Wolf Policy Negotiations are a Ruse

Wolf Policy Negotiations are a Ruse – we need Wolf Control

Letters to the AmmoLand Editor
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Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- Greetings from Montana.

In a recent article about Wyoming joining Montana and Idaho to negotiate about wolves, be advised that the sentiment in Montana and Idaho is not all as it has been held out to be.

There are LOTs of citizens, hunters and landowners in Montana who are absolutely fed up to the gills with our Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ tolerance of wolves, total agree-ability to do whatever the feds want about wolves, and outright complicity with the feds and sometimes illegal acts done in the process of foisting wolves on Montana.

Throughout this fiasco, FWP has minimized and dramatically downplayed current and future impact of wolves, especially on game populations. Their position on wolf impact all along has been so disingenuous and so incorrect as to qualify as deceit rather than innocent mistake.

Administrators have actually ordered FWP personnel to silence about wolf impact on game populations. The people of Montana are angry, almost beyond measure, at our state wildlife agency for having so readily sold Montana citizens down the river over wolves.

People in Idaho feel the same, or even more strongly.

And, FYI, there are many of us who bless Wyoming for having held out on wolf management to prevent the acceptance of an area-wide wolf management practice that would favor wolf-lovers at the expense of hunters, stockgrowers and others.

This is definitely not the picture usually presented – that Montana and Idaho are smugly happy with the status quo and blame evil Wyoming for blocking progress to making overpopulation of wolves a permanent institution here.

In order to radically alter the status quo, I wrote a bill that was introduced into the 2009 Montana legislative session, SB 183, that would have forcibly wrested control of wolves out of federal hands, and the hands of our FWP, and placed wolves under stern management according to the will of the Legislature (FWP not only has NOT sought permission from the Legislature for its wolf policy and practices, it has actually outright ignored legislative direction).

An Idaho clone of that same bill was introduced in the Idaho Legislature in 2009. That bill didn’t pass in 2009. We fell three votes short in the Senate. However, we will be back with that bill in 2011, introduced again by Senator Joe Balyeat (R-Bozeman). With substantially improved public sentiment (improved for state control of wolves), I believe we can get this bill passed.

About the three states hiring an attorney to “negotiate” with the USFWS, I believe that is a ploy invented to help persuade the Montana Legislature to not pass the 2011 version of SB 183 (no bill number yet for 2011). Heck, the feds know that the wolf train wreck can no longer be camouflaged. They definitely do not want to be seen as having their hand on the throttle of the train when it comes completely off the tracks. They want out, right now. So, there’s nothing for them to “negotiate.” Even if something reasonable could be negotiated with the USFWS, the results of that negotiation would and could not bind the federal courts or those suing to allow the wolf rampage to continue unabated.

So, there is zero potential benefit to the three states negotiation with the USFWS, EXCEPT that Montana and Idaho wildlife managers can warn their legislatures to hold off on corrective legislation while “delicate negotiations” are in progress to magically solve the entire wolf problem.

Ditto for the secret (and thereby illegal in Montana) negotiations that are rumored to be going on between state wildlife agencies and Defenders of Wildlife and EarthJustice, the plaintiffs in the pending suit to block wolf delisting. Absolutely nothing binding can come from any such negotiations. They are designed only to give state wildlife administrators a reason to ask state legislatures to hold off on stronger legislative medicine while the wildlife agencies continue to cooperate with the stall tactics that are an ongoing win for the wolf advocates.

Negotiations are a ruse – just another tactic to stall any real solution while wolves put an end to hunting.

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana

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