What’s to Stop Them?

I attended the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf hearing last week to find out how far the WDFW ultimately plans to go with wolf hunting, once wolves are inevitably removed from the state endangered species list, and when Washington residents can expect to hear that hunting groups are holding contest hunts on wolves like our neighbors in Idaho have already done.

It turns out the department wasn’t ready to come clean on their ultimate plans to implement hunting seasons on wolves (starting in Eastern Washington). They were only willing to talk about the few cases of sheep predation (a few dozen out of a flock of 1,800 animals grazing on public forest land), and the WDFW’s collusion with areal snipers from the federal Wildlife “Services” for some good old fashioned lethal removal. Here are some notes on what I was planning to say, had it been on topic:

Over the years spent living in rural Eastern Washington, I’ve gotten to know how ranchers think and feel, and what they’re capable of. For over twenty years I lived in a cabin outside the Okanogan County town of Twisp, where rancher/convicted poacher Bill White is currently under house arrest. Exploiting his then-good standing and local influence to get permission from the WDFW to gather road-killed deer, under the guise of distributing them as meat to members of the Colville tribe, he used some of the deer as bait to lure wolves from the Lookout pack to within shooting distance. He and his son are credited with killing nearly every member of that pack—the first wolves to make it back into Washington. Their sense of entitlement was so overblown they thought they could get away with sending a blood-dripping wolf hide across the Canadian border.

On the plus side, I also have a lot of experiences with wolves themselves. As a wildlife photographer I’ve photographed them in Alaska and Canada as well as in Montana, where I lived a mile Yellowstone National Park. I got to know the real nature and behavior of wolves. I’d like to think that if ranchers knew the wolves the way I do, they wouldn’t be so quick to want to kill them off again. I shouldn’t have to remind folks that wolves were exterminated once already in all of the lower 48 states, except Michigan, which had only six wolves remaining before the species was finally protected as endangered.

Although I personally believe that wolves belong to no one but themselves, to use game department jargon, wolves and other wildlife belong to everyone in the state equally—not just the few squeaky-wheel ranchers and hunters. By far most of Washington’s residents want to see wolves allowed to live here and don’t agree with the department’s lethal wolf removal measures (that include plans for future wolf hunting seasons, which are currently being downplayed by the WDFW).

What’s to stop Washington from becoming just like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming in implementing reckless lethal wolf removal programs that eventually lead to things like contest hunts (as in Idaho) and the subsequent decimation of entire packs? Or year-round predator seasons that ultimately result in federal re-listing (as in Wyoming)? What guarantee do we have that Washington’s wolves will be treated any differently?

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Group demands return of federal wolf protections at Capitol protest

http://helenair.com/news/local/group-demands-return-of-federal-wolf-protections-at-capitol-today/article_f26cfaea-576b-5185-a950-0da100a42bd5.html

October 20, 2014 6:52 pm  • 

Saying that Montana’s wolf management policy violates the United Nations Charter for Nature, members of the Wolf and Wildlife Action Group delivered a “violation notice” to Gov. Steve Bullock’s office at the Capitol Monday.

Montana’s wolf policy allows for a landowner to kill up to 100 wolves, using what WWAG called cruel and barbaric methods such as aerial gunning and trapping, the violation notice said.

The policy is an attempt to exterminate the gray wolf, and WWAG demanded that wolves return to federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, said member Jeanne Rasmussen.

Bullock was not at his office at the time WWAG delivered the violation notice.

“They are being shot and trapped and gut shot, and they burn baby pups out of their dens,” Rasmussen said. “Hunters just want them eliminated.”

WWAG described itself as an “international grassroots organization” at the Capitol on behalf of 80 percent of Americans who want wolves protected.

Madison County resident Diane Nelson-Steiner spoke passionately about wolves killed near her home along the Big Hole River. She recalled an entire pack shot by government officials flying a USDA plane, and seeing the animals left to rot.

“To see those wolves killed and laying in a field is horrible,” Nelson-Steiner said. “They killed most of the Big Hole pack, and since then we’ve been overrun with elk and deer. It’s getting absolutely ridiculous with the herds getting to be overly large.”

Wolves also kept coyote numbers in check, which have increased dramatically since elimination of the wolf pack, she said.

Nelson-Steiner and her husband, Tim Steiner, brought several foothold traps they said were found illegally set on their property by trappers after wolves. They have found or heard of multiple animals caught in traps including domestic cats and dogs, an eagle, a badger and coyotes, but no wolves, Steiner said.

Yes that’s cruel and inhumane,” Steiner said while holding a trap. “Animal cruelty is against the law in all 50 states. It’s not just wolves they’re catching; it’s everything else.”

“Why are these psychopaths allowed to torture animals in this country, yet 86 other countries have banned trapping?” asked WWAG member Michelle Domeier.

The group held posters showing wolves dead in both foothold traps and snares identified as legal means of killing wolves in Montana. More than 2,600 wolves had been killed since being stripped from federal protections, they said.

After speaking on the Capitol steps, WWAG member Karen Wells delivered the violation notice to the governor’s office, which was taken by staff in Bullock’s absence.

“Montana has a highly-effective wolf management plan, developed through collaboration with stakeholders and based on scientific principles and thorough research,” said Kevin O’Brien, Bullock’s deputy chief of staff, in an email. “While some on the far left and far right may take issue with the management plan, it has resulted in healthy wolf populations in Montana.”

Within the violation notice, WAGG made the following statement:

“One Montana landowner deems a wolf a ‘problem’ wolf (and) they can legally kill it, and may ‘legally’ kill up to 100 Wolves in any cruel method, including cruel and barbaric leg hold traps and snares, poisoning, gassing and burning alive pups in their dens, stomping, clubbing, gut shooting, chasing down and shooting from the air, with no restrictions or quotas. In addition, wolf ‘hunting’ and trapping is allowed from Oct. to May.”

That statement contains several inaccuracies in reference to seasons and new regulations for landowners, said FWP spokesman Tom Palmer. Hunting and foothold traps are legal methods of take, while other methods are prohibited by hunters or trappers, he said.

Montana’s general wolf hunting season runs from Sept. 15 to March 15. The archery only season runs from Sept. 6 to Sept. 14. The trapping season runs from Dec. 15 to Feb. 28, according to regulations. Landowners can kill wolves threatening livestock or people out of season and without a permit under FWP rules.

“Most of this isn’t allowed,” he said. “Snares aren’t allowed. You can’t bait or poison them. You can’t burn them alive. Gut shooting isn’t allowed.”

Landowners also do not have special regulations allowing aerial shooting, he said.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission approved rules that allow up to 100 wolves per landowner, authorized at 25 at a time, he said. Landowners have harvested four wolves under the rules, he said, and baiting is not allowed either in hunting or trapping.

“They (wolves) have to be actively threatening you or your livestock,” Palmer said. “The chances of a landowner seeing a threat and setting out a trap immediately is almost nill.”

When told of FWP’s response, Nelson-Steiner insisted that the regulations allow landowners to use “any” means of killing wolves.

Violations of existing regulations have run rampant, and FWP and the sheriff’s office have failed to enforce state laws in her area, Nelson-Steiner said.

On the issue of international law, Bullock was in direct violation of several items within the UN’s charter, Wells said.

“We demand that these violations be corrected forthwith or these violations will be brought before the International Court of Justice,” the violation notice said.

copyrighted wolf in water

FWP Ends I-90 Wolf-Kill Investigation

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks ended its investigation today into a Facebook posting from Missoula resident Toby Bridges, where he claimed to have killed a wolf and injured another with his vehicle on Interstate 90 just east of the Idaho border. After having the Mineral County Attorney’s office review the investigation, FWP will not be filing any charges in this case.

FWP was first notified of the Facebook posting on September 17, and game wardens initiated an investigation the next day.

“In Montana, harassing or intentionally killing wildlife with a motor vehicle is illegal, and we take reports of such incidents very seriously,” said FWP Warden Captain, Joe Jaquith.

On September 18, wardens investigated the area described in Bridges’ online account, and found a wolf carcass off the shoulder of the road that was consistent in size and color with the online photo. The carcass, however, was far more decomposed than typical for a wolf killed at the time Bridges reported to have struck the wolf.  Wardens found no physical evidence of a collision on or near the Interstate.

Wardens also searched surrounding hillsides for signs of the second wolf that Bridges claimed to have hit and injured.  They could not locate any signs of a carcass or injured wolf, including evidence of blood, tracks, hair, odors, or scavengers.

Wardens interviewed Bridges and used his photographs from the scene for further investigation by other law enforcement officials and wildlife specialists.

A Montana Highway Patrol crash scene investigator analyzed Bridges’ photograph from the scene and concluded that based on the photograph, the vehicle had not been involved in an accident. No accident report had been filed.

Wardens searched for potential witnesses and worked with the Montana Department of Transportation as part of the investigation, but no witnesses came forward.

“In typical cases involving harassment or killing of wildlife with a vehicle, there has always been either a witness to the event, and/or fresh physical evidence that could be directly tied to the violation,” Jaquith said. “In this particular case the only witness appears to be Mr. Bridges, the vehicle shows no evidence of having been in an accident, and the lack of any other physical evidence supporting the claim precludes the filing of criminal charges.”

Brooks Fahy Executive Director

PREDATOR DEFENSE

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

“Hunter-Conservationists:” the Most Ridiculous Spin of the Century

The award for Most Ridiculous Spin of the Century goes collectively to Kit Fischer, sportsmen’s outreach coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation (what the hell kind of environmental/wildlife advocacy group hires an outreach coordinator to attract sport hunters?); Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation; Jim Posewitz, board member of Helena Hunters and Anglers; Casey Hackathorn, president of Hellgate Hunters and Anglers; Chris Marchion, board member of Anaconda Sportsmen and Glenn Hockett, president of Gallatin Wildlife Association. These revisionists recently had the insolent audacity to try to boast that “hunter-conservationists saved bison from extinction a century ago” in their article, Enlist Montana Hunters to Manage Bison Numbers.

Let’s not forget that the vast herds that once blackened the plains for hundreds of miles on end were almost completely killed off by hide-hunters, market meat-hunters or by sport-hunters shooting from trains just for a bit of fun.

The only reason hunters stopped the insanity was that the bison were all but completely wiped out. By the time they ended their killing spree, only 18 wild bison remained, holed up like wrongfully-accused outlaws in the upper reaches of the Yellowstone caldera.

Although Yellowstone National Park is now synonymous with the shaggy bovines, bison would prefer to spend their winters much further downriver, on lands now usurped and fenced-in by cowboys to fatten-up their cattle before shipping them off to slaughter.

If today’s ranchers and hunters had their way, bison, along with wolves and grizzly bears, would be forever restricted to the confines of the park. Rancher-hunters already have such a death-grip on Montana’s wildlife that bison are essentially marooned and forced to stay within park borders, battling snow drifts no matter how harsh the winter, despite an instinctual urge to migrate out of the high country during heavy snow winters.

Instead of making amends for the historic mistreatment of these sociable, benevolent souls, twenty-first-century sport hunters want their chance to lay waste to them again–this time in the name of “tradition.”

______________________________________________

Parts of this post were excerpted from my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport

Text and Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Text and Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Man who posted dead wolf photo to Facebook speaks out

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

MISSOULA – The man behind a controversial Facebook post is speaking out.

Toby Bridges is under investigation by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for pictures he posted of a dead wolf. Bridges boasted that he hit two wolves with his car.

Bridges is an avid hunter and fisherman who has come under national scrutiny for a Facebook post on the page Lobo Watch, an organization he founded in 2008.

“Lobo Watch is a web site for wolf control advocates,” Bridges said.

The Sept. 16 post references an incident on Aug. 14 when Bridges hit two wolves while driving on I-90 near the Idaho-Montana border, killing one of them.

“A mature cow elk and a calf ran out onto the interstate. I slowed down and took my foot off the gas,” Bridges said.

That’s when Bridges spotted four more wolves. He wrote in the post that he let off the brakes and hit the accelerator, because he was going to “save that calf”.

He said that he did not actually intend to hit any wolves, but rather scare them off. Bridges added that hitting the wolves was unavoidable.

“My goal was to get it up there and to either haze those wolves off those elk, or get in between those wolves and those elk. I had no intention of hitting a wolf. There was no stopping, there was no opportunity to stop, even the greatest NASCAR driver out there in the world couldn’t have prevented running into some of those wolves.”

When asked why he decided to post the picture of the dead wolf, Bridges said it was to send a message to pro-wolf advocates.

“They don’t have any problems going after us all the time. I did it, I’ll be honest with you. I did it just to aggravate them. I wanted them to do something. I wanted them to step across the line, and they did. So I got what I wanted.”

FWP investigating after Missoula man runs over wolves

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

http://www.kpax.com/news/fwp-investigating-after-missoula-man-runs-over-wolves/

by Robbie Reynold – KPAX News

MISSOULA – A Missoula man is under investigation by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks because of a controversial Facebook posting.

“This is one of the more ghoulish, gorish, postings I’ve ever seen,” said Predator Defense Executive Director Brooks Fahy.

You have to see it to believe it – pictures of a dead wolf posted on a Facebook page titled Lobo Watch, which is an anti-wolf organization.

A written message accompanies the pictures, which were posted on Sept. 16 – recounting an Aug. 14 incident in which a man driving his wife’s van ran over two wolves.

“When we first became aware of the post, it was right away something that we knew we needed to take seriously and to look into,” FWP spokesperson Vivica Crowser explained.

FWP is investigating the incident to determine whether or not the wolves were run over intentionally.

The message on Facebook is signed by Lobo Watch’s leader, Toby Bridges, who says he was driving on Interstate 90 near the Idaho-Montana border when he saw a calf, an elk cow, and four wolves.

Bridges wrote that the wolves were going after the calf, and that he decided to let off the brake and hit the accelerator.

The post said, “I was going to save that calf,” and goes on to say he heard two distinct “thumps”. He returned to the scene to find the dead wolf and another hobbling off with a broken leg.

Crowser told MTN news that investigators are now looking for more evidence related to the incident.

“Social media in itself isn’t enough. You have to uncover more through the case as you go along and finding things – like evidence on the scene or through other witnesses,” she said.

Fahy says he believes Montana should do more to protect wolves – especially against an incident like this.

“There’s an archery season, a trapping season, and a general hunting season for wolves. And there is no season to basically run over wolves with automobiles purposely.”

Montana wolf hunt begins; activists shadow hunters

Montana wolf hunt begins; activists shadow huntersThe Associated Press The Associated Press
September 15, 2014 3:12 pm  • 

BILLINGS — Montana’s six-month general hunting season for gray wolves began Monday as outside activists sought to highlight the killing of wolves that leave Yellowstone National Park.

It’s the fourth annual hunt since Congress revoked endangered species protections in 2011 for the animals, and the fifth since 2009, when gray wolves briefly lost their protected status before it was temporarily restored by a federal judge. There was no hunt in 2010.

Yet the hunt continues to stir debate. For this year’s opening, a small group of activists said they were shadowing two groups of backcountry hunting outfitters in a wilderness area next to Yellowstone.

Rod Coronado with the recently formed Yellowstone Wolf Patrol said he and eight other volunteers planned to use a video camera to document the killing of any wolves. Coronado said they would not directly interfere with hunting, which would be illegal.

“We’re hoping our presence here and taking video of it and photographing evidence can persuade Montana citizens to ask their governor to shut down the hunt outside the park,” Coronado said.

In 1995, a federal judge sentenced Coronado to more than four years in prison for his role in an arson attack on an animal research facility in Michigan. He said Monday that he no longer considers illegal actions effective and has no intention of breaking any Montana laws.

Montana law prohibits harassment of hunters, punishable by a fine of up to $500 and 30 days in prison. But tracking hunters and their activities is not illegal as long as nothing is done to disrupt the hunt itself, said Sam Sheppard, a warden captain with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Hunting is not allowed inside Yellowstone. Just north of the park, two Montana hunting units are subject to a combined six-wolf quota. That limit on the number of wolves that can be taken annually was put in place after park scientists raised concerns in recent years that too many animals were being killed as soon as they passed over the park boundary and into Montana.

Areas outside Glacier National Park also have a quota.

There is no limit on how many wolves can be killed statewide, and 230 were harvested during the 2013-2014 season.

As of Monday, only one wolf had been taken this season, during an early season archery hunt. Wolf trapping season begins in December.

Coronado said he and his fellow activists plan to remain in the Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness area outside Yellowstone for about 10 days or until their food runs out.

He said similar actions are planned this fall to protest hunts in Wisconsin, where opening day is Oct. 15, and possibly Idaho, where the season is already underway.

http://helenair.com/news/local/montana-wolf-hunt-begins-activists-shadow-hunters/article_a963f81e-a8ed-5df7-b660-43a7664fce4e.html

 

URGENT: Speak Out Against Proposed Bobcat Fur Farm!

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Action Alert here: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/urgent-speak-proposed-bobcat-fur-farm/?utm_campaign=Montana+Fur+Farm&utm_source=PETA+E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is currently taking public comments on its Schultz Fur Farm Environmental Assessment, which recommends the permitting of a bobcat farm near Roy, Montana, where bobcats would be captive-bred and then sold to the cruel fur industry. Comments are due by August 29, so your voice is needed immediately!

In the wild, bobcats roam vast natural territories that can span 25 square miles, foraging for food, raising their young, and frolicking with family members. These animals are highly sensitive and elusive beings who avoid human contact at all cost. If Larry Schultz’s farm is permitted, bobcats would spend the majority of their short lives in small wire cages commonly seen in the unscrupulous fur industry. Intensive confinement prevents animals from being able to take more than a few steps in any direction or feel the earth beneath their feet. Many animals go insane under these conditions and will mutilate themselves and cannibalize their cagemates. Reportedly, bobcats have killed their young on Schultz’s fur farm in North Dakota.

Please urge the FWP to deny Schultz’s permit. Remind the agency that fur farms are cruel to animals and bad for the environment. And please forward this alert widely!
Action Alert here: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/urgent-speak-proposed-bobcat-fur-farm/#ixzz3AUFFxSfO

Bobcat fur farm wants to move to Montana

GREAT FALLS – The owners of a commercial bobcat fur farm are looking to
relocate from the bustling oilfield region in western North Dakota to a
quieter area in central Montana.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park is taking public comments on the proposed
150-foot-by-140-foot animal facility where bobcats would be housed in
separate pens inside the facility near Roy in Fergus County.

Larry Schultz, who owns the business with his wife, says the facility would
raise bobcats for their furs, which would be sold in the commercial fur
industry worldwide.

Schultz says that bobcat fur is used for trim, hats and coats in some
countries.

Schultz says noise and dust from oil drilling near their farm in Arnegard in
western North Dakota isn’t good for raising bobcats.

http://www.kxlf.com/news/fwp-asks-for-public-comment-on-bobcat-fur-farm-prop
osal/

Why the NRDC’s Montana “Wolf Stamp” Must Be Stopped

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/08/14/why-the-nrdcs-montana-wolf-stamp-must-be-stopped/

By Brooks Fahy, Executive Director, Predator Defense

Recently one of our county’s most highly respected environmental organizations, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), proposed that wildlife advocates improve the plight of wolves in Montana by purchasing a special wolf “conservation” stamp for $20. The money raised would allegedly be used to resolve wolf conflicts nonlethally, as well as for public education, habitat improvement and procurement, and law enforcement.

Sounds great, right?

WRONG.

The problem is the money will go directly to the state agency in charge of managing wolves—Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). If you’ve been following our work at Predator Defense for any length of time you’ll know that, for the state of Montana, “managing” means “killing.” It is also worth noting that the state has renamed what the NRDC calls a wolf “conservation” stamp a wolf “management” stamp.

We believe we must speak out against the NRDC’s wolf stamp, and here’s why. The best available science tells us that territorial, apex predators like wolves do not need to be managed.

Asking wildlife advocates to donate funds to a government wildlife management agency is an endorsement of sorts that implies that agency is deserving of and will use your donation in the best interest of wildlife, in this case wolves. Such an endorsement promotes what we would like to call “The Myth,” which is that wildlife management agencies are using current science and conservation biology, as well as ethical principles, to create responsible programs to benefit wildlife, primarily predators. The truth is they are not.

Instead, generous hunting and trapping quotas are the backbone of all agency predator management. The quotas cannot be supported scientifically or ethically. Most hunters and trappers see wolves as competition and “the enemy” and their license fees pay the salaries of wildlife agency staff.

Unquestioning belief in The Myth by lawmakers and the public is precisely how and why wolves lost federal Endangered Species Act protection in Montana and why those protections are now on the chopping block in the remaining lower 48 states. It is also why wolves are at grave risk.

So how is providing additional funding to state agencies going to benefit wolves? Regardless of whether the money is earmarked for killing wolves, it is supporting an agency that is perpetrating The Myth that is leading toward wolves’ demise.

We find the NRDC’s wolf stamp to be unethical, irresponsible, and downright dangerous. It would:

  • Legitimize state wildlife agencies’ methods of managing wolves in Montana and of predator species in general nationwide.
  • Betray the trust wildlife advocates have in conservation organizations to guide their members to support programs designed primarily to benefit wildlife, and to oppose those that are not in wildlife’s best interest.

Based on past experience, it is utterly ridiculous to trust an agency like Montana FWP to actually do what the proponents of this stamp are suggesting—to value and advocate for a predator species.

As an example, let’s look at state management of coyotes. While the Navahos called these predators “God’s dog,” Montana and most states consider coyotes to be “vermin” and grant them no status, no value, and no protection. Most state wildlife laws dictate no limit to the number of coyotes to be killed. But the pesky fact is that, when under attack, coyotes’ predation and reproduction activities increase. This means that state coyote management has actually increased the probability of conflicts—all because they have ignored science. (Learn more at www.predatordefense.org/coyotes.htm.)

Now just for fun, let’s imagine Montana FWP was asked to create a coyote stamp like the wolf stamp. Do you think FWP personnel would be responsible and educate the public about how critically important coyotes are to a healthy ecosystem? Do you think they would invest in improving coyote habitat?

You can easily see it’s pretty unlikely that a coyote stamp would have much value to coyotes. But, how ‘bout that wolf stamp? Keeping in mind that the attitude state agencies have towards coyotes is more or less the same as their attitude towards wolves and other predators, the wolf stamp does not look promising, to put it mildly.

The stamp question begs the following larger and more important questions regarding predators and the role of conservation organization advocating for them:

  • Do wildlife management agencies use sound and current science to create and implement predator management plans, and to educate the public, ranchers and hunters?
  • Do wildlife management agencies protect and procure habitat to benefit predators and ensure their populations occupy their natural and historic ranges?
  • Do wildlife management agencies create and support wildlife laws to protect predator species?

If the answer is NO to these questions—and it most certainly is—then a different approach to predator protection and advocacy is long overdue. It’s time the conservation, wildlife advocacy and environmental community admits and acknowledges that today’s wildlife management agencies are not our friends.

Rather than working within the agency system by promoting stamps and providing other means of supporting marginal improvements for certain species, organizations should apply themselves to an overhaul of the system, starting with state commissions which oversee fish and game agencies.

Commissions should reflect the current attitudes of the majority of the state’s populace and truly represent the demographics of the state. Currently, the majority, if not all, of the commissions are composed of hunters and ranchers, or people in some way tied to those interests. While commissions may have a token individual who holds a moderate stance on these issues, such a person is largely marginalized and doesn’t last long.

The governor of Montana and most other states appoints commissioners. If all advocacy organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and others concerned about wildlife and habitat used their resources to lobby governors to appoint commissioners that truly represent current demographics—which are dominated by non-consumptive users of wildlife—we could make a difference. We could change the paradigm from policies for hunters and ranchers, to policies for wildlife and wild lands.

Influencing governors is nothing new. It’s all about financial and campaign support. Candidates need to know they’ll get support for their campaign when they appoint non-hunters to the critical commissions. Agriculture and hunting interests have made their influence known to candidates, but conservationists represent a lot more votes and can get a lot better at this game. Some NGO’s might be limited to donating money directly, but they are not limited in making suggestions to their membership; many operate sister organizations that are not nonprofit tax exempt and hence not restricted in campaigning.

If science and ethics are to be the foundation of sound wildlife policies, then conservation organizations need to bring the real hardcore message home: NO HUNTING OF PREDATORS.

If we are successful in populating decision-making bodies with people who represent today’s demographics, cultures and attitudes, and provide them with current sound science, we’ll have a chance at success in making critical changes that will benefit entire ecosystems and their inhabitants, starting with changing how wildlife agencies are funded.

Again, the best available science tells us that territorial, apex predators do not need to be managed. On the other hand, habitats need to be managed. Non-native invasive species need to be managed. And last, but not least, people need to be managed.
This message needs to be delivered to wildlife management agencies, their commissioners, and politicians. We, the people, need to stop Montana’s wolf stamp.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE WOLF STAMP: ATTEND A HEARING & SUBMIT A COMMENT
Communities around the state will hold hearings on August 14 at 6 p.m. Comments on the proposal will be taken through Friday, Aug. 22.

Scroll down for details on hearings and comments below.

ATTEND A HEARING – August 14, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

Helena
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Headquarters, 1420 East 6th Avenue, Helena, MT

Kalispell
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1 Office, 490 North Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT

Missoula
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 2 Office, 3201 Spurgin Road, Missoula, MT

Bozeman
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 3 Office, 1400 South 19th Avenue, Bozeman, MT

Great Falls
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 4 Office, 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls, MT

Billings
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 5 Office, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive, Billings, MT

Glasgow
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 Office, 54078 US Highway 2 West, Glasgow, MT

Miles City
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 7 Office, 352 I-94 Business Loop, Miles City, MT

Additional details at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/fishAndWildlife/nr_0681.html

SUMBIT A WRITTEN COMMENT AGAINGST THE WOLF STAMP

View the proposed wolf stamp rule and make your comment on the Montana FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/armRules/pn_0177.html

Comments may be also be submitted by mail, email, or fax to:

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Communication Education Division
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701

Email: fwpwld@mt.gov
Fax: 406-444-4952