Monday, June 23, 2014
Montana’s Wolf Hunting Season Comment Period Ends Today
The Wolf Conservation Center is opposed to the hunting of all predators, especially wolves, with the possible exception of extremely rare (and confirmed) threats to people, pets and property. A great body of scientific work confirms when it comes to wolves, it’s not about quotas. A wolf is a wolf when it’s part of an intact, unexploited group capable of complex cooperative behaviors and unique traditions. If a pack is left unexploited, it will develop its own traditions for hunting, pup-rearing, and social behaviors that are finely tuned to its precise environment. Wolves should not be managed by simplistic models most commonly used by today’s wildlife agencies. The notion that we can “harvest” a fixed percentage of an existing wolf population that corresponds to natural mortality rates and still maintain viable populations of wolves does not reflect the most current, peer reviewed research. If we leave wolves alone, they will manage their own numbers in concert with their environment. And, if we leave wolves alone, we will be the ones to benefit – for the presence of wolves contributes to the balance of the wild lands.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is seeking comment on three wolf-related proposals: (1) closing the hunting and trapping season in Wolf Management Units 313 and 316 within 12 hours of the harvests quotas there being reached. These WMUs border Yellowstone National Park. The proposal also includes reducing the harvest quota in WMU 313 from four to three wolves; (2) offering the opportunity to trap wolves via a drawing on three western Montana wildlife management areas, including the Blackfoot-Clearwater, Fish Creek and Mount Haggin WMAs; (3) a statewide annual quota of 100 wolves taken under a new state law that provides for landowners to take wolves without a license that are a potential threat to human safety, livestock or pets.
We believe that wildlife management should be based on best available, peer-reviewed science and the democratic principles that guide decision-making. Therefore, the WCC is urging FWP to consider our serious concerns herein prior to its final decision re: wolf season recommendations for 2014-15 based on the evidence provided the WCC's position statement.
Today is the last day that Montana FWP is accepting comments re: its wolf season recommendations for 2014-15. Please join the WCC and submit your comment today. Click HERE to view the WCC's position statement. Email your comment to fwpcomm@Mt.gov or submit comment via FWP's comment form.