Grizzlies, wolves and other predators will be the topic of debate Thursday night at a special meeting of the Gallatin County Commissioners.
"What got me interested in even tackling this situation is I've had a lot of constituents over the last few years that are very concerned about the increase of large predators and how it's affecting their livelihoods or culture, their economics," said Commissioner Joe Skinner.
Under state law, Fish, Wildlife and Parks must work with county commissioners to set predator policy and quotas.
"I had for a long time didn't think county commissioners had a role in that. That's pretty much Fish, Wildlife and Parks that does that. But I was recently made aware of statute 87-1-217, which very clearly the legislature not only said that the county commissioners should be consulted and coordinated with, it really is clear in that statute that it's our responsibility to consult with Fish, Wildlife and Parks," Skinner said.
People from both sides of the debate will share their experiences involving wolves and other Montana predators.
"As everybody knows there's extreme sides on both sides of this issue and it's been very good. I've been learning a lot about it and I think we'll be able to use this information. You know, there's a couple types of information. Some of it is very scientific and I read all these scientific reports, but there's also we get a lot of comments that shoot holes in these scientific reports too. You know, we get anecdotal information," said Skinner.
The meeting is open to the public at the Gallatin County Court House in the community room at 7 p.m. It won't be aired on television but to get it streaming on your computer click here.