Elk Foundation Critical of Wolf “Buffer Zone”

Aaron Flint posted on December 10, 2012 11:35 :: 1282 Views

The FWP Commission apparently has a little more flexibility now that the election is over, as the commission is looking to create a “buffer zone” for wolves around Yellowstone National Park. 

As the AP reports:

Montana wildlife commissioner Shane Colton said closing some areas to trapping or setting strict quotas will be on the table during a Monday commission meeting.

“We don’t want to close any area off if we don’t have to. But if we keep losing collared wolves … management becomes difficult,” Colton said. “We want to do this first trapping season right.”

In anticipation of the proposal, David Allen, the CEO of The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) had this on the RMEF blog last week:

The attempt to establish a “buffer zone” for YNP wolves is in direct contrast to the original goal for the wolf reintroduction in the Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM). Never at any time was it planned that “Yellowstone wolves” would be granted amnesty from management once outside of YNP. This is a time when Defenders, GYC and others should be celebrating a successful recovery of the wolf population. However, it seems that there is no such satisfaction. Will there ever be? A substantial number of wolves throughout the three states have come from YNP. Are they to be given special protection status as well?

Those who protest the harvesting of the Yellowstone area wolves seem to gloss over the fact that the primary reason wolves are leaving Yellowstone is for prey. The substantial reduction of the northern Yellowstone elk herd requires these wolves to travel farther for prey. We sincerely wish that those who claim to “defend wildlife” felt some empathy for the thousands of elk that have been lost from the northern Yellowstone elk herd, not to mention the related economic losses.

Click here to read the full post.

Separately, Haylie Shipp reports at NorthernAg.Net that the controversial Milk River Ranch purchase is also before the FWP Commission’s Monday meeting. 

The FWP Commission will meet via conference call Dec. 10 to take final action on three land matters and to hear an update on the state’s wolf hunting season.
The call is set to begin at 9 a.m. Conference call connections and public comment opportunities will be offered  at each FWP regional office; in Havre at the Great Northern Inn at 1345 1st Street; and at FWP’s Helena headquarters, 1420 E. Sixth Ave.

As of 9:35 AM Monday morning, Haylie noted that over 35 residents were on the call waiting to comment. 

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