Wolf Hunt Motive Revealed: It’s All About The $$$$$!

September 16, 2009

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park  and Idaho in 1995 only for the states to now profit  from their deaths fourteen years later.  How disgusting.  The feds should be proud of themselves.

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Wolf hunt a $167K boon to FWP coffers

By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian | Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 6:15 am

Tuesday’s expanded wolf hunting season passed without a hunter filling a tag in Montana or Idaho, but wildlife managers in both states made a killing.

At $19 apiece, Montana wolf hunters have added more than $167,000 to the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks general license account since wolf tags went on sale Sept. 1. Only about 40 of 8,796 licenses sold went to out-of-state hunters, who paid $350 for the opportunity.

Idaho has sold about 14,500 tags. At $11.50 for in-state hunters, that’s an over-the-counter windfall of nearly $167,000.

Montana has a quota of 75 wolves to be shot by hunters in the 2009 big-game season. Wolf hunting opened Tuesday in four remote, backcountry hunting districts, with the rest of the state closed until the regular season opens Oct. 25.

Idaho has a limit of 220 wolves. It opened two remote districts to hunting Sept. 1 and two more Tuesday. The rest of the state opens Oct. 1.

License proceeds in both states go into their respective big-game license accounts and are not earmarked or otherwise separated for specific purposes.

“We must get authority from the next Legislature for how to spend that money,” said FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim. “The FWP commissioners would also have to approve the plan. We have no proposals yet for what to do with the money.”

One proposal that could be coming is a need to replace federal wolf management funds. While gray wolves were protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service either did much of the wolf research and monitoring itself, or provided grants to state wildlife managers to do the same.

In fiscal 2008, Montana received $641,000 to manage wolves under contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In fiscal 2009, that figure is expected to fall to $396,000, and continue dropping.

“Right now it’s all federal tax dollars, and we’ve been paying the states to do the work,” said FWS wolf program coordinator Ed Bangs. “But we can’t use Endangered Species Act money for animals that are delisted.”

In the three-state Northern Rocky Mountains region, the federal government spent about $3.4 million to manage about 1,645 wolves last year. That’s much more expensive than the efforts of Midwestern wolf states like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, Bangs said. Those states have about 4,000 wolves and a total budget of about $500,000.

“Over there, they’ve got big forests, so many deer, and a generally low-level of conflict,” he said. (as if the Northern Rockies doesn’t have a large prey base and forests, nice try Ed.)

“They don’t have our open range and public lands issues. Out here, we started a fairly intensive management program, with radio-collaring and tracking and flying. People here want pretty intensive management. All that costs money. In time, the wolf will be just another animal, and the price will go way down.” (Translation: The Great Lakes Region is more tolerant and big ranching doesn’t run the show “out there”)

http://www.missoulian.com/news/local/article_bffd2588-a276-11de-a7f8-001cc4c002e0.html

*Blue italics mine

Posted in: Montana Wolves, Howling for Justice

Tags: gray wolf/canis lupus, greed motivates wolf hunt, $$$$$$

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