Plan to Extend Montana’s Wolf Hunt Raises Hackles
|Ambassador Wolf Zephyr (born April 4, 2011) at 8 weeks old|
The wolf hunts in Montana have been controversial from the start. A hunt would not have been possible until Congress passed a 2011 budget rider (Sec. 1713) last spring that removed Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from wolves in that state. No longer endangered, the state’s wolf hunt was scheduled to start in August and end by December 31st unless the quota of 220 wolves was met first.
In early December, it became clear that the quota would likely not be filled and so the talks of an extension began. The hunts have already been extended past the original end date to February 15th (well into breeding season) and now MT Fish, Wildlife, Parks (MTFWP) announced a plan to extend the wolf-hunting season into at least April in one part of the state. Many Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) supporters are up in arms as this proposal would greatly impact breeding season, pregnant wolves, pups and the stability of the future Montana wolf population. If you too oppose this plan, there are resources to help you take action. National WolfWatcher Coalition created an “Emergency Montana Wolf Action Alert” on their website. MTFWP scheduled a meeting for January 19, 2012 to address the 2012 Wolf Management Harvest so you have a week to speak up for Montana’s wolves.