Friday, August 22, 2014

Letter to the Ed... Wildlife stamps: ‘Managing’ wolves appears to mean killing them

August 21, 2014 
 
I attended the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks public hearing on Aug. 14 on the adoption of a new rule creating “Wolf Management Stamps” for $20 apiece which would serve as a donation to FWP to generate revenues for covering the administrative costs of the program and then contribute equally to: (1) a livestock loss reduction program; (2) wolf monitoring, habitat protection, scientific research of wolves, public education and outreach activities; and (3) the hiring of additional field wardens.

My guess was that “managing” wolves was a euphemism for killing them in an orderly manner. Mankind treats wolves, and all animals, in its anthropocentric way, without due regard to what animals might want.

All seven of FWP’s regions were tied in to a video conferencing multiple hook-up, and all regions were allowed to have all of its local attendees make any respectful public comment they saw fit to go on the record. Other routes for giving comment were: submitting written comment on sheets provided; and going to the FWP website, fwp.mt.gov, and clicking on “Public Comment Wolf Stamp” in the left column.

Surprising to me, it seemed to split equally pro and con to have such a stamp program, although most who were for the program wanted it to be renamed “Wolf Conservation Stamps” so the monies would not be used to kill wolves.

The theory of the program is that ordinary citizens (non-hunters who don’t buy hunting licenses) could participate in donating to FWP’s budget for wolf management by buying stamps.

My own opinion is well-known: Wolves are a vital part of the forest wilderness and plains landscape ecosystems and must be conserved. My problem is: How do I allow myself to trust FWP to spend the “Wolf Management Stamp” money on conserving wolves and stop killing them?

Bill Baum, Kalispell

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