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Gallatin County to track predator attacks on livestock

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Jan 08 2013 05:27:24 PM MST
Gallatin County Predator Tracker
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Gallatin County Commissioners are creating an online system to track livestock predation, as part of their newly adopted predator policy.

Commissioner Joe Skinner sat down with us on Tuesday to explain the self-reporting system. He said it's an online form that livestock producers fill out if they suspect an animal was killed by a large predator, like a bear, wolf or mountain lion.

He said they'll collect the data to determine trends, like if there's an increase in predation.

It'll also allow the county to establish local statistics when working with state wildlife managers, he said.

"I think it begins to establish a baseline of what's happening here now"

Commissioner Skinner said. "I don't think we have a very good system of reporting predation... and how many incidents there are."

There are some concerns, he said, such as worries of false reporting. On the form, there's a section for the livestock producer to specify if their case was confirmed by an agency like Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The county's Geographical Information Systems (GIS) department set the website up, but it's not open to reporting yet. Skinner said first, they are looking for opinions and comments from the public.

He expects the site to go live in the next couple of months.

Click here to view the site. To make a comment, contact Commissioner Joe Skinner at Joe.Skinner@gallatin.mt.gov or 582-3000.