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February 26, 2018

COMMISSIONERS’ PROCEEDINGS
February 26, 2018
Commissioners Scott Blain and Bill Bullock, and Administrative Assistant Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance
Gordon Sirrine was present.
9:20 Commissioner Blain moved to approve Forest Service Cooperative Law Enforcement Annual Operating Plan and Financial Plan; Commissioner Bullock seconded; motion carried.
Commissioners received recommendation from the Montana Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit on Highway 212 south of Red Lodge to the State line.
10:00 Sanitarian Josh Juarez and Floodplain Administrator Annie Gillespie met with Commissioners to discuss floodplain management. Darlene Schwend from the Conservation District was present. The Carbon County Conservation District has proposed a Resolution to attempt to define which floodplain projects do and do not require engineering. Commissioner Blain noted in his conversations with Phil Nardinger, the draft resolution is a work-in-progress and they are still waiting on feedback from the State National Flood Insurance Program office. Annie noted for items to be exempt from an engineer’s certification, the Resolutions would need to include a list of specific projects; per FEMA regulations a local entity can exempt projects less than $500 if they have received approval from the State and FEMA to include that language in the local ordinance. Annie and Josh noted the County plans to continue to exempt general Ag maintenance projects like head gate clean out but asked that the Conservation District create a list of specific projects to be exempted. Darlene noted the hope was that projects constructed to specifications as engineered by the State could be exempt.
10:30 Barb Beck, Matt Heaton, Kylie Kembel, and Marina Matheson from Fish Wildlife and Parks met with Commissioners for a Department update. Carbon County News reporter Eleanor Guerrero was present. Barb asked Commissioners if they would like a public meeting to update residents about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD); Commissioners agreed it would be beneficial to have a meeting once the Department has the final data. Barb noted if there are similar special hunts in the future, FWP will make an effort to give residents priority for tags. The department will review the progress of CWD in three years. Regarding invasive mussel species, FWP is considering adding a boat sticker to help fund mitigation efforts. Barb noted HB2 included language requiring game wardens to shift some of their focus from enforcement to wildlife issues. Matt noted this change has delayed his response time; he will check with the Sheriff’s Office to see if they have noticed an increase in calls.
This change in Matt’s focus will reduce the presence of a warden at Cooney; FWP is looking for options to partner with local law enforcement to increase patrols around the Park for DUI enforcement. Barb noted the elk shoulder season will go later this year. The Commission has decided not to hold a grizzly hunt; as recent lawsuits have put into question whether the Yellowstone bears will remain delisted. There are just over 700 grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area. FWP is evaluating how to better track wolf populations; they believe the pack that was in Joliet a month or so ago came up from WY. Matt noted he is trying to monitor wolf and lion movement/sightings better.

12:00 Adjourned

Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Assistant