Montana governor authorizes wolf kills
Gray wolves are at the center of long-running tensions between Montana ranchers and the federal government.
February 17th, 2011
03:32 PM ET

Montana governor authorizes wolf kills

Entire packs of endangered gray wolves may be killed under new directives from Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Schweitzer ordered wildlife officers not to investigate or prosecute ranchers who shoot wolves that attack livestock, and he authorized the killing of entire packs that endanger livestock or elk.

The Democratic governor outlined his initiative Wednesday in a defiant letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a copy of which was published on Schweitzer's website.

"At this point, I can do nothing less and still maintain my commitment as Governor to uphold the rights of our citizens to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana's cherished wildlife heritage and traditions," Schweitzer wrote.

Montana livestock producers are frustrated over rules that protect wolves, which were hunted to near-extinction in the early 20th century.

Gray wolves killed livestock at a rate of one animal per day in 2009, including 148 sheep in one herd in August that year, the Missoulian newspaper reported.

Kendra Barkoff, a spokeswoman for the Department of Interior, told the Missoulian that wolf management should be turned over to states with approved management plans.

"But the governor's letter is not the answer," she added.

"It's unnecessarily heavy-handed," said Mike Leahy, director of the Rocky Mountain region for Defenders of Wildlife. "Any concerns that wolves create can be addressed in a targeted fashion, and there's no reason for states to start whacking wolves in large numbers."

"The frustration over wolf impacts on the ground is overblown," he added. "These are impacts that are manageable."

Gray wolves were listed as an endangered species in 1973. They were briefly delisted in 2009, but a 2010 federal court order put them back on the list (PDF), and the federal government issued a rule in October to comply with the order.

Montana's two U.S. senators, Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester, introduced legislation last week to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list.

As of December 2009, there were 319 wolves in the Northwest Montana population zone (PDF), 173 of them adults, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There were 106 in the Yellowstone National Park population zone (PDF), where wolves were reintroduced as an experiment in the mid-1990s.

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Filed under: Animals • Environment • Montana • Nature • Politics • U.S. • Wolves
soundoff (1,003 Responses)
  1. Steve G

    "endangered" is a political, not biological, classification. As a species, canis lupis is thriving quite well in Alaska and Canada.

    February 18, 2011 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mari

    Even my 13 year old can see the negative impact this may have on the ecosystem. The fat cats NEVER see the big picture!

    February 18, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Name*Kevin

    I think that is wrong for the government to say that it's alright to go and start killing this animals.that have fight so hard to come back.there r other ways.and I'm a hunter and have been all my life.that would be like going to these other country and shooting everybody because they are protesting in the streets.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dennis

    One animal a day for the entire state. You'd think ranchers were made of stronger stuff.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Loriel

    Another vicotory for the land grubbing ranchers who won't stop until they drive every native animal out of the cattle states. When does this madness stop? Wolves are making a comeback that was a long, hard fight. They are a valuable part of the ecosystem. I cannot believe that any real hunter would defend this decision. Why? Because it threatens their kills of the wolve's food animals? Where is your sense of self-respect? You call yourselves outdoorsmen? I am disgusted. But then again, I find myself being disgusted every time I read the news lately. Humans are our own worst enemy.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. violinner

    We owe our humanity to the domestication of dogs from wolves. Respect is due.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Are these ranchers grazing their livestock on public land, or their own private land? This is an all important question. In my opinion, the ranchers have some right to protect their investment, or be reimbursed for their loss by the government, as long as this is happening on private land. If the ranchers are using private land, them they forfeit that right.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • ThingsRbad

      Even if they graze on public land, it is leased from the government. There are entire elk herbs and deer herds that have been wipped out byt the wolves too. Nobody wants to eliminate the wolves, they want to reduce them so that there is a balance. This 319 number is off anyway, they should use better data from the biologists. My wife is a member of the Humane Society and I have read their aritcles on wolves. They are written without any facts and have the sole intent to get an emotional response. Then I read an article with facts from the biologists that manage them and then you see how the Human Society is preying on people that are ignorant on this subject. These groups like the Human Society use their monay to tie up millions in lawsuits to protect the wolves. The very same wolves that hunting licenses and hunting tax money paid for the wolf recovery. All I ask is that people open their eyes and use factual information to make their decisons.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      This is great news. I only wish the would declare open season on Deer. Deer and Wolves are a plauge and serve no real purpose. They need about a 75% culling. But of course the idiot liberal protesters that haven't a clue but lots of time will find a reason to complain about everything.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • girl54

      Kill off an endangered keystone predator and you'll reap what you sow. The absence of wolves in Yellowstone changed the entire ecosystem; trees stopped growing, rivers widened and species like beaver were gone from the park. They are part of what keeps the natural system in balance. Without them, there may very well be nothing for the cattle to graze on if they are competing for vegetation with other species that are allowed to reproduce unchecked without a predator to even out their numbers.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Another Jeff

      I think the governor is wrong, but to say that we owe our humanity to domesticated dogs ? That's exactly why nobody takes PETA or these other groups seriously. They are just as crazy as the completely opposite-minded redneck who kills everything that walks on four feet for sport.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ashamed

      @Jane Your igrnorance/arrogance/naivety is remarkable and leads me to believe that you serve no usefull purpose.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • onasander

      recommend one of those otherwise pointless and paranoid Montana militias take their mini-tank and a few squads of hillbilly light infantry- and have themselves a wolf massacre at a location remote from likely crossing by police or rangers, but well near the lay of the wolf. Hillbilly is part of the circle of life, and they are a endangered species near wiped out by the legislature- I recommend to the militias to reintroduce them this Saturday back to the wilds- until the wolves are thinned back down enough that natural selection kicks in making human livestock taste nasty to them.

      Might also do something to force a reexamination of governments role in ecoterrorism once they realize leaving the population defenseless results in not just a unjust tyranny on their part, but the emergence of a natural power vacuum that will enevirably be filled by the ones who have the most to loose, underground if necessary.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • ol cranky

      @Tom – I'm pretty sure the ranchers ARE reimbursed for loss of livestock due to wolves

      February 18, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Osborne

      I Wolves are really cool individuals who have a great sense of humor. In fact I believe, when Judgement Day comes around, wolves will score better on their virtue tests than will we humans... and thank God for those Montana militias who will save America from the wolf. What men are these brave and fearless warriors of Montana?

      February 18, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • KLS

      This legislation is extremely short-sighted. In northern Minnesota there has been a large wolf population for decades. Studies by US Fish and Wildlife Biologists show that wolf predation has a negligible effect on deer and moose populations, and actually strengthens the herd by culling out animals that may be ill. Anyone who states that the wolves in Montana are killing entire herds of deer and elk are simply mistaken. Either leave the wolves alone or have a managed hunt, but hunting them to extinction is just dumb. In any incident where wolves have been proven to kill livestock, simply reimburse the rancher. That has been a common practice for many years.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Scot Haig

      RE:girl54

      Kill off an endangered keystone predator and you'll reap what you sow. The absence of wolves in Yellowstone changed the entire ecosystem; trees stopped growing, rivers widened and species like beaver were gone from the park. They are part of what keeps the natural system in balance. Without them, there may very well be nothing for the cattle to graze on if they are competing for vegetation with other species that are allowed to reproduce unchecked without a predator to even out their numbers.

      THIS IS AN EXCELLENT AND EDUCATED POST!!!

      February 18, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      Jane,
      I'm just wondering, in your opinion, What 'real purpose' do we humans serve?

      Also, are you aware that the recent mass extinction of species, both flora a fauna, as well as the over-breeding of live stock have the best minds on the planet concurring that the human race is next.
      This is as much about human survival as it is the wolves, or whales or oceans. Industry big wigs have their own agenda, but it's not in your best interests.

      February 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe Smith

    We steal their habitat and now we want the poor beasts to eat straw? 319 is not a lot of wolves!

    February 18, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • fjamesgang

      319 wolves = 319 dead deer,elk,livestock per week. Same as a couger, one large animal per week. Add this up over a one year peeriod! You do the math!! I have seen the results with my own eyes, you? Deer are gone in n.w. montana. Who's sticking up for the deer and elk!

      February 18, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Razuvious

      @fjamesgang: It's called the circle of life and I don't mean Disney's Lion King either. So get over it. 319 wolves is not alot. There are better ways to prevent loss of deer, elk and livestock than just going out and shooting them. If you hate them so much, go out with tranquilizers and remove them from the state. What is being proposed is no less than murder to living beings that have as much right to live there as anyone else.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • ThingsRbad

      Who will pay to tranq all these wolves and move them? Your suggestion is a joke, it really is. All the anit hunting groups do is sue over and over to "protect" wildlife. Yet they NEVER use their money to actually DO something positive for wildlife. Log onto the PETA and Humane Society sites and read where all their money goes. There wouldn't be half as many elk or deer if it weren't for the money from hunting to support our wildlife agencies.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • maybe

      But half of it can (literally) tear you apart in a matter of seconds.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • fjamesgang

      @RAZUVIOUS Pull your head out. 319 wolves in northwestern montana not the U.S. This isn't counting Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Michigan ect. There are several thousand in the lower 48 total. They reached their target numbers in 2001 and now are over populated for the amount of wild lands left. They have wiped out the food supply in these areas and then resort to killing livestock. Not brain surgery just over population for the available resources.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      All predators have a place in the ecosystem. The problem is that MAN has overpopulated, and has taken over much of the areas that our wildlife would inhabit. Wolves, coyote's, fox, mountain lions are all natural predators that help to cull the herds, obvioulsy their numbers have not grown much, due to man's idea that they are worthless. So my question is: Could it actually be over hunting by man that has caused the imbalance? Or possibly just man's greed over getting a trophy kill that has many up in arms? As for the ranchers, I do feel their pain, and they should be allowed to protect their investments, however the government DOES have a program that will reimburse for livestock lost to wolves. And as a rancher, this is a condition of employment....they have predators. Kill all the natural predators and we will be overrun with rabbits, mice, rats, snakes....even birds. But of course then man will just complain about that as well.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Satirev

      "over population for the available resources."

      February 18, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • fjamesgang

      There is a reason your great grand parents killed off the wolves. They liked deer,elk,livestock better.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Satirev

      "over population for the available resources."

      No species fits that statment better than humans.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Wolves are very prolific. As of the end of this year I got a list from Montana Fish Wildlife and parks that has about 1700 wolves in this area. One elk herd alone has gone from over 2000 head of elk to between 600 and 700 in just 2 years. There are no calves because the wolves rune the cows so much that they cannot carry their young. wolves are way out of balance.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • ThingsRbad

      Charlotte- Your ingorance is amazing. Do some research and read what it takes for the ranchers to actually get reimbursed for thier livestock. Less than half of wolf killed livestock are reimbursed to ranchers. Maybe you should read up and find out why.

      And you other idiots that think it's ok to protect wolves soley because man is over poplulated...... Nevermind.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Read People!

      @fjamesgang – the article states 1 (ONE) livestock animal killed per day, which equals 7 per week, NOT 319. If they kill deer or elk, so be it. They are are not anyone's property and are the natural prey of wolves. Also (@ you and @Amanda), we're talking about the endangered GRAY wolf. Yes, there are several thousand wolves in the lower 48, but not several thousand of the GRAY wolf. There are many different kinds of wolves, just like humans come in many different races, dogs in many different breeds, etc. Some people really need to go back to school and take a course in reading comprehension.

      I have family in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Just drive around out there and tell me how well these cattle ranchers secure their land and protect their livestock. They could start by putting up fences that consist of more then a few logs that stop at knee height. Oh the poor ranchers!! When a cow decides to lay down in the middle of the public road and my father hits it with his car (at 2am), he owes the rancher money for his dead cow. Never mind that my dad and his partner could have been killed by the free roaming cow and that the car was totaled.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Scot Haig

      RE:Read People!

      @fjamesgang – the article states 1 (ONE) livestock animal killed per day, which equals 7 per week, NOT 319. If they kill deer or elk, so be it. They are are not anyone's property and are the natural prey of wolves. Also (@ you and @Amanda), we're talking about the endangered GRAY wolf. Yes, there are several thousand wolves in the lower 48, but not several thousand of the GRAY wolf. There are many different kinds of wolves, just like humans come in many different races, dogs in many different breeds, etc. Some people really need to go back to school and take a course in reading comprehension.

      OK, SO ONLY ONE SPECIES OF WOLVES IN NORTH AMERICA
      CANIS LUPUS- aka GRAY WOLF, TIMBER WOLF, THAT BEAST THAT EATS FIDO...
      TWO DISTINCT SUBSPECIES INCLUDE THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED "RED WOLF" CANIS LUPUS RUFUS
      AND THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED "MEXICAN GRAY WOLF" CANIS LUPUS BAILEYI
      Nowhere south of of Canada can any kind of race of wolf be considered abundant.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Cryssi

      I really canot believe some conmments i have read. Montana does not want to kill every wolf and every state in the united states has or still does hunt things so they dont become over populated and people dont get upset because those animals arent as pretty or what ever. the storey by cnn is very misleading about the wolf pop great job cnn anythinf for better ratings

      February 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kenny

    The DC crowd has no idea. The wolves are taking over the state of ID and MT has a fair amount too. Let the states manage the numbers. Anyone that has not hiked or spent time in the backcountry will not get it. They are an amazing animal but need to be controlled.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Erik

      319 wolves is a 'fair amount'?

      February 18, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • mother of four

      Taking over? Really? You make it sound like there are thousands. In the hundreds of thousands of acres of ranches in Montana–319 is hardly "taking over". Do the wolf packs need management? Yes. To be eradicated–which is what will happen if the governor's plan is implemented–no.

      And 319 is hardly sufficient numbers to declare a species safe to remove from an endangered species list.

      This isn't just about the stock. This is about the big game people worrying about the natural reduction in numbers of Elk–numbers that actually needed to be reduced. People go to Montana and SD to hunt–big game ranches, hunting guides, etc are big business up there.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Lil Irish

      Kenny you are an IDIOT. 500 wolves in our entire country. How much livestock do you own?? A loss of 10% is usual business. Deal with it. And yup, I've hiked (and lived in) Idaho and Montana. It is possible to protect your livestock. Hire some illegals. But a loss of 10% of your livestock – raise your prices – I'd gladly pay more for your meat (if I ate any) to protect the wolf

      February 18, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      I see, so DC has no idea. That is why Montana writes their own firearms laws, with a sticker saying Made in Montana.
      Why Montana now seems to think it outranks TWO branches of the federal government!
      Perhaps it is time to determine which course we wish to follow. Either enforce FEDERAL LAW in the state that thinks it is a country OR remove them from the union and close all border entries with it.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Pickaname

      Lil Irish – I think you are an idiot. With the dismal margin on a full herd as it is- 10% would devastate even the best managed outfits. This is the problem – vegetarians such as yourself and the other northeastern environmental liberals think they know what is best for those of us who manage and take care of this land everyday. We sure as heck don't need some yuppie coming out here telling us what is acceptable and how many Wolves equate to endangered – most families have been at their ranches for well over a 100 years, live daily with these animals, and run respectable operations.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • kimberly

      Maybe you should read how mt was obtained by the US then you would understand why they can do what they do with their laws. Really love it when people run their mouth on something they just know the basics on. I love animals I eat animals I live with them if they are killing my livily hood I would do what needs to be done. Sorry that's just me

      February 18, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • lesa with an e

      This will always be a hot topic. The thing of it is this though. There will never be a balanced state between the wolves, and people. I am tired of hearing farmers whine about subsidy for lost livestock. Cut the losses-have more breeding stock. You live in an area where you are going to have losses regardless. The wolf packs do need to be managed-but just shooting random packs can also have an opposite effect on packs. They are survivors and will breed more to keep surviving as a species. And they dont breed like domesticated dogs-only two may survive. If there is going to be control-trap and spay/neuter. Most packs do NOT just kill for sport-that is not true. They will not eat diseased animals. They are wild animals that try at LEAST five times before they actually kill something . The whole introduction to massive farms has really unbalanced the food chain. Im not a liberal sypathizer-but its the truth. We eat beef here-there will be ranchers. So deal with the losses -its a business. Spay some of the dogs in the breeding packs..its simple!

      February 18, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      OMG you ignorant people read the damn article. It is 319 wolves in NW MT. Not the nation, not the whole state. Even conservative estimates put wolf populations in MT at around 600. There could easily be over 1,000 wolves in the state. Near by states like ID, MN, and Michigan have massive wolf populations as well. By pure numbers, the wolf does not belong on the endangered list, and it has been a few years since I did this but I don't believe they even qualify to be on the protected list with the rate of increase in their population.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Commenter82

      Bring the wolves to a safe and natural place. Don't kill them. It is not Justified!

      February 18, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      This is for Charlotte. The sheep herd of 148 that were killed in one day was a flock that was pure bred and had taken the family 75+ years to build. They sold these animals to other ranchers to use for breeding purposes and were worth much more than for slaughter purposes. I think that they got something like 350 each. Those rams were worth over 1000 each. They are not being compensated even close to fairly.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      Amanda, a fishy story. If those sheep were so valuable, why not better protection? Spend a little on night shift ranch hands or mastiffs? Seems like someone could have stolen them just as easily, or any other calamity. Sound more like hobbyist than professionals, or maybe weak offspring taking over the business.

      The posters who keep saying that wolves kill 'for sport' -the kills aren't consumed are making a bigger statement about the diseased quality of US livestock.

      February 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Phoenix

    It's understandable to shoot in self-defence or to protect your herds, but how many of these wolf kills will be legitimate (Like the South Park episode in regards to hunting).

    Do the politicians actually understand this solution or is it just a knee-jerk reaction to frustrated farmers because it's the simplest response to put in place?

    February 18, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • ThingsRbad

      ReaLLY?! You just compared hunting in real life to an episode of South Park? You just discredited yourself, now be quiet.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Phoenix

      @ThingsRbad, if you would bother comprehending my statement and if you understood the particular episode in reference, you might be able to grasp my point. If you wish to debate it, I welcome such argument, however to merely dismiss it without any proper retort does not make a suitable reply.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • ThingsRbad

      The politicians and wildlife managers in charge do understand the wolf situation. But who cares about what politicians say. Listem to the wildlife biologists in charge of the wolves. They all want them delisted and controilled by hunted so that they don't ruin the stability of the deer and elk in those areas. This article was obviously written by someone who favors protecting the wolves indefinately.

      With the government cutting funds to hundreds of programs, we need to control the population with a means that is proven and self supporting. Legal hunting has worked for over 50 years to control all 28 big game specieis in the US. It is also self supporting and supports many other non-hunting parks, etc.

      I was raised in an ethical hunting family. It has been part of my family since my great great grand father came to this country. I am proud of what hunting has done and protective of my rights to hunt. To hear someone compare ethical hunting to South Park gave me a "knee jerk" reaction. I don't want to debate analogies here, only facts.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      ThingsRBad, Which 'wildlife managers' do you mean? Most in Montana (Yes, I use to live there, Darby to be exact.) said that US wolf populations aren't diverse enough, that breeding too closely will produce genetic defects. I took that to mean more packs were needed.

      South Park? Which episode #, do you know? I missed that one ; )

      February 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kburns

    Maybe we should start whacking people from Montana if they start threatening OUR safety...

    February 18, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • CBGUS

      Come on up and give it a try.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • SharBear

      @CBGUS...LOL! Your comment made my morning!

      February 18, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Erik

    This sickens me. Wolves are a magnificent animal and the world will be a poorer place without them. There is certainly a better compromise to a problem than this.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. MacDaddy

    I have lost faith in the intelegence of our nation. People have honestly posted some stupid coments that have nothing to do with the people of MT. When did the killing of something or someone become so taboo. It is all a natrual order of things and always will be.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • BK

      Excuse me, but killing Wolves with rifles is not the natural order of things.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • MacCorrector

      You misspelled the word "intelligence".

      February 18, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Lil Irish

      What about the PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES? You are not an island. Deal with the livestock losses instead of killing off the last of our natural wildlife. Bad enough what you did to the buffalo.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Mac, I've lost faith in the intelligence of our nation as well. Apparently, people feel that they outrank the federal government and feel that they can overrule the orders of that government.
      What is required to remind a STATE government that IT obeys the federal government? A division of damned tanks driving through your capitol?

      February 18, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      @maccorrector. Never mind the spelling of the word. It will not affect him coz he doesn't have it.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • finsnfur

      Hey antis, stop exaggerating. Montana does not want to eliminate the wolves, they want to control them. They are not going to "wipe them out", they are going to eliminate the excess. They need to be managed. If not, the deer elk & livestock will suffer. Especially the elk,. If the wolf population is not controlled, they may wipe out the elk. As for the reported 319 wolves. I don't know who was responsible for that survey but I think they missed some! There is way more than 319 wolves.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. montana1

    Who you advocate that wolves should be saved as an endangered species, do no live among them. Wolves are great, but need to be maintained by a control method of hunting. They are beautiful and useful to keep down the overgrowing elk and deer populations. Which they have done very well. Unfortunately they have turned their food needs to domestic animals, including horses. Next pets and people. They breed like dogs and the wolf population is growing. I am sure they can be trapped and added to Central Park in New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago to help with the urban coyote control. I'm sure they will stay in your park, just like you thought they would stay in Yellowstone Park. Please contact Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks and ask for your shipment of wolves. Then we will not have to shot them. Here's your chance to help your neighbors enjoy the beautiful howl.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      You are absolutely correct! Exterminate EVERY ANIMAL THAT IS NOT FARM ANIMALS!
      Moose, elk, deer, wolves, coyotes, crows, ravens, blackbirds and on until only cattle and sheep are left.
      Disobey orders of the federal government whenever you want!
      And DO feel free to join the species that you drive to extinction.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Lil Irish

      Deal with the livestock losses. Ten percent loss is not bad at all. If you think 500 wolves in the entire United States is too much, well, let's start culling your "herd" in Montana. There must be at least 500 of you. Killing off a species is NOT THE ANSWER.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      If we didn't kill every thing they eat they wouldn’t need to be “managed”.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • CNNPoke

      Montana1,

      Sorry Bubba. The wolves are only doing what wolves do. You chose to live there and raise you cattle in the wolves natural range. Sorry, that's not the wolves fault.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • wise1

      Wow, such a heated argument for such a simple issue. The issue is one of whether a person has the right to defend his property, in this case, his livelyhood, cattle. The feds are saying they do not. It is like the feds making it illegal for a shop owner to defend his business from robery. The governor did not open the door to hunting wolves in the thousands of acres of undeveloped land, he just said the state will not investigate ranchers who are defending thier property. Their is still plenty of area, such as the national parks, wilderness areas, etc. where wolves can live and breed, so they will not be eliminated, only controlled. It is easy for someone to judge what they think should happen to someone else, but if they are the victim, then their story changes. How would you like it if you wake up one morning to find your business ransacked and even 10% of your business gone. If you are robbed, you would expect the police to investigate and find the person and prosicute them, but the wolf should be exempt. Did anyone object to the killing of the bear that kills people? Yes there was an order of life and man interviened. To re-establish this order of life, we would have to put man back into the equation. That will not happen. No, you cannot raise your price, because ranchers do not set prices, they sell to the hightest bidder. Many years they sell at a loss, as they cannot afford to feed the animals over the winter because if they do, there is no way then to recoop their investment. In the long run, you think this situation with the wolf is OK, because it is not you that is harmed. Wake up and see the light.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Lil Irish and CCNPoke: I assume if thieves were breaking into your house every week and stealing 10% of all your money and possessions you would have no problem with it. Im sure you wouldnt mind the police telling you, "Hey, you decided to live in a neighborhood with people who steal, and they are only taking 10% anyway, so who cares?".

      February 18, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tom

    Agree. The law makers are clueless. I am pretty sure all they do is pick up a report and pass judgement. Spend some time in the states being impacted by the wolves and it will not take too long to see the damages. Like Kenny said, they are amazing and should be a part of the plan but need to be controlled so the deer/elk populations can be maintained. They are killers and very effective killers at that.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Conversationist

    Another naive politician. Perhaps he should do some research and find out that the killing off of the wolves is what killed Yellowstone. Yet he says he wants his citizens to "continue to enjoy Montana's cherished wildlife heritage and traditions"...got news for him, kill the wolves and the rest of the wildlife will soon follow.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I agree. Anyone but an absolute idiot would know this. This comes down to a governor protecting the interests of
      those who are paying the big bucks to his war chest.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
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