Judge rules against suspending Montana wolf hunts – Killing is ok

Lee Heidhues 12.4.2022

The cruelty inflicted on wolves in Montana is reprehensible and shameful.

The Federal government is equally to blame for this carnage by not putting a stop to this senseless slaughter.

It was bad enough when Donald Trump permitted the killing of wolves.

It’s worse that the Biden Administration, which preaches its love of the environment, allows this mayhem to continue against one of the original inhabitants of North America. Wolves need to be protected.

Fortunately in California wolves are a protected species.

Since 2014, gray wolves are listed as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act and federal Endangered Species Act. The “take” of a gray wolf is prohibited anywhere in the state, including to hunt, pursue, harass, catch, capture, or kill. There is no hunting season for wolves in California.



Excerpted from Montana Free Press 11.29.2022

A Helena judge reinstated the 2022-2023 wolf hunting and trapping regulations passed by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission Tuesday in a ruling that rejected environmental groups’ request for an order halting wolf hunting and trapping while the larger issue of Montana’s wolf management is weighed by courts.

Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Christopher Abbott’s order also dissolved his Nov. 15 restraining order that had temporarily reinstated regulations from 2020-2021, before the Legislature passed four bills aimed at reducing wolf populations. The management framework adopted by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission after those bills became law legalizes neck snares, loosens quotas in areas bordering national parks and raises the bag limit dictating how many wolves individual hunters and trappers can kill. 

Plaintiffs WildEarth Guardians and Project Coyote had filed suit against the commission and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks on Oct. 28. They argue that laws passed by the Legislature and regulations adopted by the commission run counter to the public trust doctrine enshrined in the Montana Constitution, which requires the state to manage natural resources like wildlife to preserve them for future generations.

In an emailed release about the decision, WildEarth Guardians carnivore coexistence advocate Lizzy Pennock said plaintiffs will “keep fighting for Montana’s wolves in the courtroom while our case carries on and outside the courtroom in every way possible.”

The lawsuit comes as the Biden administration weighs reinstating federal protections for gray wolves.

In September of 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service examined petitions to restore Endangered Species Act protections to gray wolves of the West and determined that there was enough evidence to merit closer study of gray wolves’ viability, due in part to wolf management frameworks in Idaho and Montana. That assessment was supposed to be completed within a year but is still ongoing.