The cause endures and the mission continues…

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As a result of today’s Montana FWP Commission and Wyoming Fish and Game Commission meetings, wolf hunting/trapping seasons for 2013-14 have been adopted by both states. Needless to say, we vehemently oppose both Montana’s plan and Wyoming’s plan.

We believe that wildlife management should be based on best available/unbiased science and principles of democracy – a judicious balance of science, ethics and people.

Both Commissions had the burden to provide valid reasons and scientific evidence for a wolf hunt. Instead, they based their respective plans on the needs of special interests – exclusively, the livestock industry and hunters’ organizations. As a consequence, they fell dismally short of their obligation to a majority of their citizens and to countless national and international visitors who spend thousands of dollars annually to recreate in their states.

The wildlife in this country belong to all its citizens. This legal concept of ‘the public’s trust’ implies that we all share equal, undivided interests in our wild animals. The government holds wildlife in trust for our benefit and is empowered to manage it for the public good.

We have demonstrated via our public comments (to Montana and to Wyoming)  that both Commissions violated the public’s trust as well as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation – a model crafted by ethical hunters themselves.  One example of this violation is the blatant disregard for the democratic principles that should have guided the decision-making process. Both Commissions ignored the voices of a growing population of stakeholders – a majority – who seek a new vision for wildlife management.

Some non-hunting citizens respect ethical hunting for consumptive use or sustenance. Non-hunting citizens also acknowledge that the overall decline in hunting activity nationwide (less than 6% of the American people hunt) may be attributed to the fact that hunters dishonor and disrespect their own model (NAM) by advocating for hunting without a valid reason. They also discredit their own ethical standards – just as they did in Montana and Wyoming today. Hate is not a valid reason for hunting.

When we joined this cause to help ‘educate, advocate and participate’ with others who share our mission in regions across the nation, we did so with the expectation that some – especially those who are expected to represent us – would embrace new knowledge and use it to guide their decisions about wolves.

Since then, we have learned that some days are diamonds…and some days are stones. But, this is NO time to give up on wolf recovery. The mission continues and the cause endures for however long it takes.

To our Coalition partners and to the many thousands of people who participate in the process, thank you.

Respectfully submitted by the Board of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition

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