Montana: Love the Place, Hate the Politicians

In a variation of the old adage, “Love the country, hate the people,” my new motto for my former and possibly future home state is, “Love the place, hate the politicians—especially the wildlife policy makers.

Though I have a lot of like-minded friends back there, they are mostly “new-comers” from other states who have moved there because of their love for the land. They don’t share the self-centered patrician attitude of many of the Montana “natives,” so they tend to appreciate the wildlife more.

But the Montana state legislators think they know who their constituents are—and they’re not the wolves or us wolf advocates. In their zeal to fast-track a proposal to expand their already out-of-control wolf hunt, the Montana State Senate on Thursday suspended its rules so it could take initial and final votes on the same day on a measure that already had overwhelmingly cleared the House. The Senate backed it 45-4, and now the unbelievable piece of anti-wolf legislation will soon be sent to the governor’s desk for his signature. (It must be quite a challenge for the evil, pointy-tailed office-bearers to hold a pen with those cloven hooves of theirs).

The following is an AP article entitled, “Legislature gives quick OK to expanded Montana wolf hunt” (my parenthetical asides are added when necessary or appropriate):

House Bill 73 lets the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks increase the number of wolves one hunter can take, allows for electronic calls, and removes a requirement to wear hunter orange outside general deer and elk season. (The one bright side: more hunting accidents.)

The measure also prohibits the state wildlife agency from banning wolf hunts in areas around national parks. (Parks like Yellowstone, where wolves are used to seeing appreciative, peaceful people and are therefore deceitfully and easily killed by the malicious ones waiting just outside the park boundaries). Its swift passage would allow the changes to take effect during the hunting season that’s currently under way…

The department last month abandoned efforts to shut down gray wolf hunting and trapping in an area north of Yellowstone National Park, a move originally promoted by concerns that too many wolves wandering out of the park were dying. (“Dying”… Is that what the AP thinks happened to them? Or, are they just being pleasant? What they meant was, “…too many wolves wandering out of the park and being stuck in a trap and/or shot to death by bloodthirsty wolf-haters!”)

Lawmakers wanted to make sure such a regional closure doesn’t come up again.

Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday indicated support for the legislation, noting it had been backed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. (Not surprising that MFWP gave it their cloven-hooved stamp of approval).

Fish, Wildlife and Parks said it already has prepared rule changes that will allow the legislation to immediately impact what remains of the wolf hunting season ending Feb. 28.

Hunters and trappers so far this season have killed fewer than 200 wolves. Wildlife officials are hoping to reduce the animals’ population from an estimated 650 wolves to around 450. The goal is to reduce wolf attacks on (non-native) livestock and help some elk herds that have (allegedly) been in decline due to wolf attacks (read: natural predation).

Wildlife advocates have argued that the state is being too aggressive (read: violent, hostile, destructive, belligerent, antagonistic, bellicose) against a species only recently restored to the Northern Rockies after it was widely exterminated last century.

But no one spoke against the expanded wolf hunt on the Senate floor.

“These creatures are hard to hunt, and we need to allow our wolf hunters the best chance of getting into them while the season is still ongoing,” said Sen. Larry Jent, D-Bozeman (“getting into them”—how sick is that kind of talk?)

Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, argued it doesn’t go far enough to limit wolf numbers. He said the FWP is going to have to start allowing snare trapping of the wolves, a controversial practice the wildlife commission banned with its trapping regulations. (Even the MFWP isn’t willing to descend into that level of hell.)

“While this bill will do some things, it is not the big answer,” Thomas said. “If you really want to get after this, you have to authorize snaring.”

So sayeth the elected official from the great state of Montana. No, I wouldn’t feel any more fairly represented there now than the wolves are.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved


21 thoughts on “Montana: Love the Place, Hate the Politicians

  1. Wolves do not need to be controlled, as anti-wolf wing nuts scream. Elk populations have increased about 47% in Montana since wolf introduction and self-reintroduction. The elk-wolf- predator relationship has stabilized in Yellowstone with a self-regulating ecological system with positive cascading effects on flora and fauna life as was in the 1870’s, before man interference and manipulation. Wolves killed 74 cattle in 2011 in Montana. There are 2,500,000 cattle in Montana. 74 divided by 2,500,000 is .00029 percent, statistically zero. The 2 main reasons fro killing wolves, who will regulate themselves, as do all predators, is mute. So, the reason for killing wolves is something irrational, visceral, ant-predator hysteria, anti-federal government hysteria, and anti-conservation. What is it but yokel-vocal-conservative-sportsmen-rancher and their ilk (FWP, USFWS, and USDA Wildlife Services) craziness and legislatures like them, who reflect them?

    The only way most of these right wing nut anti-wolfers in Montana legislature and other western state legislatures and sporting groups and ranchers are going to see a wolf is on the Discovery Channel or in National Geographic. There is something primordial, totally irrational going on here among these ant-wolfers. Those who care about predators and wolves in particular, must start making a broader appeal to America, stop preaching so much to the choir, produce, more videos and documentaries, and tell more stories such as “Romeo, The Story of An Alaskan Wolf by John Hyde”. We are losing the battle, unless we appeal to a larger audience. Move to have the wolves re-listed.

    It is blatantly obvious that state management is too political, ignorant, misinformed, anti-science, hysterical, irrational, based on primordial fear, visceral, crazy driven to leave it to redneck states, like Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and mid-western states like Wisconsin. It was insane to de-list the wolf and turn it over to state management.

    • You are so right on target! We need mainstream media involvement ABC,CBS,NBC,FOX all the major t.v. networks need to get this into to the news and keep it there relentlessly until the wolves are relisted and the ESA is changed to where no crooked, cowardly,bought and paid for politician can ever take them off.

      • How come, do you think, it isn’t even adequately covered on something like HuffPost Green, let alone in the lamestream media? Could it be that the overwhelming depravity and ghastliness of it all is such an indictment of our “fellow” citizens (a.k.a. Montana natives) that it is just too much of a downer to have to insert between all those commercials for “happy meals”, western tourism, and erectile dysfunction?

  2. It figures that you can’t even leave a phone message outside business hours. Legislators don’t want to know what any of us think, evidently. If anyone is available to call during business hours and let Thomas and Lent know how you feel about their caveman legislation, the switchboard is (406) 444-4800.

  3. State management has led to these draconian policies. Not that the Feds were any better under Sec Salazar, but at least the wolves would be brought into the broader context of the USA and it becomes a national issue. Every time, which is daily, I think of this issue I can’t help but relate it to the civil rights and the slavery situation. These were states issues as well and the killing states like it much better when they are allowed to go about their business and run their states just like in the good old days when we had plantations. Now instead we have public lands which are just really big old hunting clubs, run by the overseers or game wardens. They too love to do a little killing on their club lands and post their grinning faces with a beautiful being wantonly killed. We are really kidding ourselves if we think this is going to change if this doesn’t get back onto the Feds docket. There is no news coverage, because it is not debated on the senate floor. The public must know the truth.
    Unfortunately, Sen Jon Tester’s dirty little rider on that Senate budget bill back in April may indeed lead to the extinction of a whole species, and caused this entire change of protocol.
    Thanks a lot Sen Tester!

  4. Pingback: Montana’s Wolf “Problem” Doesn’t Add Up | Exposing the Big Game

  5. Pingback: Let Montana Governor Bullock know: “Our Voice Counts, Too!” | Exposing the Big Game

  6. you know, I actually have found 1 piece of media that hit about wolves and was totally shocked… you can not get wolves on any media, I have wrote to the Ed Show (msnbc, and tried Rachel Maddow… Nothing) Hoping to draw some attention. When the video’s finally hit mainstream with the Wisconsin wolves being tortured, that was as close to a break getting some attention. Let me grab my story link and scroll for that media link… maybe if we put some whispers into this lady’s ear…she might actually send some direction to what way to go? Because I sure do not have th clout or the money to get enough attention and so old, that my looks will get… so the bikini idea is OUT! …grabbing my story line….
    HERE IT IS 🙂

    Wolves under attack
    .By Staff

    updated 5:47 PM EST, Fri January 25, 2013

    •The Gray Wolf was removed from the Endangered Species list in 2011
    •Predator Defense releases a new film “The Imperiled American Wolf”
    Wolves Under Attack On “Animals Investigations” By,Jane Velez-Mitchell on HLN!

    there this lady 🙂 she might be a great lead …smile

    • There is definitely not enough national attention on the side of wolf preservation by the media. Everytime I see a small clip like “wolves-under-attack” I think yeah!!! now we’re getting somewhere and hope that the major networks will catch on, but so far nothing we do or say seems to have any lasting effect on the media or the politians that are promoting this decimation. I always post on my page every great report and all the petitions I sign. What we need is for anyone who knows anyone that works for a local news network to try and get them to run a daily report of the situation the wolves are in and get them to run a expose on just how crooked and narrow minded the politicians are that are sponsoring these bills and pushing them through legislation. And expose the cattle ranchers, trophy hunters and trappers for the monsters they are and the way they torture the wolves before they kill them in many cases. Any animal that has been caught in a trap until it’s death is being tortured. The sick mentality, and depravity of these people needs to be publicized so they will lose their power when the public ostracizes them. At least it’s worth a try. We somehow have to turn up the loudspeaker loud enough for all America to hear and take notice and take action to get them to stop this extermination of our wolves.

  7. They aren’t a state .. They are a 3rd world nation that depletes their national treasures just like those that cut down the rain forests for charcoal .. Unnecessary stuff !! There are different ways to perceive the world .. They figured out the charcoal dilemma, that stopped and poachers that kill elephants are shot and killed because they know their tourists $$ come from the ecotourist industry .. This could be big for this state ! With a predation by wolves of less than.0029% of their over abundant and environmental degrading livestock and an increase in their elk herd from wolves being back in their state until now they have their science all wrong .. They are exterminating a self sustaining family being who is an amazing predator to observe and learn more about .. They are very ignorant and missing a golden opportunity to educate and bring in $$$ to their state … Who wants to go to that bloody place now???
    Stupid is as stupid does !

    • I used to love to go there and go to the sapphire mines and go diggin crystals and just ejoy all the beauty of that state, but since they have given in to the ranchers whining and the hunters/ trappers nagging, I no longer have a desire to go there and visit let alone plan on ever living there. I’m so disappointed in Montana, I thought they stood for something better than just being another state full of murdering, depraved, crooked, ignorant, stuck on stupid, assholes.

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