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Although this number may seem like a lot, FWP’s region 1 supervisor, Jim Williams, said that it’s important to think about managing populations, not individuals. He also reminded meeting attendees that, “This is a slow moving train, it doesn’t have to be done right now.” The deer will be tested to help determine CWD’s prevalence in the local population, and it’s geographic distribution. Road kill and animals killed by hunters can and will be used, but that will not be enough. Deer will have to be sacrificed for the cause.
High population density and concentrations of animals sharing a food source can greatly increase prevalence, FWP said, so residents are asked to be cautious and not feed the animals either intentionally or inadvertently.
For hunters, a CWD check station will be set up. FWP recommends not shooting or eating any animal that appears sick. Hunters are also encouraged to wear protective gloves when field dressing carcasses, avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord, and wash hands and instruments carefully after field dressing. Carcasses should then be disposed of right away like you would dispose of household garbage. Meat should be processed locally, and carcasses cannot be taken out of the area to non-CWD areas unless they have tested negative for CWD.
According to FWP, “Once an animal with CWD dies, any part of the carcass can transmit the disease for at least two years.”
Symptoms of CWD in deer include unnatural thinness, poor muscle coordination, slow reaction time, and excessive salivation. Anyone concerned about a deer that may have CWD is encouraged to contact 291-6539 and leave a message with your name, phone number, location of the animal, and time you saw it.
Mayor Brent Teske said that residents should not kill the deer themselves. Discharging firearms within city limits is not permitted.
To learn more, residents are encouraged to attend a public meeting on Tuesday, June 11 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Ponderosa Room at Libby City Hall, 952 E. Spruce St. FWP staff members will present information and answer questions about CWD. They will also explain how they are working with local agencies to respond to the situation in Libby. Visit fwp.mt.gov and click on Chronic Wasting Disease management to learn more online.
Libby City Council meeting and transparency week
The Libby City council met on Monday, June 3 and addressed CWD for the bulk of their two-hour meeting (see front page story). Following Monday’s meeting, the City hosted Transparency in Government Week from Tuesday through Thursday, June 4-6. On Tuesday, Dan Clark, Director of the Local Government Center at Montana State University presented the Montana Constitution and Right to Participate. On Wednesday, Craig Barringer, Libby Superintendent of Schools, and Libby Police Chief, Scott Kessel, presented and answered questions about the School Resource Officer General Fund Levy that is set for June 18.
On Thursday, the City Council hosted an open house inviting the public to offer constructive ways the City might be able to improve operations.
During the Monday council meeting, minutes from the May 6 and May 20 meetings were approved. General announcements included a council member asking residents to please pick up any cemetery decorations from Memorial Day because mowing will begin again. The sewer/ water committee also reminded residents that they can receive 8,000 gallons of water for the next four months to water lawns within city limits.
A noise variance was granted for the Riverfront Blues Festival which will be held at Riverfront Park on Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10.
Street closures were granted for the Logger Days Parade to be held on Saturday morning, June 22. Mineral Avenue will be closed from Highway 2 to Second Street and Lincoln Boulevard will be closed from California to Louisiana Avenue until noon.
A resolution passed to adopt the Lincoln County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan 2018 update. The plan addresses threats such as fires, floods and active shooters. It involves Libby, Troy and Eureka, and is available online and at City Hall.
The council tabled the Declaration of Institutional Controls on Real Property for OU1 Riverfront Park. Mayor Teske agreed to ask DEQ to present to the council regarding the declaration prior to it being adopted.
The council voted to accept zoning recommendations from the planning board and place them into the ordinance committee.
New business licenses were then approved. They included two cleaning and yard work businesses and a landscaping and handyman business.
City Administrator, Jim Hammons, reported that new wayfinding signs will soon arrive. Watch for the new “Welcome to Libby” signs that will go up in the near future. He also reported that the splash pad at Fireman’s Park was vandalized again this year. Parts had to be replaced but it is now up and running for the warm summer weather.