Montana curbs wolf hunting after 23 people have been killed from Yellowstone

Billings, Mon. (AP) — Friday’s Montana Wildlife Commissioner has moved to stop hunting gray wolves in parts of the state around Yellowstone National Park.

However, the commissioner rejected the call to revive the quota that limits the number of wolves killed along the northern border of Yellowstone to just a few per year. These long-standing allocations were lifted last year after Republicans passed legislation aimed at reducing wolf populations by making them easier to kill.

Yellowstone authorities have been putting pressure on the state since mid-December Suspend hunting in some areas Along the boundaries of the park. They said death showed a significant decline in the long-term viability of Yellowstone’s famous wolf herd.

Under a unanimous committee vote on Friday, wolf hunting and capture in southwestern Montana will be banned when the number of killed in the area reaches 82. So far, 76 people have been reported killed in the area.

Twenty-three wolves were killed from Parkpack this winter, according to Yellowstone officials. 18 in Montana, 3 in Wyoming and 2 in Idaho. This is the highest season since predators were widely decimated in the last century and then returned to the Rocky Mountains in the northern United States more than 25 years ago.

The park is now 91 wolves, said spokesman Morgan Wasin.

Prompted by ranchers and hunters who want to reduce the number of wolves, Republican Last year, Montana and Idaho relaxed hunting and capture legislation, allowing night hunting, higher harvest limits, snare use, and even aerial hunting in Idaho. Montana has also eliminated long-standing quotas.

Republican Governor Greg Gianforte told Yellowstone director Kam Shory in a recent letter that wolves could be killed under state rules when they leave the park and enter Montana.Jean Forte Caught and killed a radio-colored wolf On private land near the park from Yellowstone last year. He was later warned that he had violated state hunting rules by killing wolves without first taking a compulsory trapper education course.

Shory told the Wildlife Commissioner in a letter released Friday that the wolf in the park spends only 5% of his time outside the park. In the last three years, Sholly wrote that there was only one wolf attack on livestock in Park County, Montana, just north of Yellowstone. Such attacks are often quoted by ranchers who want to reduce the number of wolves.

According to Montana officials, the 184 wolves killed across the state so far this season are consistent with recent years. There are more than 1,000 wolves in the state.

“There is a statutory obligation to reduce wolf populations,” said Patrick Tarbol, vice chairman of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Parks Commission, prior to the vote on Friday.

However, the killings just outside Yellowstone have infuriated wildlife supporters and have led to criticism from several companies that rely on park tourism.

According to the park, one pack (Phantom Lake Pack) is considered “excluded” after almost or all of its members were killed in a two-month span starting in October.

Cara McGary, a nature guide who guides tourists on a wildlife observation trip from Gardiner, Montana to the park, says hunting along the boundaries of the park is the greatest in living so that tourists can see them. He said he targeted wolf with economic value.

“These are the most visible wolves in the 48 states of the continental United States, if not the world,” McGary said. “The same pack that clients pay me to see on all wildlife watching tours all year long … what is the legitimacy of this damage?”

The remaining wolf season in Montana will continue until March 15th. State regulations allow the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission to confirm hunting seasons in different parts of the state when individual harvest thresholds are reached, or state-wide when total numbers are killed. You can check with. Reach 450 wolves.

Increasingly aggressive attitudes towards predators among state legislators have raised concerns within the federal government that overfishing could end costly efforts to restore wolves in the western wilderness. rice field.

In September, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would investigate whether it was a federal endangered species. Protection needs to be re-imposed For more than 2,000 wolves in six states in the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States, including Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

These protections were lifted 10 years ago, partly on the basis of a guarantee that the state would maintain a viable wolf population.