Gray wolf

On June 23, 2021, Wilderness Watch and several allies put the State of Montana on notice of our intent to sue over the state’s barbaric new wolf-killing laws that could not only kill up to 85 percent of wolves in the state, but injure and kill other rare species such as grizzly bears and Canada lynx, both of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Montana’s new laws radically increase wolf killing, including within millions of acres of designated Wilderness, through largely unrestricted killing methods and hunting seasons, plus barbaric programs that resemble 19th-century wolf bounties.

The affected Wildernesses include the Absaroka-Beartooth, Anaconda Pintler, Bob Marshall, Cabinet Mountains, Gates of the Mountains, Great Bear, Lee Metcalf, Medicine Lake, Mission Mountains, Rattlesnake, Red Rock Lakes, Scapegoat, Selway-Bitterroot, UL Bend, and Welcome Creek Wildernesses.

Montana’s Senate Bill 314 pushes the MT Fish and Wildlife Commission to authorize hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves through baiting, trapping, and night hunts using night-vision scopes and spotlighting. Senate Bill 267 includes a bounty program that would reimburse wolf hunters and trappers for their costs.

Montana House Bill 224 allows trappers to strangle wolves in snares, and House Bill 225 expands the wolf-trapping season by four weeks, which threatens grizzly bears in their non-denning season.

On July 19, Wilderness Watch and several allies put the State of Idaho on notice of our intent to sue over the state’s barbaric new wolf-killing laws that could not only kill up to 90 percent of wolves in the state, but injure and kill other rare species such as grizzly bears and Canada lynx, both of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Idaho’s new laws radically increase wolf killing, including within millions of acres of designated Wilderness, through largely unrestricted year-round hunting, trapping, and snaring with an unlimited number of wolves allowed to be killed on each tag.

 

The affected Wildernesses include the Big Jacks Creek, Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers, Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds, Craters of the Moon, Frank Church-River of No Return, Gospel-Hump, Hells Canyon, Hemingway-Boulders, Jim McClure-Jerry Peak, Little Jacks Creek, North Fork Owyhee, Owyhee River, Pole Creek, Sawtooth, and Selway-Bitterroot Wildernesses.

 

Idaho’s Senate Bill 1211 authorizes wolf trapping year-round on private property and the purchase of an unlimited number of tags per person to hunt, trap, or snare wolves in any hunting unit with an open wolf season at the time a wolf is killed. SB 1211 also grants residents permission to kill wolves they perceive are threatening livestock or pets. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game amended the State’s wolf hunting and trapping seasons after SB 1211 went into effect on July 1, creating new hunting seasons on public lands with no weapon restrictions and year-round trapping on private lands.

 

Earthjustice is representing Wilderness Watch and our co-petitioners.

The states have 60 days to respond to the notices. We’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Photos: US Fish and Wildlife Service

 
 
 
 

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Wilderness Watch
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Missoula, MT 59807
P: 406-542-2048
E: wild@wildernesswatch.org

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Minneapolis, MN 55406

P: 612-201-9266

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Moscow, ID 83843

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