Montana Governor Bullock: "Our Voice Counts, Too!"
February 10, 2013
Yellowstone Wolf Project biologists are speaking out about a record number of wolves that were lost to this year’s hunting season in an article, “YNP biologists struggle to maintain wolf research,” published in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Feb. 9, 2013.
“This is the first year that wolves were hunted on every side of the park. They’ve learned to tolerate people in the park, but that gets them in trouble if they leave. Some wandered outside the park, and within six hours, they were dead…The park has an international constituency and our mission is preservation. The kills are a big hit on our research, but another big concern for us is that too many kills affect visitor enjoyment,” said YNP wolf biologist Doug Smith.
More state bills have been introduced seeking to reduce the wolf populations with even more aggressive management ‘tools’ that make it easier to hunt and trap more wolves – even in areas near Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. House Bill 73 has been fast-tracked to the Governor’s office, too.
Yellowstone National Park is posting record attendance numbers – a 2% increase to 3.4 million visitors in 2012. With a projected 65 million international visitors to the USA in 2012 and more in 2013, Yellowstone National Park is the largest international draw in the Northern Rockies region. With three of the five gateways accessed through Montana, the state serves to benefit from this increased traffic.
We heard that Montana’s Governor’s Office is disregarding calls and emails from tourists. Interestingly, the North Entrance at Gardiner, the area where zone closures were recently proposed and denied near Yellowstone , suffered a 5% loss in visitors in 2012.
We conclude that potential tourists are turned off when they learn about more aggressive hunting and trapping practices in the state. So, is Montana killing the largest growing industry in the region – eco/wildlife tourism along with this apex predator? We think so!
It’s time for us to remind Governor Bullock that our tourism dollars affect the economic future of his state and our voice counts! We ask that you call the following officials to tell them you oppose the bill because it is anti-science, anti-eco-tourism, and anti-jobs!
1 – Montana Governor Bullock: tell him to VETO HB 73
Telephone: Toll Free Number: 855-318-1330; Montana: 406-444-3111
2 – Gov. Bullock’s Natural Resources Adviser, Tim Baker: firstname.lastname@example.org and 406-444-7857
3 – Montana Office of Tourism – email@example.com Phone: 1-406-841-2870
4 – Montana’s Official Travel Site – http://www.visitmt.com/feedback/ or call 1-800-847-4868
House Bill 73 – introduced at the request of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to increase the tools available to hunters to successfully kill more wolf populations (http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billpdf/HB0073.pdf)
- Reduces the price of nonresident licenses REDUCING THE PRICE OF A NONRESIDENT LICENSE;
- Allows use of recorded or electronically amplified calls in wolf hunting; ALLOWING USE OF RECORDED OR ELECTRONICALLY AMPLIFIED CALLS;
- Exempts hunters from wearing orange outside the general deer and elk hunting season
- Prevents the creation of wolf harvest buffer zones and wolf harvest closures around national parks; In an area immediately adjacent to a national park, the commission may not: prohibit the hunting or trapping of wolves; or close the area to wolf hunting or trapping unless a wolf harvest quota established by the commission for that area has been met.”