's election opponent, Democrat and current Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, was quick to respond to Hill's plan.
Bullock spokesman Kevin O'Brien said that Bullock is the only candidate in the race who is a hunter and fisher and that unlike Hill, Bullock's position is clear: public access, public wildlife and professional management.
O'Brien also said that Bullock is the only candidate who has stood up in court to protect the rights of hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to access public lands and streams.