Here’s the text of a letter sent yesterday by the North Fork Preservation Association to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission regarding wolf management. See also yesterday’s alert regarding the situation…
Dear Montana Fish and Wildlife Commissioners:
The mission of the North Fork Preservation Association is to champion stewardship of the natural resources and protect the exceptional biodiversity of the North Fork of the Flathead River. We live simply in the North Fork, off the grid, make concessions for our wild neighbors, and, best of all, the ecosystem contains a full complement of wildlife, which also forms the foundation for our thriving recreation-based economy. Wolves and grizzly bears roam freely through our public (96%) and private (4%) lands here in relative harmony with the human residents. Sustainable population levels of ungulates have coexisted with wolves, bears, and other carnivores for a very long time here.
We were dismayed to see our 2021 Legislature pass many new bills that undermine the role of the FWP wildlife biologists and managers who make their professional decisions based on the best science available. These new bills are not based on science but rather on emotions, especially the bills regarding wolves. We are asking the Commission to maintain the pre-legislature status quo and avoid the significant, detrimental changes to wolf management. We support FWP’s professional management processes, and we hope that the Commission will continue to support FWP by taking a long, hard look at the newly proposed options and select those options for wolf management that preserve FWP’s ability to professionally manage them—Option 1, Limited New Tools.
While we understand that the Legislature indicated that it wants a smaller wolf population in Montana, each region should be evaluated on its own merits by the professional managers at FWP. We hope that a reasonable status quo harvest throughout Montana and our 2-wolf quota in the North Fork will be upheld by the Commission. Please support “Option 1—Limited New Tools” for management of wolves.
Thank you for your consideration.
Flannery Coats, President
For the NFPA Board of Directors