In the middle of writing a post on wolverines celebrating the end of trapping in Montana, I was informed that trappers and the Montana Fish Wildlife Parks Department are frantically trying to reverse the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and commence with the wolverine trapping season. The agency is even getting other states wildlife agencies involved to act as witnesses. Stay tuned for my lengthy, updated wolverine post; in the meantime, Here’s the latest article on the situation–note that the follow up hearing is set for January 10th…….
A Helena judge issued a temporary restraining order that will delay Montana’s wolverine trapping season.
Written by Tribune staff
A district court judge in Helena granted a temporary restraining order against the state’s wildlife agency that blocks the opening of Montana’s wolverine trapping season until at least early next year.
The season was set to open Saturday.
The restraining order was sought by a coalition of groups trying to halt wolverine trapping in Montana. Helena District Judge Jeffery Sherlock granted the order. A follow-up hearing is set for Jan. 10.
The eight-group coalition, led by the Western Environmental Law Center, wants to ban wolverine trapping until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines if the wolverine will be placed on the federal list of threatened and endangered species.
Ken McDonald, wildlife bureau chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Helena, said Montana’s quota of five wolverines is based on sound wildlife management science that doesn’t put the state’s wolverine population at risk.
In 2010, USFWS determined that threats to the wolverine included climate change but declined to list it as an endangered or threatened species due to higher priorities. At the time, USFWS suggested that the wolverine population is stable or expanding and that between 250 and 300 wolverines inhabit the northern Rocky Mountains.
McDonald said FWP will immediately begin to examine the restraining order and consider legal options but for now trappers are prohibited from pursuing wolverines in Montana.