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Will Montana FWP Commission violate the law to restrict wolf harvest?

 
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  #1  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:45 PM
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Will Montana FWP Commission violate the law to restrict wolf harvest?

Most recent Montana wolf update. Please read and stay informed!

Thanks,

Scot E.

Folks,

It appears that something fishy may be happening in Montana. Many of you are aware that radical activists are trying to close wolf hunting in areas outside of Yellowstone National Park. Not only would this set a terrible and risky precedent, but this would effectively prevent recovery of the hard hit elk and moose populations in the area.

Here is where it gets worse.

It looks like attempts are being made to circumvent the law to make this decision TODAY. The problem is that the item is not on the official Montana FWP Commission Meeting Agenda.

According to press reports some commissioners suggest that restricting wolf harvest will be on today’s agenda, "Montana wildlife commissioner Shane Colton said closing some areas to trapping or setting strict quotas will be on the table during a Monday commission meeting.” In the same article another commissioner indicates he may support the action, “State wildlife commissioner Ron Moody said he would support closing areas to harvest or reducing wolf quotas if that's supported by the evidence." You can read the quotes in the Billings Gazette article at:
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/wolf-trapping-near-yellowstone-national-park-faces-scrutiny/article_82a01d64-7e4e-5f17-a8bb-34e7b1193c06.html

Montana law is very clear. No decisions can be made, unless advanced public notice is given that the issue will be considered in the meeting. How can concerned sportsmen and ranchers know to attend the meeting if proper notice is not given? A quick review of Section 2-3-103 of Montana Statute indicates, “…the agency may not take action on any matter discussed unless specific notice of that matter is included on an agenda and public comment has been allowed on that matter…”

Of the four issues on the agenda for today’s Montana FWP commission meeting. None of them relate to restrictions on wolf harvest around Yellowstone National Park. The only agenda item related to wolves is listed as “Information only.” In fact this item is all about how Montana can harvest more wolves and decrease overall wolf numbers. Here it says about this item:

“The 2012 season framework includes a number of changes from 2011, largely intended to increase wolf harvest and decrease wolf abundance in Montana…The review will include data on harvest numbers, geographic distribution of harvest, consideration of depredation removals and overall wolf mortality relative to wolf population model projections. Much of the data will be presented to compare harvests during the 2011 and 2012 hunting seasons.” Emphasis added. http://fwp.mt.gov/doingBusiness/insideFwp/commission/meetings/agenda.html?coversheet&itemId=2770985

Here is a link to the full agenda: http://fwp.mt.gov/doingBusiness/insideFwp/commission/meetings/agenda.html?meetingId=27709806

So is the item on today’s agenda or not? I don’t think anyone knows but the Commissioners in Montana. Knowing that questionable actions have been taken before, Big Game Forever issued an action alert in Montana asking Montana sportsmen and livestock producers to send messages to the commission. Over 650 messages have been sent from Montana. On Friday we sent another request to our national list. This generated over 2,000 additional messages. So thanks to each of you who sent one of the 2,600 messages to Montana FWP commission for being ahead of the curve on this issue.

The meeting is happening now. It is becoming more clear why Montana hunters are so frustrated. Underhanded tactics seem to have become the norm when it comes to the lack of adequate wolf management in the state of Montana. If restricting wolf harvest is considered by Montana FWP Commission in today’s meeting, it will be a clear violation of the spirit if not the letter of Montana law meant to protect its citizens from this very kind of action.

Stay tuned,

--
Ryan Benson
http://biggameforever.org/
ryandbenson@msn.com

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  #2  
Old 12-10-2012, 07:40 PM
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Re: Will Montana FWP Commission violate the law to restrict wolf harvest?

More wolves, less need for hunters to control wild game populations, less need for guns. See a long term goal here?
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:32 PM
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Re: Will Montana FWP Commission violate the law to restrict wolf harvest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drbill View Post
More wolves, less need for hunters to control wild game populations, less need for guns. See a long term goal here?

No I don't, more wolves means more predation on wildlife numbers means, which translates into prey species being depleted leading to wolf numbers depleting due to starvation and disease, not to mention the packs that will spread out and go after what ever meal they can get, livestock pets ect. Their going to do what they have to to survive, even if it means hanging around the edge of town and going after fido or kitty. It's not a new concept, it has been going on for decades with cats.

I can't say what your experience with your local FWP is like but the FWP folks I know personally take as dim or even dimmer view on this as we do. From the biologist to the game wardens their also ecologists, they get carrying capacity and just what a can of worms this could very easily turn into. They don't like seeing game numbers take beating any more than you and I do, they also don't want to see them explode either since that ultimately means a very big rapid depletion of numbers. Make no mistake things like this make their job far harder than it has to be, who wants that?

Ask yourself. Where does the fish and game get their funding from? How much of the money generated from license sales goes to game management programs? A lot of their funding comes from license sales, why do you think every few years the fee's go up and occasionally there's a new fee added? It ain't from cigarette taxes.

Federal fish and wildlife on the other hand I just don't know, I imagine their under a lot more political pressure from Washington.
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Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.

Joe
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:17 PM
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Re: Will Montana FWP Commission violate the law to restrict wolf harvest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe King View Post

Federal fish and wildlife on the other hand I just don't know, I imagine their under a lot more political pressure from Washington.

I agree with you but the last part of this sentence is what my concern is.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:42 PM
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Re: Will Montana FWP Commission violate the law to restrict wolf harvest?

Short answer is yes. As it is now a done deal. Vote was 3 to 1.

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:42 PM
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Re: Will Montana FWP Commission violate the law to restrict wolf harvest?

All part of Agenda 21??
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2012, 01:16 AM
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Re: Will Montana FWP Commission violate the law to restrict wolf harvest?

Appears I was wrong and Bob Ream has no back bone

Whats even worse is it was an illegal action and they knew and don't care, Time to do some house cleaning, as far as I'm concerned, fire the whole lot on the spot. You can't do your job you don't need it

Folks,
In a very disappointing move, yesterday the Montana FWP commission closed the wolf hunts in areas north of Yellowstone. Here is an article in the Billings Gazette: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/montana-shuts-down-wolf-harvest-near-yellowstone/article_f5e8f238-815f-52a9-a0a8-2956b65a4693.html?comment_form=true
The move seems particularly backwards in light of the announcement that efforts to increase wolf harvest in Montana aren't working. In fact, wolf harvest is 18% lower in Montana than it was at this time last year. The details are still coming in, but our understanding is that the closure mechanism was to enlarge a wolf management zone and then reduce the wolf harvest objectives by at least 10 wolves. As a result, the quota for the area has already been met, and the unit closed. One commission member acknowledged that the decision ignored the concerns of thousands of concerned sportsmen who had sent messages to the commission. It is our understanding that Montana FWP testified that there was no biological reason for closing the hunts (see below for more detail). In fact, considering the plight of elk and moose in the area, the biology would suggest that keeping hunt open would have been the right decision for conservation.
Attendees did raise a protest that the decision was made without the required public notice. The commission acknowledged that the question of public notice had been raised with attorneys for the commission. It seems to beg the question. If the commission knew there was a concern about public notice, why not just change the agenda and provide notice to the public? Wouldn't it have been easier and more in line with Montana law just to add the issue to the agenda? Montana FWP commission chair Bob Ream is already admitting the decision to close the wolf hunt was political, not biological. A quote from commissioner Ream in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle may provide the best explanation Ream,"Is it political? Yeah, wolves are political." Here is a link to the full article: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/wildlife/article_6518eac4-4315-11e2-8afa-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=story Below is a great commentary on yesterday's decision written by Keith Kubista, president of Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife who has been closely monitoring yesterday's action.
I'm already hearing from many of you that you are disgusted with this move. There is no reason Montana sportsmen should take this standing down. Feel free to email me your thoughts. Stay tuned for action alerts on this issue going forward.
--
Ryan Benson
http://biggameforever.org/
ryandbenson@msn.com

Yesterday was probably one of the worst days in history for Montana's wildlife, sportsmen, and landowners & livestock producers. In a very concealed way (due to possible violation of the public participation statue) the FWP Commission approved at a conference call (not a full public meeting) what amounts to be a protective buffer to Yellowstone Park for wolves.
This was done despite the FWP Departments report by George Pauley, Wildlife Management Section Chief who said:
"no threats, concerns, or other indications require the need for changes to the wolf hunting/trapping season, wolf packs are stable, harvest of wolves lags 18% below last year and no quotas have reached".


It seems science, facts, and legitimate wildlife management decisions are trumped by emotional and political agendas. The FWP Commission, driven by politics is hellbent on elevating wolves above all else while alleging wolves will be managed like other game species.


I have attached the written decisions from yesterdays meetings which also contains other politically driven items that were overwhelmingly rejected by majorities of Montana citizens. [These items are not included in this BGF message]


Folks this is no time to sit by and let these type of things continue we must all fully engage in an effort to stop what is happening, we still have time if we begin now. Watch for future action alerts on what needs to occur and how you can help.


Keith Kubista
President, Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife
__________________
Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.

Joe
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