HOWL Colorado

Wolves may face yet another threat in Montana

[large thumbnail url=”wolves-may-face-yet-another-threat-in-montana” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”04″ day=”05″] [thumbnail icon url=”wolves-may-face-yet-another-threat-in-montana” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”04″ day=”05″] Mark French, challenging Denny Rehberg for his Congressional seat, has stated his very aggressive anti-wolf stance. Not surprisingly, French is a rancher.

Montana Congressional challenger, Mark French, is calling for an immediate reduction of the wolf populations in Montana, citing four main points. First is the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) policy of eradicating a species that represents an “emerging threat” to a native endangered species, as has become apparent with the current non-native wolf species introduced in the state. Secondly, the presence of a harmful parasite enhanced in Montana through introduction of this non-native wolf subspecies. Third is the direct threat of domestic predation as seen last week with the miniature horses near St.Regis and the recent killing of a healthy female jogger in Alaska. Lastly is the obvious and severe decline in the wild game populations linked directly to wolf predation.

French noted the MFWP’s policy for eradicating “emerging threats” practiced during the purposeful poisoning of the Blossom Lakes and Creek Fisheries in August 2009 near Thompson Falls, Montana as well as other locations in the state. To be consistent with the MFWP’s philosophy where the “emerging threat” of the brook trout was potentially harming the viability of the native endangered bull trout, French says the state must take a studied look at the current wolf issue here in Montana. The introduced wolf is roughly twice the size of the resident endangered wolf, and comes from a Northern wolf population that is far from endangered. “Montanans suspect they have been sold a lie. They are taking action into their own hands because their government has failed them while their game herds are disappearing before their eyes,” French exclaimed.

There are many subspecies of wolves in America. Wolf advocates have classified the many wolf subspecies into 5 groups: two of which are Canis lupus nubilus (CLN), considered the category for the small “native” Montana wolf – and Canis lupus occidentalis(CLO), a far northern subspecies category for the much larger wolf that was introduced into Montana over a decade ago. It is important to note that the CLN subspecies is considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), whereas the CLO subspecies is not.

“Introduction of the CLO subspecies is not justified under the ESA,” states French, when recognizing that these wolves have a much harsher impact on the Montana environment and other native big game species than the CLN subspecies would have had. Of the greatest immediate concern is the impact of this larger more aggressive subspecies on game herds. “How can we protect this subspecies under the ESA, when it is the smaller native CLN subspecies that has qualified for threatened species protection in our state?” French asks.

In addition to the Endangered Species Act concerns, there has emerged a potentially significant public health hazard due to the parasite, E.granulosa, enhanced in our environment through introduction of the non-native wolf subspecies. This foreign parasite can potentially have incalculable negative economic impact in addition to a direct threat to domestic herd animals, pets and human health. This parasite has the potential to infect all persons involved in the handling and consumption of domestic and game animals. “Is Montana’s ranching industry prepared to weather this potentially huge economic threat? In addition, are we willing to have our people and pets threatened by attack when going out alone? asks French, a rancher, outdoorsman and medical scientist.

As the invasive brook trout was an “emerging threat” to the threatened bull trout and decisive action was taken by MFWP to remove the “emerging threat”, decisive action must be taken by MFWP against the invasive CLO wolf subspecies in order to protect the ESA threatened CLN wolf subspecies. The declining herds, domestic threats and the parasite problem seal the urgency of this decisive action.

French asks any concerned citizen to contact Joe Maurier, Director of MFWP, through Phone: 406-444-9089 ext. 2535; Email: jmaurie@mt.gov; or Fax: 406-444-4952.

Express your thoughts and request the following actions be taken immediately:

1. Immediate public hearing on this issue called within 2 weeks.

2. Open season for all legal hunters.

3. State sponsored aggressive helicopter hunting.

4. State sponsored trapping.

Once the immediate threat of this non-native wolf species is significantly reduced, Montana must retain complete wolf management responsibility as authorized under the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution.

….

Feel free to share your opinion with Mr. French.

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