Target: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission
Goal: Commend Montana for increasing protections for Yellowstone’s Wolves
After receiving more than 25,000 comments, Montana’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks commission significantly altered its wolf hunting and trapping regulations around Yellowstone National Park. The state reduced its quota in two hunting subunits next to Yellowstone Park to a combined seven; previously, the quota was three in one subunit and there was not quota in the other. The new quota per hunter used to be five; under the new regulations it will be one.
Other regulations were made as well. Hunters will not be allowed to hunt over bait, trap sizes will be regulated so that incidental take of endangered species such as lynx and wolverine are limited, and the season was shortened by 15 days from the original proposal, though it will be about six weeks longer than last year.
About 500 wolves call Greater Yellowstone home and an estimated 80 wolves live within Yellowstone National Park. Although numbers are growing in general, Greater Yellowstone’s wolf numbers have remained steady. At least 10 Yellowstone wolves — including eight with research collars and three from the famous Mollies, Blacktail Plateau and Lamar Canyon packs — were shot by hunters in November and December 2012. The most notable death was the famous 832F, also known as the “’06 female”, shot legally by hunters some 16-18 miles outside the park in Wyoming. Her death in particular brought worldwide attention to the wolf issue in Greater Yellowstone. These wolves are some of the most viewed and photographed in the world, and their loss sent an urgent signal to leaders in the region that the way wolves are managed around Yellowstone should be reconsidered.
Dear Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission,
Thank you for changing your regulations on Yellowstone’s wolves. Reducing the quotas of wolves to be hunted goes a long way towards protecting wolves at Yellowstone National Park. I also commend you for reducing trap sizes to prevent accidental intake.
However, these regulations need to stay and grow. During the last regulation change, hunting and trapping were reopened by a judge after the the regulations were adopted. Please do not let that happen to these regulations. Keep protecting Yellowstone’s wolves.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gunnar Ries Amphibol via Wikimedia Commons