Action Alert courtesy of Ilona Popper.
1. Call each Montana Fish, Wildlife, Parks Commissioner:
Tim Aldrich, (406) 241-7164 (I just had a great conversation with him!) Dan Vermillion, Chairman (406) 222-0624 or firstname.lastname@example.org (our district) Richard Stuker, Vice-Chairman (406) 357-3495 Logan Brower, (406)230-2188 Shane Colton, (406) 259-9986
2. Go to the meeting on Jan 24 and speak up. Bozeman or Helena.
The most important points are:
1. We thank FWP for proposing a quota of 2 wolves in unit 316 and 2 wolves in unit 313 and we ask that the Commissioners vote to approve these quotas.
2. We want to see FWP protect wolves in this area and keep quotas low and even lower in 313/316 to support wolf tourism and research.
• Studies show that density of predators like wolves and lions can lower the rates of Chronic Wasting Disease in elk and deer. (sources: N. Thompson Hobbs wrote “A Model Analysis of Effects of Wolf Predation on the Prevalence of Chronic Wasting Disease in Elk Populations of Rocky Mountain National Park.” by Hobbs and “Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer,” lead author Caroline E. Krumm.)
• There already is plenty of “trophy hunter opportunity” for wolves nearby in Gardiner Basin, Paradise Valley and throughout Montana.
• Wolves in Gardiner basin (and throughout Montana) take very few livestock.
3. We support FWPs review of the ways that they count wolves in Gardiner basin to better reflect the actual resident packs and the numbers of wolves that regularly use this area. If the count inaccurately comes out to 30 resident wolves, as it did in 2016, quotas may be set too high and too many wolves removed.
Current FWP surveys show 12-15 resident wolves in this area, and as territorial animals, they mostly keep other wolves out. At the proposed total quota of 4, we will kill 25% to 33% of the wolves in Gardiner basin. (FWP claims people may kill up to 29% without harm to the population, but we want to see a far lower percentage–see our point #2.)
Featured image by NPS / Jim Peaco