Gov.-elect Bullock brings back Hagener as FWP director

2012-12-29T06:45:00Z 2013-01-01T08:48:12Z Gov.-elect Bullock brings back Hagener as FWP directorThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 29, 2012 6:45 am  • 

HELENA – Gov.-elect Steve Bullock announced Friday that he was bringing back a former Fish, Wildlife and Parks director to run the agency, a move welcomed by some critics and employees alike.

Jeff Hagener led the department for four years under former Gov. Judy Martz. He also held the same post during Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s first term before he was replaced at the end of 2008 by current director Joe Maurier.

Bullock, a Democrat who is preparing to leave his post as attorney general to take over the governor’s office, also named John Rogers to lead the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Hagener will take over the agency as it deals with contentious issues such as wolf hunts, bison management, conflicts between landowners and hunters, and other topics that often lead to packed public meetings.

“It is really an honor to go back to an agency that I have a great deal of passion for,” said Hagener.

Hagener said he recognizes there has been some adversity with landowner-sportsmen issues and plans on making it a priority to resolve some of the conflict.

“I think it is real important that we work closely with landowners and sportsmen and get everyone’s input when we make decisions,” he said.

At least one critic of the agency welcomed the selection. Republican state Sen. John Brenden of Scobey said he will vote for Hagener’s confirmation in the Senate.

“I will say that Jeff is a very nice person, and I have dealt with him a lot,” said Brenden. “I might not agree with him all the time, but he is fair, and he is very fair and nice to do business with.”

The chairman of the Senate Fish & Game Committee said he was intrigued by Bullock’s move to bring back a director who was replaced by Schweitzer.

“I think it shows the independence of Gov.-elect Bullock. And, until further notice, I will applaud him for that,” said Brenden. “I think it will be a step in the right direction, not that everyone is going to agree with him on every issue.”

The Montana game wardens, who have campaigned for changes in work conditions, also welcomed Hagener’s return. The group’s lobbyist said they expect Hagener will be able to navigate the difficult legislative process – a must if employees are to expect pay raises or help on other issues.

“He understands all aspects of the agency and he will have instant presence in front of any legislative committee, which is very important with the legislative session coming up,” said George Golie. “He has the ability to bring all sides together on any issue, which is very important given the strained relationships between landowners and sportsmen out there.”

Hagener was most recently a senior biologist at NewFields, a natural resources consulting firm. He has also worked at the Montana Wildlife Federation and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. He holds wildlife biology and agricultural science degrees from the University of Montana and Montana State University.

Rogers will be the state’s chief business officer in the Bullock administration. He has worked for the Economic Development Administration for 24 years, and worked for the city of Helena in the 1980s.

“Jeff and John are two of the best our state has to offer, and they are assuming important posts that will help protect the Montana we love and continue to grow our economy,” Bullock said in a statement. “I’m happy to have them on the team.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(19) Comments

  1. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 31, 2012 2:18 pm
    There's that juvenile who calls me kid:) How long ago did you get fired by FWP?
  2. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 30, 2012 9:03 pm

    Wow that's what you come back with. Common sense fails you yet again, no surprise there. D******** gonna be d********, just like the cattlemen in Hill county.

  3. Bittersweet
    Report Abuse
    Bittersweet - December 30, 2012 7:58 pm
    Ahhhh yes. I get it now sofaker. This crush you have one your beloved MT FWP has all but blinded your reasoning. They, of course, can do no wrong in your eyes. Just because you seem to enjoy bending over, grabbing your ankles and letting them put it to you doesn't mean that everyone will get such a sense of gratification out of it.
  4. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 30, 2012 6:28 pm
    Again the stink is about potential bison. Where was all the outrage during the Spotted Dog purchase and landowners threatening out of spite? I trust FWP a heck of a lot more with my habitat than the cattle lobby, trying to hold public land hostage again.
  5. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 30, 2012 6:18 pm
    4.8 million is peanuts for FWP. They just spent 16 mil on Spotted Dog.
  6. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 30, 2012 6:12 pm
    The land was appraised at 4.7 million. And yes they plan on working with Wolery, you just defeated the purpose of your own point. And I'd still rather hunt along the Milk River cottonwoods than in the dry prairie that is probably most if not all of the 50,000 acres of Hill county being taken out of hunting, supposedly. These land owners get paid for Block Management, and I doubt they will turn down they money even for spite.
  7. Bittersweet
    Report Abuse
    Bittersweet - December 30, 2012 4:42 pm
    I would ask you to research this purchase just a little more. You will realize, as a hunter your dollars are being wasted. This land will be used by very very few, which is sad especially considering the price tag.

    ...........

    The 50,000 acres of private land that is being closed is held by (13) different landowners in Hill county. It had previously either been under block management or the public was welcome to hunt simply by asking permission. They simply want this purchase to be fair, and insist the public be involved, that's all. Doesn't matter what the asking price was ($16 million) There were no interested parties for an extended period of time it was on the market, not even the Richy Rich Bros from Texas. They laughed at the asking price. I could ask 16 million for my place too, doesn't make it worth that amount. I was on this property years ago. It's neat. Is it a "jewel?" Not even close. This is not the nice milk river habitat you are thinking of that has good cover in the bottoms and holds lots of game. It's pretty much mud cliffs with very little forage and hold very little game of any kind.

    .......

    Why is the Gov and most of the commision so against getting a second or third appraisal? Why the rush Scweitzer? "On Aug. 14, Ted Thayer, an appraiser out of Bozeman, sent an email to Edge inquiring about the status of the Milk River Ranch. She replied on Aug. 22, saying she was “getting major pressure from the Governor to have the appraisal done by the end of September” and asked him to put the Milk River project ahead of another one he was contracted to conduct near York."

    .........


    "In an Aug. 28 email from Northrup to Edge, he brings up the issue of access to the property, which is a concern of Hill County residents. They note that Trevor Wolery owns about 630 acres in the middle of the Milk River Ranch, and the road to the interior of the property passes through his land. To get around it is about a five mile hike, notes Roger Lincoln, who lives in the vicinity of the Milk River Ranch. Scott Hemmer, a FWP wildlife biologist out of Havre, said that if the sale does go through, they plan on working out something with Wolery."

    .................

    Smaller parcels were sold off this ranch in 2007 for an average of $330 and acre. The most recent State tax records (2012) show the ENTIRE ranch being valued at $267,339. That includes other Aageson land holdings within Hill Co. I serously doubt the parcel FWP is purchasing is realistically valued at much more than one million dollars.

    .........

    Verges Aageson was one of 25 co-sponsors of a fundraising event for then Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock at Gov. Schweitzer’s home in Georgetown Lake. David Aageson just happened to be selected to serve on the Montana Investment Board in October of 2011, while Verges was selected to serve on the Agriculture Development Council in September of 2010. Another Aageson brother, Chris Aageson, currently works within the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.


  8. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 30, 2012 3:01 pm
    I don't know too much about the Milk River parcel. But thanks for the Spotted Dog ranch. The Milk River parcel is the "Jewel" of the Milk River, 10 miles of river. It was posted for $16 million. Locals opposed it because they think bison will be coming to it. Your 50,000 acre closing figure is a guess from 1 pissed off local who is wildly exaggerating. If people close their land to access because FWP buys land at it's appraised price then they are huge a-holes.
  9. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 30, 2012 2:50 pm
    Wildlife-related outdoor recreation is not hunting. Google hunter numbers declining and you will find dozens of articles. And elk numbers are up in the Blackfoot, Upper Clark Fork, and Big Hole, articles on the Missoulian and FWP. And Region 1 is not great habitat. The East Fork of the Bitterroot just had the second highest elk calf recruitment number since the mid 70's. There are still an estimated 7000+ elk in the Bitterrroot.
  10. Bittersweet
    Report Abuse
    Bittersweet - December 30, 2012 12:47 pm
    I don't essentially have a big problem with FWP purchasing private land for the public to utilize as long as the purchases are ran by the public prior and the dollars are spent wisely. If you look into the Milk River purchase neither of these things is occurring. As a result, local landowners in the area are now closing approx 50,000 acres of their land to the public. The math doesnt add up in this case, in any aspect. As a result of this purchase Montana hunters will loose about 45,000 acres of land to hunt in trade for an overpriced parcel (owned by the Governors friends and financial backers) that at this point has no reasonable public access. Uhmmmm, ya. Go FWP! Smart purchase!
  11. AAO22
    Report Abuse
    AAO22 - December 30, 2012 11:53 am
    @ sofaking...Where do you get your information?

    According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation: "Wildlife-related outdoor recreation increased dramatically from 2006 to 2011. More than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011; that is up 3 percent from five years earlier. The increase was primarily among those who fished and hunted. The number of sportspersons rose from 33.9 million in 2006 to 37.4 million in 2011." (http://www.fws.gov/)

    And, "In other areas with grizzly bear and wolves and high predator to prey ratios, including the Northern Yellowstone, Gallatin Canyon, Bitterroot, Blackfoot and Madison-Firehole areas, elk numbers have declined. Areas with lower predator to prey ratios continue to host stable or growing elk populations. Elk numbers remain below objective west of Missoula, and in parts of the Bitterroot and Blackfoot drainages. FWP Region 1 elk surveys show 16 calves per 100 cows, for a stable but possibly declining population." September 2011 (http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/hunting/nr_1584.html)
  12. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 29, 2012 11:28 pm
    Hunting is slowly dying out across the country, regardless of predators in Montana. The elk herds in the Blackfoot, Big Hole, and upper Clark Fork have done fine and even grown in the last few years even with wolves.
  13. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - December 29, 2012 11:26 pm
    Thank you FWP for using my license money to buy property for me to hunt on which used to be private and off limits.
  14. LCHelenajr
    Report Abuse
    LCHelenajr - December 29, 2012 12:42 pm
    buying all these ranches and trying to reintroduce another species we have no room for has angered Montana hunters. The FWP love affair with anti hunting groups, namely the pro wolf groups, has annoyed MT hunters. FWP has sat by and watched Wolves and other predators ruin our game herds. The money could have been better spent used for removing large predators and lobbying congress to delist the Grizzly bear. I see fewer hunters afield as the years go by. MFWP has a choice to make: get the large predators under control or watch your money pot dry up because that is where it is headed.
  15. walter12
    Report Abuse
    walter12 - December 29, 2012 8:44 am
    Any and all federal agencies never have enough tax payer dollars. They can never have enough money to get by on, it is always more and more. FWP is no different.
  16. Bittersweet
    Report Abuse
    Bittersweet - December 28, 2012 7:37 pm
    Once again Jeff, you are Captain of a sinking ship. Only this time, thanks to the Departments decisions (especially in the last decade,) your ship is sinking fast. If you truly do care about Wildlife and the people you represent (and pay your wage) you need to make some drastic changes in how your Department is managed in the very near future. Priorities? In my opinion stop purchasing overpriced land that is utilized very little by Montanas sportsmen. Put a stop to the Milk River purchase. There is no public access to this wasteland, Schwiezer insisted it be bumped from 15th to 1st in priority on the way out the door and the price tag is absurd compared to similar land. Maybe it has something to do with the landowners being on Schweizers staff and others donating to his campaign as well as Bullocks. Why not get another appraisal before spending 8 million dollars. Other priorities? How about listening to Montanas sportsmen instead of catering to out of state special interest groups. FWP knows the Department is in trouble. No one is intrested in managing a predator population that was forced on them. Why is that their responsibility?

    ..........

    "FWP had anticipated using federal funds raised by the sale of guns and ammunition for the purchase; when that fell through they turned to the Habitat Montana fund, which comes from the sale of hunting licenses in Montana. The purchase drained that fund, with new money for other projects not being available until the next fiscal year for Montana begins in July 2013."
  17. keen1
    Report Abuse
    keen1 - December 28, 2012 6:32 pm
    Having interacted regularly with the "leadership" of FWP in Helena, here's to hoping that Hagener cleans house and makes the management structure in Helena accountable.
  18. Dub
    Report Abuse
    Dub - December 28, 2012 2:48 pm
    Very important pick--they are totally out of control. Why does the FWP's think they need to own a bunch of ranches that they are not able to take care of. They are the ONLY agency that keeps the money from licenses and there is NO legislative oversight on their spending. Throwing millions and millions of dollars into buying ranches is not the role of FWP and they need to be stopped. Their purchases have ruined the relationship that use to be positive between land owners and hunters. The ranching community controls many acres of prime habitat and they have rightly stopped hunter access to public lands. Sweitzer left the state in a mess and Bullock is on the same track as he sides with every radical environmental group that wants to end hunting in our state.
  19. Matthew Koehler
    Report Abuse
    Matthew Koehler - December 28, 2012 2:32 pm
    Here are some interesting animated movies about the current state of affairs at Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks....

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLtZsNmZGN_hJ4uep5EhGwA?feature=watch
Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Kate Haake presents the latest news you need to know about today's headlines in about t…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

You won’t believe what these Yellowstone buffalo do!!!

You won’t believe what these Yellowstone buffalo do!!!

Jukin Media Verified (Original)* For licensing / permission to use: Contact - licensing(at)j…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

Fred Allendorf's story

Fred Allendorf's story

Fred Allendorf confronts his journals for the first time since they were rescued from the Mo…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Kate Haake presents the latest news you need to know about today's headl…

Missoula County Spelling Bee 2015

Missoula County Spelling Bee 2015

Emma Peasley of Sussex School takes first place and Hans Skovlin takes second in the Missoul…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

Les Schwab

Deals & Offers

Search our events calendar