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Download past issues of the Western Montana Chapter Newsletter (pdf format) by clicking on the links below. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files. It can be downloaded free of charge by visiting http://get.adobe.com/reader/.

Consider submitting an article for publication in the Western Montana Chapter Newsletter! Articles must be no more than three pages in length and must contain contact information for the author. Graphics and photos are welcome!

Email submissions to editor@westernmtsci.org

Advertising Rates
Interested in advertising in the Newsletter? 1/8 page ads should be 3.86” wide x 2.30” tall and cost $40.00 per issue. 1/4 page should be 3.86” wide x 4.60” tall for $75.00 per issue

Call our Newsletter Editor, Traci Ulberg at (406) 273-7224 to reserve your space.

 

Hunt Offer: ARGENTINA - A Dove Hunters Paradise

Perhaps it's finally time to scratch one off your "bucket list" and make that trip to the dove hunting paradise you've heard so much about----- Argentina.  If you follow dove hunting then you have certainly heard the stories, read the articles, or seen the videos about this amazing dove hunting destination.  If you have already dove hunted Argentina then you can attest to the none stop, barrel heating, unimaginable number of dove this country has to offer.  Everything you've ever read and heard about this incredible wing shooting destination is true.

The Argentina dove are known as "eared dove".  They differ from our Northern Hemisphere dove in several ways: they do not migrate (therefore year round hunting), they have no predictors, they live in a very temperate climate, and there is plenty of food for them to eat.  But the most significant difference is a hen dove will nest on average 5-7 times per year. Laying 2 eggs any resulting female chick can reproduce in just 5 months.  The  result is that there are literally millions and millions of dove and their numbers are increasing.

While various regions of Argentina have dove, the undisputed "Dove Capital of the World" is Cordoba, Argentina.  Cordoba is located a short 1 hour flight northwest of Buenos Aires. This is the destination where shooters can hunt year round, with no limits, and shooting 1,500 rounds or more per day, (365 days a year), is the norm.  The dove here number in the tens of millions and the only limiting factor on the number of  dove you will shoot is the strength of your shoulder!  You will, without question, have the opportunity to shoot more dove in just one day's hunt in Cordoba than a lifetime of shooting in Montana.

The concept of high volume dove shooting started in 1982 (35 years ago) when David Denies Bird Hunting acquired a single lodge. Due to the spectacular hunting, and equally spectacular lodges and staff, David Denies now has 3 dove hunting lodges in Cordoba.  From these 3 lodges guests shoot nearly 4 million rounds every year--that averages 11,000 rounds everyday. The shooting options here are limitless and can be customized to provide easy, difficult, rolling terrain, flat ground or whatever a guest might request.  There are no lack of birds and the hunting variations are boundless.

Dave Mellum who lives in Austin,Texas is the David Denies' USA representative.  He is also a very strong supporter of SCI.  Dave has agreed to offer any Western Montana SCI chapter member a very special rate at either of their 2 premier, 5-star dove hunting lodges (Pica Zuro or La Dormida).  Buy 2 days of hunting and he will give you the 3rd day FREE.  There are no blackout dates and no minimum number of hunters are required. 

To take advantage of this special offer, you must contact Dave at dave@daviddenies.com or cell phone 719-963-4479 . Dave can answer any of your questions on dove hunting Argentina and can assist you with planning a hunt including airfare, ground transportation, hotels and tours in Buenos Aires, private lodges, corporate hunts, etc. The company's website is www.daviddenies.com.

Lighted Nocks - Join the Debate! [January 3, 2017]

Members-

Below is the link for everyone to have their chance to voice their opinion on the lighted nocks issue that has been kicked around Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and the Montana Bowhunters Association (MBA) for about 5 years now.  FWP and the Commissioners need to hear from those of us that bowhunt.

Now is not the time to sit back and let others carry out what you might want or don't want.

Please consider submitting a personal comment to the folks who make the final decisions on these issues. The ball is in our court for the next two weeks. The link below will get you to the FWP public comment survey.

The deadline to submit comments is Friday, January 13th.  The Commission will act on this issue in the February meeting.    
       
Read the regulation.  Submit a comment.  

Your comments can be as simple as mine:

I agree with this proposal. It is simply a tool to increase the chances of recovering your game. This will allow you to better see the arrow placement and improve decision making in how to pursue the injured game.  It will also increase the chances of finding your arrow. This will better allow you to properly evaluate the situation so one can decrease the odds of a premature attempt at recovery.  It is our responsibility to do what we can, ethically, to reduce wounded game loss. 

Regards,

Matt Ulberg, President
Western Montana Chapter 

Open letter to SCI members and friends of SCI, Nov. 24, 2015

Friends -
The Western Montana Chapter of Safari Club International is financially supporting SB395. Today, I asking you to consider supporting this bill, with calls to your State Senator and representative in Helena.  Several conservation organizations that have political sway at the legislature have stated opposition to this bill, as heard at the 3/17/2015 hearing. Please take a minute to review the links below:

As I have stated before, we, as hunters, are dinosaurs.  Recruitment of youth hunters, as well as new adult hunters to our sport is not replacing our ranks as fast as we are aging out and/or passing on.  As a population of specialized recreationists and wildlife conservationists, our future is not as bright as we would like to think.  Youth hunter recruitment in Montana is shockingly lower than in Idaho and Wyoming, based on the last surveys I reviewed, and only getting worse.   

The US Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation have conducted a study (year 2000) of hunter recruitment/ replacement (see table).   This table lists total population, total hunters and the associated percentages of hunters for two different categories (ages 6-15 and ages 16+).  When you look at the percentage of hunters in the 6-15 group, Montana is #2 in the country (13.64%).  Montana also ranks #1 in the percentage of the population that are hunters over age 16 (24.46%).  This is certainly an example of the rich hunting heritage and culture in Montana. 

As a percentage of the general population, more people hunt in Montana than all of the other 49 States.   This looks very encouraging until you look at the ratio of the 6-15 age group compared to the 16+ age group.  When you compare the ratio of these two, you get a Hunter Replacement Ratio of 0.56, which places Montana at #36 in the nation.  Although Montana is #1 in hunters as a percentage of the State’s population, we are not replacing them with young hunters at a rate fast enough to keep pace - not by a long shot.  In fact, we are rapidly losing ground.  Currently, only seven states have a replacement ratio greater than 1.  Any ratio less than one results in a reduction in the percentage of hunters compared to the general population.  We need to address this in Montana, or else hunters as a group will continue to shrink in Montana.

Am I just being selfish because I have young kids?  Even though my youngest son will turn 11 this fall, I know that he will be with me in the woods regardless of this bill’s fate.   By the age of 8 years old, all of my kids had already been exposed to the physical effort, disappointments and excitement that is hunting.  They have been with me on many trips and outings since, both successful and not successful, and had a taste for what they were to experience when they reached 12 years of age, old enough to hunt in MT.   This bill is not about just my kids, it is the right thing to do for hunting in Montana.  My kids currently hunt, and will continue to because that is who we are, as much a part of our identity and heritage as our hair and eye color.  Their cousins and friends that live in neighboring Idaho make them insanely jealous with stories of actually hunting with their dads, taking deer, and not just tagging along.  Their Uncle has offered to host them in Idaho to hunt deer until they are able to hunt in Montana. 

My son Gunnar, at age 12, has many friends that in the last couple of years have gone from being interested in hunting, to being interested in football, soccer, baseball, video games, and whatever else is out there vying for the attention of our youth.  Most are not even aware of the opportunities to hunt in neighboring Idaho at age 10.  While most of these youth had an interest in hunting when they were younger, many now will never be hunters because their interest in hunting dwindled during a critical time in their lives. 

SB 395 is about expanding the hunting opportunity to those that may not otherwise chose hunting over other pursuits due to age or opportunity.  SB395 lowers the barrier to entry for those over the age of 12, and allows our youth to gain experience and exposure to something we all hold dear between the ages of 10 and 12.   Being able to introduce a co-worker or friend to hunting for a season or two, will help them know if hunting is for them.  I can personally attest to the fact that involving young hunters in hunting at this critical stage of their lives (10-12 years), where parental and family bonds will have the most effect on their development, will help forge a connection to hunting as a critical part of their future lives. 

We are fortunate to include the leadership at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) in the support of this bill.  We are extremely solid in our support base, with the top hunter/conservation groups in the state standing united.

This bill has substantially more side-boards than any prior attempt to bring apprentice hunting to Montana.   They are as follows:

  • Only allows two apprentice licenses to be held before Hunter Safety certification is required
  • The fee for Apprentice License are earmarked to expand and enhance Hunters Education Program in MT
  • No elk may be hunted under an apprentice hunting license
  • The minimum age for participation is 10 years old
  • The Bill extends early youth deer from 2 to 4 days of hunting
  • The bill stipulates a maximum of 2 apprentice hunting licenses in lifetime- must become fully licensed by 3rd season
  • The bill does NOT include the ability to apply for special draws with limited quotas
  • The bill does NOT allow bowhunting for youth under age 12
  • The bill does NOT allow bowhunting without completing a Bowhunter Education course

A few more facts to consider:

  • 35 states including all contiguous states to Montana currently allow for similar apprentice hunting opportunities at age 10.
  • The data is conclusive with regard to safety.  35 states is a lot of data to look at with regard to program success and safety!   The apprentice hunters in these 35 States boast a safety record nearly 5 times greater than the rest of the hunters in the field.
  • SB395 is good for the Hunter Safety program.  In each State this has been implemented in, the Hunter Safety program participation and program has seen significant increases. 

I realize that stating that it has worked well in other places often elicits response of “ they aren’t Montana…”.  To that, I say this:  Montana kids are no less safe, smart or capable than the youth in any other state.  The youth in these other 35 states are the safest demographic in the field.  The statistics are there, the math shows it.  Montana youth have even MORE of a hunting heritage to embrace than the kids in any of these states, yet we are losing them.  The statistics are there, the math shows it.  I am optimistic that Montana will join these other States, as the legislature and conservation groups support this bill.  Please consider what is good for the future of hunting in Montana.

I do realize that politics can be strange and difficult.  I believe that having clear values leads to taking principled positions.  Please, support hunting.  Support the continuation of our hunting heritage.  Support this bill

Currently, the following organizations have voiced support for the bill: Safari Club International (SCI), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wild Sheep Foundation, MOGA, Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, NRA, and the Montana Shooting Sports Association.

Currently, opposition to this bill has been from the Montana Sportsman’s Alliance (MSA), Montana Bowhunters Association (MBA), Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF), and Ravalli County F&W.

If you have reservations, I would love to discuss them with you.

Regards,
Matt Ulberg

SCI Chapters and SCI Foundation Contribute to Historic Wood Bison Restoration
March 20, 2015, ARIZONA. On March 22, 2015 Safari Club International and SCI Foundation will attend the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wood Bison Media Day in Portage, Alaska.  Al Maki, SCI Corporate Secretary and SCI Foundation Conservation Committee Chair and Eddie Grasser, SCI Vice President  will represent SCI Foundation, SCI, and the SCI Alaska Chapter at the event.

Over the past decade, SCI Chapters and SCI Foundation have helped finance the management and upkeep of the wood bison herd. Now, we hunter-conservationists are pleased to participate in the second phase of this historical event, moving bison to the wild.

SCI Foundation has contributed about $150,000 dollars to this project in addition to the thousands of dollars donated by SCI Chapters. This is a major achievement made possible through your contributions and because of you, an iconic species is returning to its native habitat.

SCI Foundation is proud to be one of the primary groups involved with this restoration of a species and looks forward to continuing to work with Alaska Department of Fish and Game as this process continues. Be sure to stay informed as we will be sharing news, pictures and video footage of the release. You can stay up to date by visiting our blog here.

Court Denies Early Legal Challenge to Idaho Wolf/Elk Management
January 17, 2014, IDAHO. On Friday, January 17, 2014, an Idaho federal court judge denied an attempt by animal rights and wilderness groups to stop the removal of two wolf packs from the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in central Idaho.  Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Wilderness Watch and others filed the suit to challenge the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s decision to hire a hunter/trapper to lethally remove two wolf packs in the Wilderness area.  Read more.

Changes to 2014 Hunting Season
December 13, 2013, Helena, MT. Substantial changes are coming for next year's hunting season which will affect multiple species, hunting districts, anterless tag availability, archery and general seasons and more. Especially in the Bitterroot where all HDs will change! Please go these changes to review, comment, etc. 

Link to Agenda
Link to Deer Master list
Link to Elk Master list
Link to Moose Master list
Link to ONLINE COMMENT Form

The FWP Commission met on this December 12, 2013 in Helena. We urge you to be there in person or send comments online - link provided below. Public comment will run through 5 p.m., January 24, 2014. Any final adoptions will take place at the Feb.13, 2014 Commission meeting.

Montana and Washington SCI Member Alert - Hunting in the Vicinity of Eagle Creek Road
August 12, 2013, Tucson, AZ. SCI’s Litigation staff is conducting research on a case brought by Shoshone County, Idaho vs. the U.S. Forest Service concerning the status of Eagle Creek Road in Shoshone County, Idaho  We would like to know whether the closure of portions of the road has had a harmful effect on our members’ ability to access hunting opportunities and retrieve game in that area.  If you have used portions of Eagle Creek Road for hunting and game retrieval that are now closed or hunt in the vicinity of Eagle Creek Road and are aware of hunting and game retrieval opportunities that would benefit from the reopening of presently closed areas of Eagle Creek Road, please contact Anna Seidman, SCI Director of Litigation: aseidman@safariclub.org.

SCI Foundation and Mossy Oak Team-Up on Conservation Education
June 21, 2013, Tucson, AZ. This summer one of America’s foremost conservation organizations and most popular camouflage companies have teamed-up to offer educators a unique hands-on opportunity to learn about the North American Model of Wildlife Management.  Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) and Mossy Oak are conducting a professional development course for teachers from across the nation and Canada in a Wyoming wilderness setting.  The American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS), located in Jackson, Wyoming, offers a college-level course in “conservation” – understanding natural resources management and, more specifically, management of wildlife. Learn more...

Montana Senator Jon Tester: Hunting rights fall by the wayside (letter to the editor)
June 5, 2013, Hamilton, MT. I recently had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., as president of the Western Montana Chapter of Safari Club International. Annually, we meet with elected officials discussing legislation important to hunters. We have over 200 people from SCI involved in such meetings.

Congressman Steve Daines spoke passionately about his lifetime of hunting, discussing the importance of public land access with an amazing story about his daughter’s mule deer hunt in the Bears Paw Mountains.

Our next meeting was with Sen. Jon Tester. For the third year, he was unavailable; however, we met with Tester’s chief of staff, Tom Lopach. Read more...

SCI's Arguments Win Minnesota Wolf Case
May, 28, 2013, Washington, D.C. – Based on arguments presented by Safari Club International (SCI) the Minnesota Court of Appeals today dismissed a legal challenge to Minnesota’s wolf harvest.  The Court ruled that the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Howling for Wolves failed to show their members were harmed by the process used by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to establish the state’s wolf season. 

“The Minnesota Court of Appeals made the right decision today,” said SCI President Craig Kauffman. “SCI will remain at the forefront to challenge organizations like CBD at every turn. We hope that every hunter understands the threat that organizations like CBD play in undermining scientifically determined hunting seasons across the country.”

Earlier in the case, the state’s attorneys defeated the challengers’ attempts to shut down the wolf hunt on an emergency basis.  SCI then joined the case to help defend the state’s rulemaking process.  SCI’s brief and oral argument to the court focused on the animal rights groups’ lack of standing to challenge the rulemaking.  The Minnesota Court agreed with SCI and ruled that the petitioners had failed to demonstrate that they had suffered any harm from the rulemaking.  Instead, the Court found that the groups merely disagreed with the legislature’s policy of allowing wolf harvests and this was not a sufficient basis for bringing a legal challenge to the rules that administer that policy.

SCI’s in-house litigation attorneys were assisted by Minnesota local counsel Ryan Burt of the firm of Halleland Habicht PA.  Burt is also President-Elect of SCI’s Minnesota Chapter.

Youth Conservation and Education EXPO a Success!
May 10, 2013, Missoula, MT. Over 20 organizations came together earlier this month to host the first Youth Conservation and Education EXPO. Held at the Teller Wildlife Refuge, this was a great opportunity for area youth! Some of the events included -

  • Live Bird Presentation by Raptors of the Rockies
  • Drawings for Teddy Roosevelt Outdoor Adventure Camp
  • BB Gun Shooting and Archery Ranges
  • FWP Poaching Trailer & FWP Laser Shooting Range
  • Fly Casting & Fly Tying Clinics
  • Duck, Goose, Turkey & Elk Calling
  • Horse Packing Clinic
  • Big Game Scoring, and MORE!

FWS Decision Threatens Three Antelope Conservation Efforts
On May 31, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) denied Safari Club International’s (SCI) petition to delist the U.S. populations of the scimitar-horned oryx, dama gazelle and addax.  In the same decision, the FWS rejected a similar delisting petition submitted by the Exotic Wildlife Association. 

The Service’s decision blamed this latest blow to conservation on the Endangered Species Act itself.   The FWS claimed that the ESA prevents the agency from separately classifying captive from wild populations.  Since the three antelope species in the wild require federal protection, the captive populations must be subjected to the same restrictions – even if such requirements undermine the conservation of both captive and wild members.

“The FWS’s decision is not a failure of the agency, but a failure of an antiquated law that needs to be modernized to deal with modern wildlife conservation needs in America,” said SCI President Craig Kauffman. “Conservationists around the country hope that the House-led Endangered Species Act Working Group can identify credible solutions for modern wildlife management.”

The FWS listed the three species as endangered in 2005 but spared the U.S. populations from typical ESA take prohibitions by adopting regulations that allowed hunting of captive members to continue without permit requirements.  The Service created the exceptions in recognition that the hunting and trade of U.S. members of the three species were beneficial to the species’ conservation and survival.  The three species increased in population and herd numbers until a lawsuit filed by animal rights groups put an end to those regulations.  As a result of that lawsuit, the FWS imposed permit requirements on the take and trade of U.S. populations.  The permit obligations and federally protected status of the three species persuaded many private ranchers to abandon their efforts to raise and breed their herds. 

In 2011, SCI filed its own lawsuit to challenge the illegal listing of the U.S. populations.  A ruling in that case is imminent.  SCI also petitioned the FWS to delist the captive populations, based on the Service’s legal errors in including the U.S. captive members in the listing of the species in the wild.  The FWS’s response to that petition has placed yet another obstacle in the way of those who have, through private efforts, brought the three species back from near extinction.

“SCI has been fighting legal battles to conserve the scimitar-horned oryx, dama gazelle and addax for over a decade.  The role that sustainable hunting has played in the conservation of the three antelope species is at the heart of SCI’s missions.  The Service’s unfortunate decision today has only strengthened our resolve to fight on” concluded Kauffman.

SCI’s legal efforts need help to fight against this latest challenge.  To help support SCI’s litigation challenge to the continued listing of the three antelope species, please make a generous contribution to “Safari Club International” and mail it to 501 2nd St, NE; Washington, DC 20002:  Attn:  Legal Task Force

Hunters Set to Lobby for Future of Outdoor Recreation in Nation's Capitol
Washington, D.C. – On May 9th the voice of hunters will be heard throughout the halls of the Capitol building, as 150 members of Safari Club International (SCI) will come to Capitol Hill to lobby for legislation to improve hunting throughout the U.S. The members of SCI will have breakfast with members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, face-to-face meetings with Senate and House members, and discussions with critical legislative staff.

“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus is the largest bi-partisan and bi-cameral caucus in Washington, D.C. and Safari Club International is proud to be one of its biggest supporters,” said SCI President John Whipple. “Members of Congress care about hunting and they care about the outdoors.  SCI will make sure they understand the future of our outdoor heritage depends on the passage of comprehensive legislation protecting the right to hunt on millions of acres of public lands.”

More than 200 meetings will take place on May 9, 2013, as part of Safari Club International’s overall advocacy efforts to protect the future of hunting. The grassroots involvement from SCI members enhances the presence and benefit of SCI’s D.C. office. While headquartered in Tucson, Ariz., SCI’s advocacy efforts are led by a team of attorneys, policy experts and dedicated hunters in Washington.

“For more than 75 years, hunters have been trailblazing a path for the future of our outdoor heritage and for wildlife conservation; it is our responsibility to carry the banner as individual sportsmen and women. I hope every hunter can join us on Capitol Hill May 9th,” concluded Whipple.

If you are interested in protecting the freedom to hunt, please register for the SCI Lobby Day immediately by contacting media@safariclub.org. Participation is near capacity so do not miss out on your opportunity to protect the future of the outdoors.

Landowner Resource Released
HELENA, MT, Jan 2012 -- Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks just released the 2nd Edition of A Landowner's Guide to Wildlife Friendly Fences: How to Build Fence with Wildlife in Mind - some great tips!

Woodland Caribou might lose endangered status
SPOKANE, WA, Dec. 18, 2012 -- The federal government plans a new study to determine if the woodland caribou found in Idaho and Washington should continue to be protected as an endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.

The agency will conduct a new review of the Selkirk population of caribou, after deciding that removing them from protection "may be warranted." The animals were given endangered species protection in 1984.

The agency made that decision in response to a petition from the Pacific Legal Foundation and its clients, Bonner County in Idaho and the Idaho State Snowmobile Association.

"This petition questions whether the southern Selkirk Mountains population of woodland caribou warrants listing under ESA," said Brian T. Kelly, Idaho supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service. READ MORE

Gray & Red Wolf Litigation in the News
October 31st
- Safari Club International (SCI) filed a motion for summary judgment on Friday, Oct. 26, in support of the State of Wisconsin’s gray wolf hunting regulations.  On that same date, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied a separate appeal filed by Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and others in their challenge to Minnesota’s wolf hunt.  The appeal sought to overturn a decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals denying CBD’s request for a stay of the hunt.  The case is now back in the Court of Appeals, where SCI will soon be seeking intervenor status. While gray wolves are the focus of litigation in the Great Lakes states, red wolves are in state court in North Carolina. Read more about red wolves.

Hunting season off to a strong start
Kalispell, MT, October 23rd
- Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reporting a solid opening weekend for hunters in Northwest Montana.

Hunting conditions could improve substantially with winter weather descending on the region today. Read it all by clicking here!

SCI Builds Hunter Advocates Through Improved Communication
Tucson, AZ, July 24th – Safari Club International (SCI) has improved the news blog to include hunting adventures, advocacy affecting all hunters, and SCI Foundation wildlife conservation. Improving communications will ensure SCI Members are always up to date on current events, and to reach hunters all over the world with the very latest hunting, conservation, advocacy and hunting-related information.
“This enhancement is an integral part of an overarching, global communications effort by SCI to allow more people worldwide to understand and appreciate the great things being done by SCI and its members,” said John Whipple, SCI President. “In the near future, we plan to launch a series of new online tools so the world can be aware of our many critical mission programs."

“SCI has been the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt for the past four decades. With these new communication abilities, SCI is positioned to take hunting advocacy and hunter issues to higher levels than ever before,” Whipple concluded.

For more information on SCI, please go to the website today: www.SafariClub.org. If you want to send a direct message to your member of congress, simply click on Contact your Congressman button to become an advocate for our hunting heritage.

We have a winner!
Congratulations to Mike Golden! 

As you may have heard, we held a contest for a free wolf rug. The wolf had to be killed during the 2011-2012 season and the hunter had to be a chapter member to participate. Mike Golden from Hamilton got this brute in early February. Look for his story in our May Newsletter. Congratlations, Mike!

SCI donates to Woodman School Bow Program
LOLO, MT March 20, 2012. - Nestled in the mountains along Highway 12, Woodman School has been educating children since 1892. Beginning as a one-room school house, it has expanded over the years to its current 3 buildings with enrollment averaging 45-55 kids in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Currently the school has no after-school sports or band programs and limited opportunity for lifetime sports skills development outside an annual all-school ski trip.

Being a rural school, there is a significant portion of the youth that hunt (Montana FWP even holds annual hunter’s safety classes at the school), and many of the kids enjoy unorganized archery at home. This interest helped initiate the actions that put two Woodman teachers on the path of having a NASP approved program at the school.

In the Summer of 2011, the Western Montana Chapter sent both teachers to the AWLS school in Wyoming allowing them to became certified bow instructors. In March, the Western Montana Chapter again gave support to this program and agreed to donate $750.00. However, they need more help. Individuals who would like to donate can contact us at (406) 273-7224. Any amount would be appreciated. Let's get this program off the ground!

Wyoming prepares to end federal wolf protections
CHEYENNE, February 14, 2012— Wyoming lawmakers appear ready to change the state's wolf management law to accommodate an agreement that Gov. Matt Mead and U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar reached last year on ending federal protections for the animals in the state.

Under the agreement, wolves could be shot on sight in much of the state. The Republican governor has made wolf management a priority, saying the animals threaten agricultural interests and other wildlife. Read more.

SCI helps boy with muscular dystrophy bag his elk (and deer)
HAMILTON, December 12, 2011. - Dakota Hendrix knows what it's like to take a walk in the woods. Five years ago, his body still allowed him that. Those days are gone now.

He was 4 years old when his adopted parents learned that Dakota was stricken with a rare form of muscular dystrophy known as Duchenne.

Over the past few years, the disease has slowly robbed him of his ability to move. He can no longer walk. His hands barely work. From his wheelchair, he can bend a little at the waist, but it's a struggle.

But the disease hasn't stolen Dakota's ability to dream. Like many 12-year-old Montana boys, Dakota dreams about hunting in the hills with his dad. Read more.

New "Sportsmen's" Groups Mask Partisan Political Agenda
December, 2011. Botanists use the term “biennial” to describe plants that bloom on a two year cycle. They are dormant or undeveloped in the off-year, then sprout and bloom with vigor the next. But the phenomenon is not limited to flora. The past several election cycles have seen the emergence of biennial, self-designated “sportsmen’s groups,” which sprout virtually overnight in election cycles, then disappear once the election is over. And the peak season for bloom is now upon us.

These groups insist they are not conceived to influence elections. And under tax and campaign finance law, they generally can’t engage in overt electioneering, so this claim is at least partly true, if only of legal necessity. But it’s no coincidence that they emerge when they do, and it’s certainly not an accident that their “educational” campaigns specifically target candidates in close elections.

The latest such example comes to us from Montana, where “Montana Hunters and Anglers Action” sprouted mere weeks ago. One might expect that a new state sportsmen’s group would focus on developing support, building membership, and recruiting volunteers. But the Montana group did none of these. Read more.

Ninth Circuit Keeps Yellowstone Grizzly on the Threatened Species List
December 6, 2011. Despite the best efforts of SCI, the Federal government, Montana, Wyoming and others, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that the Yellowstone population of grizzly bears must remain on the threatened species list for now.  On a single ground, the Court upheld the 2010 ruling by Montana District Court Judge Molloy that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service improperly delisted the grizzly bear.  The Court agreed with the District Court that the Service had not properly explained how projected declines in Whitebark Pine seeds, a primary food source for the bear, would not threaten the species.  The Court did reverse Judge Molloy on one issue raised by SCI and others, that the existing regulatory mechanisms were sufficient to remove the grizzly from the threatened list.  Unfortunately, the Court’s concerns about the Whitebark Pine issue are sufficient to vacate the delisting.  What comes next is uncertain at this time.  Judge Molloy and FWS, with input from SCI and others, will now have to determine how to proceed.

Above the law: In Lake County, it's hard to tell some cops from the criminals
December 1, 2011. In 2005, a moose was standing somewhere in the mountains north of Columbia Falls when Jesse Jacobs allegedly shot it. Jacobs didn't have a permit, however, so he reportedly got one from a friend who was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The tribal member took the meat. Jacobs claimed the head and antlers, which he would later mount and hang on his wall.

Jacobs, who had been in the Lake County Sheriff's Office's reserve training program, was charged with two poaching felonies in August 2010.

Meanwhile, Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Duryee was spinning tall tales about his heroic service in the Gulf War, when in fact Duryee had never even been in the military. The Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training Council, or POST, is the state body that polices the police. As POST investigated Duryee's lies last year, it learned of other, potentially criminal activities in the Lake County Sheriff's Office—including poaching. Read more.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) has issued a Decision Notice (DN) for its Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on Transfer/Placement of Bison
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) has issued a Decision Notice (DN) for its Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that evaluated four locations for the interim placement of brucellosis-free bison. Those locations under consideration included: FWP's Marias River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Spotted Dog WMA, and Tribal lands on the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Reservations. FWP will recommend to the FWP Commission that 68 bison be relocated to the Fort Belknap and Fort Peck Reservations pending the negotiations and approval of Memorandums of Understanding between the Tribes and FWP. No bison will be moved to the WMAs, and the bison currently at the Green Ranch will remain there. To view the full EA click here.

The Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is expected to make a final decision on the project at its December 9th meeting Helena. Commission meetings are open to the public.

H.R. 1581: Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011 (112th Congress: 2011-2012)

Summary. To release wilderness study areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management that are not suitable for wilderness designation from continued management as defacto wilderness areas and to release inventoried roadless areas within the National Forest System that are not recommended for wilderness designation from the land use restrictions of the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Final Rule and the 2005 State Petitions for Inventoried Roadless Area Management Final Rule, and for other purposes. Click here for full fact sheet.

How does this impact Montana?
In Montana, nearly 27 million acres are federally owned (28.9% of state). A breakdown is shown below:

  • Forest Service = 17,082,821 acres
  • National Park Service = 1,214,184 acres
  • Fish and Wildlife Service = 635,066 acres
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM) = 7,981,452 acres
  • Department of Defense (DOD) = 8,338 acres
    Total of these 5 = 26,921,861 acres, 28.9% of state
    (State total = 93,271,040 acres)

Note: these are fee-simple acres as reported by each agency as federal lands under their sole or primary jurisdiction. 

Of the 43 million acres held in limbo under wilderness characteristics nationally, how many acres in Montana are in this designation?
This may be a little confusing.  The total inventoried roadless areas in Montana equal 6,397,000 acres, as they existed in Nov. 2000.  Those numbers are only the Forest Service inventoried roadless areas, and do not include BLM's wilderness study areas (WSAs).  The BLM has a total of 12,985,820 acres of WSAs, of which some have been recommended for wilderness designation.  BLM WSAs in Montana total 449,963 acres, as of the end of FY2010; how much of this has been recommended for wilderness is not reported.

In calculating an estimate of acreage that would be released in Montana by H.R. 1581, Forest Service inventoried roadless acreage should be added (excluding the area recommended for wilderness) as well as the BLM WSAs not recommended for wilderness.  Since the latter is not known, we can look at a range and assume that 5% to 25% of the WSA acreage had been recommended (about 22,500 to 112,500 acres), thus leaving about 337,500 to 427,500 acres if BLM WSA acreage is released. Thus, the total acreage released in Montana is probably about 5,900,000 acres to 6,000,000 acres. A significant impact.

House Natural Resources Committee Passes Legislation Protecting Sportsmen’s Access

November 17, 2011. Columbus, Ohio – Today the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2834, the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act. This bill would protect fishing, hunting and recreational shooting on federal lands.  Read more...

House Natural Resources Committee Passes Legislation Protecting Sportsmen’s Access

November 17, 2011. Columbus, Ohio – Today the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2834, the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act. This bill would protect fishing, hunting and recreational shooting on federal lands.

H.R. 2834 passed the Committee with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 29-14. This vital piece of legislation would require fishing, hunting and recreational shooting to be included in all federal land planning documents and would fix numerous inconsistencies in federal law that are being exploited by litigious environmental groups to reduce hunting opportunities on federal land. This bill is strongly supported by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Safari Club International, the National Rifle Association, and millions of sportsmen across the country.

“This legislation is vital given the Administration’s recent actions toward hunters and recreational sport shooters,” said Melissa Simpson, Director of Government Affairs for Safari Club International. “Sportsmen have repeatedly sought to collaborate with the federal agencies and have been greeted with proposed closures in areas such as the Sonoran Desert National Monument, where the BLM intends to close the entire one-half million acre national monument to shooters.  There are some 63 shooting sites within the monument, closure of which will end access for sportsmen.   Passage of H.R. 2834 is necessary to protect against these anti-hunting policies.”

“Sportsmen are increasingly facing attacks aimed at stopping them from using public land,” said Bud Pidgeon, President and CEO of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.  “This bill closes the loopholes that anti-hunters have used time and time again to try to deny access for hunting, fishing and shooting.  Now is the time to put a stop to it.  We are extremely pleased and appreciative that the House Natural Resources Committee recognized the importance of this bill.”

Special Update - SCI and the NRA Continue Fight to Protect Idaho and Montana Wolf Hunts!

November 7, 2011. SCI and the NRA are continuing their aggressive fight to protect the scientifically sound wolf hunts already underway in Montana and Idaho and to keep wolf management in the hands of the states.  On November 8, 2011, SCI and NRA go back to court to battle anti-hunting organizations who ignore science for the purposes of their own fundraising and who continue to challenge the federal law that delisted the wolves of the Northern Rocky Mountains.   

This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear an appeal filed by two sets of animal rights groups, led by Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Center for Biological Diversity.  The hearing will take place in Pasadena, California.

The appeal challenges the constitutionality of federal legislation that directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the wolves of Montana, Idaho, and portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington State.  Montana federal District Court Judge Donald Malloy grudgingly upheld the constitutionality of the law. The animal rights groups appealed that decision and are attempting to persuade the Ninth Circuit that this law violates the Constitution.

SCI and the NRA intervened in the appeal and persuaded the Ninth Circuit to allow hunters a voice in the controversy.  Two other groups, led by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, were also granted intervention.  SCI, the NRA and the other two intervening groups are coordinating their efforts to make the most effective use of the time that the court has given them to participate in the oral argument.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies also filed a motion for emergency relief in an attempt to stop the wolf hunt currently underway in Montana and Idaho.  The Ninth Circuit refused to take action prior to the hearing and will be considering the motion at the Nov. 8th hearing.   SCI and NRA submitted a detailed brief, enhanced with statements from two wolf experts, that supports the hunts as sustainable wildlife management strategies. 

The Ninth Circuit will likely take the Constitutional challenge and the emergency motion under advisement, and issue their rulings in the weeks after the hearing.  SCI will continue to advocate the delisting of recovered wolves throughout the west and will stand up to protect hunters against litigious anti-hunting radicals.

Please consider supporting SCI’s efforts to protect wolf hunting at www.hunterdefensefund.org.

ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT ACTION ALERT

October 18, 2011. On Thursday Oct. 13 the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology held a hearing on the proper role of science and policy in implementing the Endangered Species Act.  This hearing was held in light of the recent claims of false testimony by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) personnel and the unprecedented settlement agreement recently entered into by the Service which essentially cedes control of the endangered species program to litigious environmental groups for the next six years.  SCI believes that this agreement does not use the best science and could harm wildlife and therefore SCI has actively opposed this settlement agreement in the current form.

Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia chaired the hearing which explored the manipulation of scientific data and how this influences on policy decisions. Several points were brought up about how the ESA limits endangered species conservation due to the burden it places on private landowners. The hearing also highlighted the appalling rate at which the ESA delists species, the misleading and deceptive testimony in Court by federal scientists, as well as the costs associated with environmental groups’ ESA litigation. Several species in particular were the topic of discussion, including the outlandish listing guidelines for polar bears and gray wolves. Rep. Dan Benishek and Rep. Sandy Adams also asked pointed questions about the Western Great Lake wolf delisting and the anti-hunting policies used by the Service in implementing the ESA.

SCI has made the modernization of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) one of our top long-term priorities.  For years the ESA has failed to recover species and has been used as a tool to prevent hunting even when hunting has been shown to be beneficial to species conservation.  It is time that the Act is updated in light of recent science and improved best practices in wildlife management. This hearing is an important step in the long-term process of ESA modernization.

Safari Club International would like to thank Rep. Paul Broun for his continued participation in matters pertaining to effective wildlife conservation. He has been a true leader on protecting hunting and promoting sound wildlife management. Please email Congressman Broun and thank him for holding this hearing and highlighting the ESA’s problems.  You can contact him here: https://brounforms.house.gov/Contact/ContactForm.htm.

SCI Foundation Contributes $330,000 To Worldwide Wildlife Conservation Projects In Last Quarter Of Fiscal Year

August 31, 2011. Washington, DC – Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) announced today that it has contributed over $330,000 in the final quarter of their fiscal year to fund worldwide wildlife conservation projects. SCIF strategically focuses funding towards research and management of large predators and their prey, including game species, principally throughout North America, Asia and Southern Africa.

“The research programs selected by SCIF’s professional biologists inform wildlife managers and policy makers on critical wildlife management needs worldwide,” said SCIF President Joseph Hosmer.  “SCIF strives to ensure management decisions are based on the best available science.”

“Throughout the year, SCIF contributes over one million dollars to wildlife research, management, and anti-poaching programs. As an international organization, SCIF continues to increase our financial impact for sustainable-use conservation and we hope more organizations can follow our lead,” said Hosmer.

North American Projects
SCIF donated $125,000 to fund multiple predator/prey projects in the U.S. and Canada. Conservation projects include caribou in Newfoundland, white-tailed deer in Michigan and Wisconsin, moose in Wyoming and elk in Montana, among others. The results of these projects will help determine the effects predators have on prey, specifically if predation is one of the causes of low juvenile recruitment.

The most recent project is the Montana elk project, in which SCIF has donated $50,000 to help the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks with its predator/prey research.  

 

 

 

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2011 Articles
2010 Articles
Wolf Study

2011 Articles

TWS Spotlights Conflict Of Wildlife Conservation, Animal Rights Philosophy In New Position Statement
10.7.2011. “The Wildlife Society (TWS), representing over 10,000 professional wildlife biologists and managers, has released its final position statement onAnimal Rights Philosophy and Wildlife Conservation.  The Society’s primary position is that the philosophy of animal rights is largely incompatible with science-based conservation and management of wildlife.”

Public Support For Hunting Remains Strong, NSSF Study Shows
10.7.2011. “As sportsmen and sportswomen prepare to celebrate the 40th annual National Hunting & Fishing Day this Saturday, a new study shows that the majority of Americans continue to support hunting. Three-fourths of survey respondents (74 percent) said they approved of hunting, a level of support that has not varied by more than a few percentage points since 1995.” (Source: NSSF Press Release)

SCI Victory Protects Hunting Throughout National Wildlife Refuge System
April 13, 2011 (Washington, DC) – In a ruling issued today, Safari Club International (SCI) claimed a major victory in a lawsuit that has threatened hunting on National Wildlife Refuges since it was filed in 2003. Judge Gwin of the Ohio federal district court today issued a ruling in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and SCI to protect our public lands and keep them open for hunting.

The Fund for Animals sued to challenge hunting on 37 refuges throughout the National Wildlife Refuge system, claiming that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had not completed a sufficient environmental analysis of the impact of hunting on these refuges. SCI immediately joined as an intervenor in the case on behalf of the FWS in order to help defend the hunting opportunities that exist on the refuges. Read More

2010 Articles

HSUS Attacks Constitutional Right To Hunt And Fish Amendment In Arizona
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has recently launched an attack against hunting in the state of Arizona. 

SCI, SCIF Announce Dr. William Moritz As New Executive Director
Safari Club International (SCI) and Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) are proud to announce that Dr. William E. Moritz is the new Executive Director for the worldwide organizations.

Wildlife And Hunting Heritage Council To Meet, Provide Guidance For Conservation
“The newly announced Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council (Council) will hold its first meeting on October 4 and 5, 2010 in Washington, D.C.  The Council is comprised of 18 members who represent some of the most notable national conservation organizations in the country.  The Council will provide advice to the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture related to recreational hunting and shooting and wildlife conservation on federal and private lands.  http://bit.ly/bqa6aD

EPA Denies Petition Calling For Lead Ammunition Ban
“Washington, DC – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a petition calling for a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition. EPA sent a letter to the petitioners explaining the rejection – that letter can be found here.” (Source: EPA.gov) Read the full press release at this link: http://bit.ly/bbb4Bw

Idaho At Forefront Of Collaboration On Public Land Use
(Idaho Statesman Online) – Private property rights advocate Fred Grant said he lost longtime friends over his willingness to sit down with environmentalists and forge a bill to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands and the ranching culture.  But the 2009 law that established a science-review process, money for ranchers, more than 517,000 acres of wilderness and 315 miles of wild rivers was worth the effort, he said. For more, read HEREorhttp://bit.ly/a5O7Ho

Wolf Study that you should read.....

In studies conducted in Canada on the effects of wolves on ungulates and the ecosystem in general, we find that wolves can be very destructive. This study completed in 2005 gives a look into what the lower 48 states have to look forward to within our ecosystems.

The Study is very worth reading and here’s a quick list of some of what is discovered:

1. Wolves destroy 90% of the elk populations.
2. Elk slaughter by wolves increased in proportion to the severity of the winters.
3. 60% of the elk stopped migrating.
4. Wolves destroyed 56% of moose populations and nearly eliminated calf recruitment.
5. Wolves decimated woodland caribou, bringing that species to ultimate extirpation.
6. Wolves stole 57% of prey kills by grizzlies.
7. Any attempt to manage ungulate numbers anywhere near pre wolf times is a not feasible.
8. Increasing quality habitat for elk had no effect on increasing numbers with wolves present.
9. To begin replenishing ungulate populations, wolf numbers need to be reduced every year by at least 70%. The reduction has to be ongoing, forever.
10. Wolf hunts utilized to control wolf populations are ineffective.

Below is the study conducted through the Unviersity of Montana....

Predator-Prey Management in the National Park Context: Lessons from a Transboundary Wolf, Elk, Moose and Caribou System

Mark Hebblewhite, University of Montana, College of Forestry and Conservation, Wildlife Biology Program Missoula, Montana

Wolves (Canis lupus) are recolonizing much of their former range within the lower 48 states through active recovery (Bangs and Fritts 1996) and natural dispersal (Boyd and Pletscher 1999). Wolf recovery is being touted as one of the great conservation successes of the 20th century (Mech 1995; Smith et al. 2003). In addition to being an important single-species conservation success, wolf recovery may also be one of the most important ecological restoration actions ever taken because of the pervasive ecosystem impacts of wolves (Hebblewhite et al. 2005). Wolf predation is now being restored to ecosystems that have been without the presence of major predators for 70 years or more. Whole generations of wildlife managers and biologists have come up through the ranks, trained in an ungulate- management paradigm developed in the absence of the world’s most successful predator of ungulates - the wolf. Many questions are now facing wildlife managers and scientists about the role of wolf recovery in an ecosystem management context. The effects wolves will have on economically important ungulate populations is emerging as a central issue for wildlife managers. But, questions about the important ecosystem effects of wolves are also emerging as a flurry of new studies reveals the dramatic ecosystem impacts of wolves and their implications for the conservation of biodiversity (Smith et al. 2003; Fortin et al. 2005; Hebblewhite et al. 2005; Ripple and Beschta 2006; Hebblewhite and Smith 2007).

In this paper, I provide for wildlife managers and scientists in areas in the lower 48 states (where wolves are recolonizing) a window to their future by reviewing the effects of wolves on montane ecosystems in Banff National Park (BNP), Alberta. Wolves were exterminated in much of southern Alberta, similar to the lower 48 states, but they recovered through natural dispersal populations to the north in the early 1980s, between 10 and 20 years ahead of wolf recovery in the northwestern states (Gunson 1992; Paquet, et al. 1996). Through this review, I aim to answer the following questions: (1) what have the effects of wolves been on population dynamics of large-ungulate prey, including elk (Cervus elaphus), moose (Alces alces) and threatened woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), (2) what other ecosystem effects have wolves had on montane ecosystems, (3) how sensitive are wolf-prey systems to top-down and bottom-up management to achieve certain human objectives, and (4) how is this likely to be constrained in national park settings? Finally, I discuss the implications of this research in the context of ecosystem management and longterm ranges of variation in ungulate abundance.

Continued: (765 Kb 18 page PDF file): http://tinyurl.com/ygqkovd

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material  herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
research and  educational purposes only. For more information go to:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml


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2011 Articles

Montana Court Denies Motion to Intervene in Constitutional Challenge to Wolf Law – SCI Considers Course of Action
June 2, 2011. On Wednesday, June 1st, Judge Donald Molloy of the Montana federal district court, denied Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association of America’s motion to intervene to defend the constitutionality of the recently passed wolf delisting rider.  This rider to the 2011 budget bill directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist Montana and Idaho’s wolves.  Judge Molloy denied all the motions to intervene in the case that had been filed by sportsmen’s groups, other nonprofits and the State of Idaho.  This decision has essentially silenced the voice of hunters from being heard in this court.  SCI’s attorneys are now examining a variety of options that would enable them to persist in their defense of the delisting law to ensure that the interests of hunters are represented.  Please read below to see further SCI’s efforts to remove recovered wolves from the endangered species list.

February 28, 2011. The battle to delist wolves continues. See story with quotes from Representative Lummis (R) Wyoming; Miles Moretti, Mule Deer Foundation; David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Don Peay, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.

2010 Articles

Wolf Delisting Needs Your Help
September 25, 2010. From M. David Allen, President/CEO, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

  • Senators Orin Hatch and Harry Reid have agreed to introduce a bill to call for delisting of wolves EVERYWHERE in this current Congressional session. It is as simple as that, we are calling for the total delisting of wolves period. The science is clear on this issue. GRAY WOLVES ARE NOT ENDANGERED OR EVEN THREATENED.
  • This bill would be the same bill as what Chet Edwards introduced in the House.
  • We have an issue with a couple of key senators right now that needs our grass roots attention. Senators Crapo and Risch from Idaho are introducing a bill that carves out just Montana & Idaho to delist wolves and return them back to their status before Judge Molloy's last ruling. This will not fix the real problem and will most likely end back up in Molloy's federal court PLUS we do not favor leaving out Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan or any other state for that matter. This issue needs to be fixed not delayed and stalled and linger in court.
  • Senator Baucus has indicated that he will introduced a bill very similar to Crapo & Risch; basically carving out just Montana and Idaho for delisting and not all states and we anticipate that the junior Senator from MT, Senator Tester will follow his lead.

Here is our call to action if you are willing to support: We need sportsmen and hunters to call the offices of Senator Crapo, Senator Ricsh, Senator Baucus and Senator Tester ask them to consider supporting the Chet Edwards bill and support what Senators Hatch and Reid and willing to sponsor. We encourage groups to ask their members to call these two Senators asking them to support the complete delisting of wolves. This is a chance for real bipartisan action and to represent the issue of states' rights and states' local economies.

Their Washington DC & Idaho phone numbers are:

  • Crapo office (202) 224-6142 and 208-334-1776
  • Risch office (202) 224-2752 and 208-342-7985
  • Baucus office 202-224-2651 and 406-657-6790
  • Tester office 202-224-2644 and 406-728-3003

The chance of passing this legislation in this session is most likely a long shot; however now is the time to get these politicians to go on the record to call for total delisting of wolves, period. We will not get this kind of leverage after the November election.

Chaffetz to Push Legislation Removing Gray Wolf from Consideration under Endangered Species Act
September 22, 2010. Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Jason Chaffetz announced he will seek to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act.  Rep. Chaffetz joins Democrat Congressman Chet Edwards in supporting HR 6028, which would ask Congress to amend the 1973 act “to prohibit treatment of the Gray Wolf as an endangered species or threatened species.” The move comes in response to a recent court ruling effectively reinstating endangered status for the wolf in the entire western United States.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) first issued the decision to delist the wolf in 2008, after the species had met recovery goals of 30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves for eight consecutive years. Wildlife biologists estimate there are 1,700 wolves in several western states. Wolves were first placed on the endangered species list in 1974.

“Wolf populations have grown significantly since first receiving protection under the Endangered Species Act,” said Chaffetz.  “They have grown well beyond their target populations. The wolf is devastating wildlife populations and cattle. This is a vital issue to farmers, ranchers, sportsmen and outdoor recreationists.   It is appropriate to have the wolf delisted at this time.”

Bipartisan recommendations by both the Obama and Bush Administrations have recommended the de-listing of wolves and turning their management over to the state wildlife agencies.

“We need to ensure that wildlife management plans are retained at the state level rather than the federal level,” said Chaffetz.

Copyright ©2011 Safari Club International - Western Montana Chapter. All Rights Reserved.