The comments below are responses to my email exchanges with Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks. To read this document, click here. (To download this PDF, control-click for Mac or right-click for PC).
Readers can now comment and exchange ideas about the government's handling of wolf management in Montana. Before commenting, please read the email exchanges first so that informed and thoughtful opinions can be expressed. Then, let's hear what you have to say!
The Submit button will become active only when entries have been made in all fields, and when the "I agree" box is checked.
Jay, you are my hero.
I only recently became aware of the situation over there, as I am from South Africa. To say that I am appalled at the state of affairs would be putting it mildly! I have realised that the management of our wildlife over here is light years ahead of the management over there, where hunters and organisations such as the SCI are pandered to on every level by the authorities. It doesn't take much investigating (from another continent!) to discover that many officials making these 'management' decisions are themselves hunters, and that ecosystems are purposefully and continuously thrown out of balance to justify hunting and maintain high numbers of game to enable higher hunting quotas. Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is certainly the impression that I get.
I am by no means an expert, and do not claim to be, but I have studied advanced Canine Behaviour over here (obtaining the highest score in the country-91% :) , and I am a passionate advocate for all things canid. I commend and appreciate your efforts and "dogma" in this field and I have learned much from your articles.
Population control and all other issues aside, the fact that snares and leg hold traps (never mind shooting and bow-hunting!) are sanctioned by the authorities is simply mind-boggling! In a "first world country" and,to add insult to injury, based on 'guestimated' figures and propaganda! Politically motivated interference in ESA legislation to get the Gray Wolf de-listed, and prevent it from being re-listed in the future, setting a very dangerous precedent in the management of endangered species?! Insane.
I do feel incredibly helpless in this whole situation, having realised recently how this whole hunting mentality is so deeply entrenched in American culture. I console myself with the fact that slavery was once just so deeply entrenched- and that it was eventually abolished through the tireless efforts of the minority.
I have sent a letter to The White House expressing my concerns and opinions, and shared these with around 800 like-minded people on my page and around 17 000 people on two other pro-wolf pages, hoping to make a difference, or at least, raise awareness of the situation.
I thank you, again, for your tenacity and dedication to the cause.
Much love and respect,
- Laura Law
I have read the emails between you and the Montana FWP and I have to say, I am not surprised that they will not answer your questions, probably because they have been "caught" inflating the wolf numbers just to appease the hunters and other people who just hate wolves for no good reason and want to see them eradicated. It is very sad that wildlife cannot remain just that - wildlife - and live without being constantly harrassed and killed unnecessarily.
- Kathryn Watkins
Thank you for a great site. I do wolf education in Michigan and northern Wisconsin. I have serious concerns for the wolves of the Great Lakes Region. The Wisconsin Governor just this month signed into law a wolf hunting/
trapping season based on emotion not science. Allowing for a season from 10/15 through February and allows part of the season to hunt with dogs and night hunting. Wolves will be harassed 4 months through breeding season. I am dismayed that no National organization has stepped in and Feds will not get involved until wolf numbers drop so low that their populations are no longer viable.
- Nancy Warren
At the moment I am living in Mexico, but plan to move in the near future to the U:S: I have worked for the Mexican wolf for a long time and now with the sad news coming from the Northwester states I feel we must learn as much as possible and unite in a front to stop this madness. Thank you for what you do.
- Patricia Gonzalez Lamb
It's obvious that turning wolf management over to the
state(s) is a terrible idea. Fish & game departments are fronts for the hunting industry & have little to do with management & cosnervation in it's true sense. The public is no longer buying hunter 'management' propaganda & the over-used reasons as to why our beautiful wildlife must be exploited by sportsmen & will continue to challenge the hunting industry & state game & fish commissions who think they are the only rightful stakeholders of public wildlife.
- Karen Hackey
I am a wolf activist from logan utah. And I agree with your findings how we get them to see this and realize the hunts of wolves must stop!!!!
- tracy swenson
You are to be applauded for creating such a significant forum for this discussion. And it should be discussed. At so many levels of our society common sense, science, truth, and independent thought are being thrown out the window in the interest of either financial or political expediency.
The case against the Montana department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is undeniable. After careful analysis of factual data, and their own words, there is truly only one of two conclusions that can be drawn...1). With the clear agenda of political expediency, and financial gain in mind, they are flat out lying about their data,...or 2). They are lazy and inept in the extreme. Or I suppose it could be a combination of both. Either way the taxpayers,who write their pay checks, are most certainly not getting their money's worth.
Regardless of the myriad of political agendas, and bias that exist, there should be a level of integrity and leadership by someone at FWP to at least deal in the truth. Striving to gain that truth through scientific analysis that can be reviewed.
Alas Kent Laudon, Jim Williams, Jim Sutterfield, Joe Maurier, and Mike Volesky are all cogs in a machine which daily calculates just how precisely to lie and to whom, so as to perpetuate the mandated agenda.Their goal at the end of the day is to keep their jobs. How refreshing would it be if just one of them could throw their arrogance, ignorance, and self interest aside, take a leadership role and demand that the work be done to establish a long lasting scientifically truthful form of management? I can only hope, and the signs are looking good, that Washington State does not follow Montana in it's approach to Wolf Management.
- Scott A. Sayler
Jay, I sent the following email to Senator Tester and as expected, he never responded to me.
From your tone and the stating that this is "good news" one can only assume that you are happy with sneaking a provision into a budget bill to de-list Montana's wolves from the endangered species list. I'm sure that you are delighted that you got this passed without the need for any judicial review. You obviously assume that the wolf population in Montana is recovered to the point that they no longer need Federal protection. In order for your assumption to be true, you must also believe that the FWP report on the number of wolves in Montana is also correct. I would invite you to do a bit more research into this subject. The annual report published by the FWP is flawed in many ways, to the extent that they can not know the actual number of wolves in the state. Please read and review a critical analysis of the FWP report and the issues that the report raises. Independent biologist Jay Mallonee of Wolf and Wildlife Studies has published a paper which I invite you do download, read, and study the facts for yourself: http://wolfandwildlifestudies.com/downloads/huntingwolvesinmontana.pdf
After reading the paper and personally verifying Mr. Mallonee's claims, it is clear that FWP has NO IDEA of the total number of wolves in the state. Furthermore, their estimations are flawed to the point of being unreliable and nonscientific. Clearly this is not the type of data that should be used to make a determination of an animals endangered or recovered status. In light of this, there is not sufficient scientific evidence to claim that the wolf population is recovered to the point that Federal protection is not required and they should be de-listed. Also, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that wolves cause sufficient depredation or impact deer and elk in any scientifically significant way. All of this information comes from the governments OWN data, papers and reports. Please take time to look up this information and inform yourself of the facts before you pass legislation focused at destroying wildlife to satisfy the unfounded claims and expectations of someones opinion. Let's be rational, use science and common sense and study the FACTS before we potentially harm any wildlife species.
I am sure that you, Senator Tester, will not be the actual person reading this message. I am sure some staff member or aide will respond and tell me that this is what EVERYONE in the state of Montana wants. The actual potential of this message ever getting to you is small, but there is still hope. Hope that rational minds will prevail, that science and reason will rule out over the hatred and bigotry toward wolves, and hope that you may actually study the FACTS in this case and do what is necessary to protect ALL of Montana's wildlife.
- Calvin Hill