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
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.
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.
President, Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife