Montana Wolf Hunt Extension: Your Comments Needed!
January 21, 2012
Montana Wolves in the Bitterroot Need your Help! See What you can Do!
On Jan. 19th, a five member panel of Montana FWP voted an unprecedented 3 to 2 (vs. unanimously against the wolf) to tentatively extend the wolf hunting season in the Bitterroot Valley (WMU 250) through April 1st or until the quota is met, whichever is first.
A final vote will take place on Feb. 16th. We have received feedback that our voice was heard and taken seriously because of the many respectful comments that were sent by our supporters to Montana FWP in the last alert.
Now, we need your help again to make one final appeal to Montana FWP in an attempt to tip the vote in our favor to stop the hunt extension.
We are asking you to:
send a brief thank you comment to Commissioners Bob Ream and Ron Moody who voted AGAINST the proposed wolf hunt extension
send a VERY respectful, brief, and fact-based comment to the remaining three commissioners who have heard us already and may re-consider their decision.
Public comment on this extension will run through Feb. 13th at 5PM. Please contact the MtFWP Commissioners below via email and/or phone. We have provided a list of talking points to assist you.
TALKING POINTS FOR:
Dan Vermillion, Vice-Chairman
PO Box 668
Livingston, MT 59047
firstname.lastname@example.org (put “For Dan Vermillion” in the subject bar)
A.T. Stafne, Commissioner
8079 US Highway 2
Wolf Point, MT 59201
email@example.com (put “For A.T. Stafne” in the subject bar)
Shane Colton, Commissioner
Billings, MT 59101
firstname.lastname@example.org (put “For Shane Colton” in the subject bar)
Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks Commissioners
Where is the scientific evidence to support your decision? In his recent article, independent biologist, Jay S. Mallonee, (Hunting Wolves in Montana – Where Is The Data? Nature and Science, 2011; 9(9): 175-182) revealed that the data collection methods in Montana re: wolves did not follow appropriate scientific protocol. Thus, the resulting data generated by these collection methods is flawed and should not be used as a reference point by wolf managers in the region.
The declining elk population is the result of many factors including drought, harsh winters, overhunting, and the impact of other predators. As you know, FWP researchers recently tagged elk calves in both the east and west forks of the Bitterroot starting last spring as part of a major three-year elk study. So far, mountain lions have been the main source of calf mortality. Through Jan. 4, mountain lions killed 13 of the tagged elk calves; black bears killed four and wolves two. Although some biologists believe that wolves may have a larger impact on elk during the winter, the statistics do not support their assumptions at the present time. FWP Region 2 wildlife manager Mike Thompson said the proposal to increase the lion harvest is a direct result of the ongoing research in the Bitterroot.
Extending the wolf hunt is poor wildlife management policy – It’s being done to manipulate the population of wolves in order to reduce them to grow more elk, and that is in direct conflict with how wildlife is supposed to be managed. You don’t manipulate the population of one species to benefit the hunting of another.
Extending the hunt is highly unethical and unnecessary – it affects pregnant wolves that are preparing to den and raise newborn pups. No other big game animal is treated this way in Montana. Allowing this practice will reflect negatively on Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, all ethical sportsmen, and all of Montana in the eyes of those who are watching the state’s first attempt at management of wolves.
Extending the hunt will significantly disrupt the wolf’s mating season, and thus it will jeopardize the future viability of its population. It could even cause increased livestock depredation because extending the hunt can fracture wolf pack dynamics at this critical time of year in the wolf’s reproductive cycle.
TALKING POINTS FOR:
Bob Ream, Commissioner
521 Clarke Street
Helena, MT 59601
Ron Moody, Commissioner
109 Bach Avenue
Lewistown, MT 59457
Thank you for NOT supporting the wolf hunt extension.
Your actions demonstrate your commitment to ensuring that Montana FWP adheres to responsible and highly ethical wildlife management policy. Doing so will help sustain the wolf population in the region so that it can serve its vital ecological function in the Bitterroot Valley.
We hope your leadership sets a new standard for state management of wolves in the Northern Rockies region.
Please urge the other commissioners to put aside their personal beliefs about this predator and/or disregard pressure from special interests. Please remind them that good policy does not manipulate the population of one species to benefit the hunting of another.
Your actions help to create and strengthen working partnerships with individuals, organized groups, and others who are interested in the natural, historic, and cultural resource management of wildlife.
Understand, Love, Protect