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Meeting Briefs: Montana Mountain Goat Working Group, May 2018

Who attended: Imtiaz Rangwala, Candida Dewes

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has initiated a Structured Decision Making (SDM) process to address future management of mountain goats in the state. They have formed a working group of experts to start the SDM process at the first meeting of the working group, held on May 16-17 in Dupuyer, MT at the Beartooth Wildlife Management Area facility. Experts included wildlife biologists specilizing in different mountain goat habitats in U.S., including in Montana, Idaho, and Alaska, as well as Canada. Candida Dewes and and Imtiaz Rangwala of the NC CASC participated to bring in the climate science piece and presented materials on the changing climate in the region, including ongoing changes to the snow regime, as well as approaches to bring in climate change in exploring consequences for mountain goats in the future.

The main goals of the meeting were:

  • To hear from different experts about the state of science related to mountain goats in North America, and
  • To develop a comprehensive “Problem Statement” to start the SDM process with regard to mountain goats. On the second day of the meeting, we all collectively worked with FWP staff and others put together the first complete draft of the problem statement.

MT FWP intends to hold several meetings with these experts over the course of the year to complete the SDM process, which then becomes the official road map for the FWP for managing goats in the near future.