Wolf Management Controversy – MBA Position

As you are probably aware Judge Donald Molloy has handed down his decision to re-list the gray wolf as an endangered species. The MBA is very disappointed in this decision.  Aside from the fact that the 2010-2011 wolf season would have been the first season to incorporate an archery only opportunity, Judge Molloy’s decision once again takes the management of our wolf populations out of the hands of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Dept. and puts it back into the courtrooms where decisions are often made based on legal tactics and emotional arguments rather than sound biological principles.

Up until now the MBA has supported any and all attempts by FWP to manage wolves. We have also financially supported studies which focus on wolf predation hoping this science would one day help win the fight in the courtroom as well as help FWP manage wolves once they are de-listed.  However and from the legal aspect, there was not much we could do but wait on Judge Molloy’s verdict and hope for the best.

Along the way the sportsmen of this state have played by the rules while waiting for the right decision to come down from the court system giving us the ability to manage wolves which are decimating our large ungulate herds in certain areas of the state. Meanwhile the anti-hunting and environmentalist crowd has been using the system against us and continually increasing what they see as “acceptable populations “ while the population of wolves in our state rises to an alarming level well above the numbers that we were forced to accept when these animals were re-introduced.

It’s time to take the gloves off. The MBA is now working with groups like the National Rifle Association, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Mule Deer Foundation, Pheasants Forever and other nationwide sportsman’s organizations along with state organizations from across the country to change the way wolves are managed. Montana’s congressional delegation has proposed to introduce legislation to put the wolf management back into the state’s hands, and they have asked for our support.

We are now talking with other groups with similar views and interests to come up with a solid strategy to achieve the goal of Montana managing its own wildlife as we see fit and based on biology rather than emotion. In the coming weeks we will be sharing with you this strategy and sincerely urge you to do all you can to help us win this fight. The future of hunting in Montana depends on it. At this point in time the best thing you can do is contact our Senators and Representative listed below and insist they support legislation that allows wolves to be managed at the state level.

Senator Max Baucus (maxbaucus@baucus.senate.gov)

Senator Jon Tester (http//tester.senate.gov/Contact/)

Representative Denny Rehberg (denny.rehberg@mail.house.gov)

Jason Tounsley,  MBA President