Montana FWP to set wolf quotas Thursday

FWP to set wolf quotas Thursday

By EVE BYRON – Independent Record

Montana’s 2009 wolf hunting season could have quotas ranging from 26 to 207 under three options that will be presented to the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission Thursday.

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Addition by Ralph Maughan
I received this today. It is background on setting the wolf hunt quota.

FWP COMMISSION AGENDA ITEM COVER SHEET

Meeting DateMay 14, 2009 Agenda Item2009 Tentative Wolf Quotas

Action Needed: Approve Tentative Rule Time Needed for Presentation30 minutes

Background: Regulated public harvest of wolves, first endorsed by the Governor’s Wolf Advisory Council in 2000, was included in Montana’s wolf conservation and management plan. In 2001, the Legislature authorized the Commission to reclassify wolves under state law from an endangered species to a species in need of management upon federal delisting. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to delist the gray wolf in Montana from the Endangered Species Act, will be effective May 4, 2009.  Litigation challenging the federal delisting decision is expected.

FWP intends to proceed cautiously to ensure continued wolf recovery.  To assist the 2008 wolf harvest quota decision, FWP developed and applied a harvest model with assumptions that included rates of birth, death, immigration and emigration being equal to the previous year’s respective rates.  The primary goal of model simulations was to gauge risk associated with different combinations of quota-based harvest in the three Wolf Management Units (WMU).  Sideboards included no risk of falling below 15 breeding pairs if hunters harvest 100 percent of the allowable quota.  Models include the information below presented as specific numbers that also represent specific points ranging from more restrictive to more liberal.

TOTAL QUOTA

(ave hvst rate as % of est pop)

WMU 1 QUOTA

WMU 2 QUOTA

WMU 3 QUOTA

PREDICTED POPULATION

0

0

0

0

737

26 (5%)

14 (2 subquota)

6

6

704

75 (15%)

41 (2 subquota)

22

12

655

207 (40%)

107 (2 subquota)

62

38

552

Public Involvement Process: May 14 adoptions available for public comment through June 19, with any final adoption slated for July 9.

Alternatives and Analysis: Alternatives for tentative adoption and public review include:  1) no prescribed harvest in 2009; 2) a total quota of 75 as presented above; or 3) multiple total quota options to potentially include zero and the quotas above.  These alternatives represent varying hunter opportunity, management results and potential impacts to anticipated litigation.  Adoption of a single quota can narrowly focus public comment simply to positions of support or opposition for that quota.  Adoption of multiple total quota options facilitates wider public focus and input on this next phase of wolf management, communicates a wide decision space to engage that input and allows concurrent evaluation of delisting and associated likely litigation.

Agency Recommendation: FWP recommends adopting multiple total quota options of 0, 26, 75 and 207 with individual WMU quotas/subquota as presented above.

Proposed Motion: I move the Commission adopt Tentative wolf quota options of 0, 26, 75 and 207 with individual WMU quotas as presented by FWP.

7 Responses to “Montana FWP to set wolf quotas Thursday”

  1. Ken Cole Says:

    Gee, I wonder which one they’ll pick?

  2. John d. Says:

    Average no. wolves killed in a year:

    Canada: 11 000
    Alaska: 7 000 + aerial gunning
    Mongolia: 10 000
    Russia: 13 000
    Kazakhstan: 3 000
    Romania: 300

    The majority of these places have livestock interests governing the annual killing of wolves. Places like Mongolia and Kazakhstan do so because it is part of their history to hate and kill wolves, not because of any ‘need’ and usually using the most barbaric of methods. Judging from the current state of things, I also surmise that Montana will follow Idaho’s example by killing as many as possible… like the rest of the world does.

  3. ProWolf in WY Says:

    I would be interested to see how many people put in for licenses.

  4. Craig Says:

    I doubt it will be a draw hunt! They will probably issue a general tag and make people report a kill. OOOOps I shot one but it got away, Guess I’ll have to try again and again until I find the one I shot!

  5. JB Says:

    Ken,

    The really interesting question is will control of wolves be reduced in proportion to hunting (i.e. will hunting wolves reduce conflict with livestock)? I wonder if WS is sweating this question? More wolves taken by hunters should mean fewer for WS to “control” and less justification for this expensive subsidy for the livestock industry. Alternatively, if hunting doesn’t reduce conflict with livestock is there any real justification for a hunt? I have to imagine it would be a net loss to administer and enforce (yeah right) any hunting program that issues only 100-200 tags.

    The next few years should be very interesting!

  6. John d. Says:

    JB

    Wipe out a few packs, reduce the range and it probably will reduce conflicts. The practice sounds oddly familiar, does it not?

  7. Brian Ertz Says:

    None of it has anything to do with the real conditions on the ground –


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