16 Feb 2009, 3:21pm
by admin

The Montana Wolf Recovery Act

Montana State Senator Joe Balyeat has introduced Senate Bill 183 - 2009, the “Montana Wolf Recovery Act” for consideration by the Montana Legislature.

SB 183 will accomplish the following, if passed:

- Declare Montana authority for wildlife management and challenge federal authority to force wolves on Montana;

- Remove Montana from cooperation with the feds by voiding the cooperative management agreement between Montana and the feds and voiding the fed-driven Montana Wolf Management Plan;

- Declare that federal wolves are not in compliance with Montana wolf policy;

- Establish benchmarks that the feds must meet to bring federal wolves into compliance with Montana wolf policy; and

- Establish consequences for any period that federal wolves are not in compliance with Montana wolf policy.

The text of SB 183 is [here]. The stated purposes are to:

(1) prevent the decline of wild game animal populations in Montana because of wolf predation and preserve the heritage of harvesting those game animals for Montanans pursuant to Article IX, section 7, of the Montana constitution;

(2) protect the stockgrowers of Montana from economic loss because of wolf predation;

(3) provide for the health and safety of people working outdoors or engaged in outdoor recreation; and

(4) assert the rights of Montana pursuant to the 9th and 10th amendments to the United States constitution and Article I of the Montana constitution.

SB 183 establishes as State policy that the wolf population in Montana must be “at or below 150% of the target population of 150 wolves.” Further, the bill calls for the elimination of “breeding pair” as a “term or concept applied to quantification of gray wolf recovery or maintenance.”

SB 183 also prohibits the issuance of citations or arresting of persons for “taking a wolf on state or private property or possessing a wolf carcass or any parts of a wolf taken on state or private property” as long as wolves number more than the target population. The State will “reimburse reasonable costs and attorney fees to any Montana resident accused by the United States of illegally taking a wolf on state or private property.”

SB 183 also prohibits the Montana Fish and Wildlife Dept. from expending any state resources, including money and time, to implement or enforce any federal wolf policies as long as wolves number more than the target population.

Further explanation of SB 183 is [here].

A News Release from the Montana Shooting Sports Association regarding the Montana Wolf Recovery Act is [here].



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