Aggressive wolf management plans in Montana and Idaho are drawing the attention of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service . . .
On opening day of Montana’s expanded wolf-hunting season, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it has decided to conduct an in-depth status review to determine whether state management plans aiming to aggressively reduce wolf populations threaten the recovery of gray wolves.
The agency now has a year to conduct a further review of the species using the best available science to determine whether listing under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.
The process was initiated this summer when environmental groups asked the agency to relist the animals through two separate petitions. The groups filed the petitions after lawmakers in Montana and Idaho passed laws that encouraged aggressive population reduction by broadening the methods hunters could use to harvest wolves and expanding the trapping season.
In a release about the decision, the agency wrote that the two petitions presented “substantial information that potential increases in human-caused mortality may pose a threat to the gray wolf in the western U.S.” and that the “new regulatory mechanisms in Idaho and Montana may be inadequate to address this threat.”…
As expected, the federal judge who invalidated Wyoming’s wolf management plan won’t allow it to go back in force with just a few minor tweaks . . .
A federal judge on Tuesday denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and pro-hunting groups to change last week’s decision that reinstated federal protections for wolves in the state.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., leaves Wyoming and the Fish and Wildlife Service with the choice of either appealing or to developing a revised management plan. The planning process can take years and require more public comment, during which time Wyoming wolves would remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Conservation groups are urging a federal judge not to allow the state of Wyoming to regain control of wolves.
The groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2012. They’re challenging the agency’s acceptance of Wyoming’s wolf management plan, which classifies wolves as predators that can be shot on sight in most areas.
Gray wolves in the U.S. Northern Rockies are showing resilience as states adopt increasingly aggressive tactics to drive down their numbers through hunting, trapping and government-sponsored pack removals…
Montana raised the wolf hunt bag limit to five wolves per person, but added restrictions near Yellowstone National Park. The maximum number of wolves that can be taken in the North Fork remains at two.
Here’s the Flathead Beacon’s write-up . . .
Montana Fish and Wildlife commissioners on Wednesday increased the bag limit from one to five wolves per person and extended the state’s next hunting season, but they also set new restrictions in areas adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.
If you haven’t commented on the proposed regulations for the 2013-2014 wolf hunt, you’ve got a short extension . . .
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has extended the comment period for the proposed 2013-14 gray wolf season until Wednesday at 5 p.m.
According to Ken McDonald, FWP Wildlife Division administrator, the department’s public website has been down due to technical difficulties since midday Saturday, and the comment period had been scheduled to close Monday.