Letter to The Montana Standard

3014 Irene Street
Butte, MT. 59701
January 8,2007

Editor, The Montana Standard
25 West Granite
P.O. Box 627
Butte, MT. 59701

Dear Editor:

The article “Feds look at wolf management” makes me wondering what they mean by ’wolf management’ does is it more ‘wolf preservation’? The population and number of breeding pairs have exceeded the original prediction for de-listing threefold. The USFWS in 2006 reported for Montana 300 in 59 packs, Wyoming 314 in 34 packs, Idaho 650 in 70 packs. Those figures do not show single animals nor or all packs.

The USFWS in 2006 reports “wolf numbers are quadruple what federal officials said was necessary for biological recovery.” Bangs of the USFWS stated” we’ve got a lot more wolves than we thought we’d have. They’re spilling out onto livestock country”.

The biological information shows far more wolves than necessary for de-listed so what is the problem? Is the problem less federal money to federal and state agencies under the Endangered Species Act?

Before wolves were re-introduced from Alberta and British Columbia there was a concern what impact wolves will have on killing big game animals by species, numbers of and reducing hunting and recreational opportunity. I requested that information now from the USFWS under the Federal Data Quality Act (DQA) where all information presented by federal agencies must assure the highest quality and integrity or that agency will be in violation of the law. Their reports do not even mention big game only livestock.

What is the outlook on the wolf issue in Montana? In my view there is only one practical alternative let the private landowner protect his or her property with no long government form to fill out. Sport hunting with permits sounds good but won’t do much to reduce wolves and elsewhere it shows hunter success for hunting wolves from the ground is less than 5% regardless of the number of permits.

A bill being introduced in the legislature by the agriculture community seems to be a positive approach. Sportsmen-hunters should provide input and support for this bill that would benefit valuable big game populations as well as livestock. With the political climate today very little wolf control on public lands is expected but most wolves will eventually end up on private lands anyway with the highest densities of livestock and wintering wildlife. The too little too late wolf policy isn’t working.


Jack D. Jones