Jeers to Montana’s wolf vendetta

Jeers to Montana lawmakers who are offering more ways to kill wolves since they lost their federal protections under the last administration.

Sen. Bob Brown and Rep. Paul Fielder, both Republicans from Thompson Falls, have drafted legislation ranging from including wolf licenses in big game combination licenses and expanding trapping seasons to reclassifying the animals as predators similar to coyotes, meaning they could be killed year-round without a license. They also want to legalize snares for wolf trappers and allow private reimbursement for those who successfully kill a wolf, the Independent Record reported.

It disgusts us that these legislators feel entitled to treat wolves—who have a right to exist and flourish in their own way—as if they were expendable because they are beholden to ranchers and hunters who whine about loss of livestock and big game species. They will not be happy until wolves are annihilated completely.

Legislators are supposed to represent all constituents. The truth is, according to the latest FWS survey, only 150,000 people hunt in Montana, while 402,000 enjoy wildlife watching. And from mid-December to the beginning of March, dedicated wildlife enthusiasts from all over the globe visit Yellowstone National Park to see wolves.

Furthermore, wolves improve habitat and increase populations of countless species from birds of prey to pronghorn and even trout.

“Not everyone wants to go out and trap and snare wildlife, they want to see them and take pictures,” said Steve Capra, executive director of the anti-trapping organization Footloose Montana. “This is taking mob rule to our public lands that’s not based on any science. It’s based on scapegoating an animal and creating a symbol for a culture war.”

We couldn’t agree more.