Wolves in Montana Need Your Voice!

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Anja Heister, Ph​.​D.
Anja Heister, Ph​.​D. signed this petition

In Montana, wildlife killers, rural legislators and ranchers, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) dictate the prosecution of wolves. Consequently, archaic management is done by numbers, with prejudice, instead with the best available science and compassion.

In 2017 alone, at least 254 wolves were killed for recreation and trophies. Hunters killed 166 wolves and trappers killed 88 wolves.  An additional 100 wolves are allowed to be killed on private lands.

Yet, the wolf killers are not satisfied and want even more wolves to die.

Bowing to wolf haters, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is now proposing to extend the hunting and trapping seasons for wolves. They are considering the following changes in Northwest Montana (Region 1), where nearly 50% of the total number of wolves are killed every year:

1.     Extend the general and archery hunting season by one month, to begin two weeks earlier, on August 15 (instead of September 1) and two weeks longer through March 31 (instead of March 15).

2.     Extend the trapping season by two weeks through March 15 – the wolf trapping season currently starts at December 15 and ends on Feb. 28.

3.     Increase the ‘bag limit’ for an individual hunter/trapper from 5 to 10 (!) wolves.

The proposal also does not drop the wolf quota in two units (313, 316) just north of Yellowstone National Park as a previous proposal suggested and instead, maintains to kill two wolves in each unit.

We have until February 13 to send a clear message to FWP Commission:

Do Not allow the killing of even more wolves … enough is enough!

Every individual wolf matters for her/himself, for their mates, families, ecosystem health and for us, who value them alive.

Here is what we need you to do:

1)    Please attend the next Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Feb. 13 in FWP headquarter office at 1420 East Sixth Avenue in Helena, MT or any Regional FWP office. It's live, so you can comment via satellite TV directly to the Commissioners in Helena. The agenda shows that the wolf slaughter will likely to be discussed after 1 pm but be aware that FWP can easily change the timing.  See locations for the Regional Offices at the end of the petition.

2)    Please write the commissioners to condemn these disastrous plans at:      fwcomm@mt.gov

Talking points:

Dear FWP Commissioners, I am asking you to reduce the number of wolves allowed to be killed in Units 313 and 316 from two to one, to NOT accept the proposal to extend the wolf hunting and trapping seasons in Region 1, and to NOT increase the bag limit to 10 wolves. Instead, please consider the following:

  1. Montana needs to recognize and value the importance of wolves for healthy ecosystems, in particular under the threat of climate change where healthy ecosystems are our best defense. Wolves should not be managed based on politics, but according to the best available science and with compassion.
  2. Wolves may contain Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Dr. Valerius Geist has stated that “Wolves will certainly bring the disease to a halt … They will remove infected individuals and clean up carcasses that could transmit the disease.” He along with other biologists even theorized that killing off wolves “allowed for CWD to take hold in the first place”: https://bit.ly/2udVBms
  3. FWP caters to wildlife killers and not to the general public, who increasingly opposes killing wild animals for ‘recreation.’ Wolves should not be managed for those who enjoy killing them but rather for the majority of the public who wants to see them alive.
  4. Indiscriminate slaughter of wolves disrupts their social systems and may contribute to greater human conflicts when killing of key family members leads to a reduced effectiveness of the wolf family for hunting or cause them to lose their territory.
  5. Killing wolves for recreation and trophies is appalling human behavior.
  6. Trapping of any animal, whether wolves or members of other species is barbaric, cruel and there is no justification this type of torture of wild animals.

FWP’s Regional Offices:

Region 1: 490 North Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT 59901, Phone: (406) 752-5501

Region 2: 3201 Spurgin Road, Missoula, MT 59804, Phone: (406) 542-5500

Region 3: 1400 South 19th, Bozeman, MT 59718, Phone: (406) 577-7900

Region 4: 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls, MT 59405, Phone: (406) 454-5840

Region 5: 2300 Lake Elmo Drive, Billings, MT 59105Phone: (406) 247-2940

Region 6: 1 Airport Rd, Glasgow, MT 59230, Phone: (406) 228-3700

Region 7: 352 I-94 Business Loop, Miles City, MT 59301, Phone: (406) 234-0900

THANK YOU for supporting wolves in Montana!