MWF requests veto of seven anti-predator bills
The Montana Wildlife Federation submitted a letter to Gov. Gianforte this week requesting vetoes of seven bills that amount to an extreme change in decades of management of predator wildlife species in the state.
“Our ethical lines are meant to maintain fair chase for all wildlife, protect other wildlife species from incidental capture and injury, and uphold values and practices that sustain the public’s respect for hunters and hunting,” Tom Puchlerz, MWF president, said in the letter. “That line is clearly being crossed this legislative session through a suite of bills that amount to an all-out fervor against predator species.”
The letter requests vetoes of bills that collectively would allow snaring, night spotlighting, and baiting of wolves. They would also create a bounty for wolves, and allow the take of multiple wolves with one license in an effort to drive their numbers down to a bare minimum number.
Black bear hunting in Montana would change too. One bill, HB 468, would allow the use of hounds to pursue black bears and create a spring chase season.
Grizzly bears, which remain protected as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, would have their management changed under two bills. One would bar Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks’ bear managers from relocating any bear found outside the federal recovery zones. Another bill would allow people to kill any bear perceived as threatening livestock, which runs counter to federal protections.
MWF as the leading wildlife conservation and sporting organization in Montana supports science-based management of wildlife, including fair chase hunting. But these bills ignore decades of state leadership in management that has resulted in reduced livestock depredations, fewer human conflicts with proper prevention efforts, and solid conservation outcomes. That has come as these species have been conserved in the state.
READ THE LETTER HERE: MWF veto request for anti-predator bills