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Montana extends public comment phase regarding wolf hunts

[large thumbnail url=”montana-extends-public-comment-phase-regarding-wolf-hunts” filename=”news” year=”2009″ month=”12″ day=”07″] [thumbnail icon url=”montana-extends-public-comment-phase-regarding-wolf-hunts” filename=”news” year=”2009″ month=”12″ day=”07″] The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission will postpone consideration of next year’s wolf hunting season until spring to allow more time for public comment, FWP officials said today.  

The commission was set to consider a wolf hunting season proposal, among several other big game and upland bird hunting proposals for 2010-11, on Thursday, Dec. 10, in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Montana State Capitol in Helena.

“With elk, deer, antelope, upland game birds and other seasons on the agenda, commissioners have a full plate to consider,” said Quentin Kujala, FWP’s wildlife management section supervisor. “We know there’s tremendous interest in wolves this year, so we want to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to express their views and opinions. By moving the wolf discussion closer to spring, and after the commission’s considers other big game seasons, we’ll free up time and space for Montana’s wolf hunt to be properly considered by the public and commission alike.”

Typically, FWP hosts more than 40 public meetings statewide in January to discuss hunting season proposals. The sessions attract hundreds of hunters, outfitters, landowners and others seeking to learn more and to comment on proposed hunts, quotas, and seasons.

Last year, FWP received and considered more than 180 public comments on wolf quotas alone. More than 600 comments were received in January 2008, when Montana presented its first wolf hunting season proposal.

“It’s clear that wolves generate a lot of attention,” Kujala said. “We’ll clear the table by focusing on big game and game birds this winter to ensure that wolves get a proper hearing in the spring and early summer of 2010 and still have time to set regulations for the fall hunting season.”

The Montana State Capitol is on the 1200 block of E. Sixth Ave. in Helena. The FWP Commission meeting, usually the year’s most well attented, will begin at 8:30 a.m.   Live a udio of the meeting will be streamed via FWP’s Web site at fwp.mt.gov. Click the live audio button available Dec. 10. TVMT, a state run television service, will broadcast the meeting live to more than 40 communities via local cable providers. A full agenda and list of issues is available online at http://fwp.mt.gov. Click “FWP Commission,” then click “Meetings.”

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