The following article, written by Baucus’ Montana Press Secretary Kathy Weber, appeared Thursday in the Clark Fork Chronicle:
Baucus presses for state control over wolves
by Kathy Weber
Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus yesterday called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to move to allow all Montana ranchers to actively protect their livestock. Baucus pressed the Service to make the change now as he crafts legislation to put Montana wolves back under the state’s successful management plan.
“This debate on wolves has gone on long enough. I’m working to craft a bill that will put wolves in our state back in our control once and for all, because nobody knows how to better manage wolves in Montana than Montanans,” Baucus said. “In the meantime, the Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do the right thing and allow all Montana ranchers protect their livestock regardless of arbitrary boundary lines.”
Prior to a recent court ruling, wolves in Montana were removed from Endangered Species Act protections and managed by the state. Baucus has announced plans to introduce legislation to codify the Fish and Wildlife Service’s previous rule that delisted wolves in states with federally-approved management plans, including Montana, and put wolf management back under Montana’s jurisdiction.
In the meantime, as a result of the ruling wolves in Montana are now back under federal management, which classifies wolves in northern Montana as endangered, meaning they cannot be harmed by landowners unless a human life is in jeopardy. Wolf populations in the southern part of the state, however, are classified as experimental, allowing landowners the right to kill them to protect their livestock.
Yesterday, Baucus sent a letter to Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould asking the Service to take action that will bring wolves in northern Montana under the same management rules as those in the southern half of the state and allow all Montana landowners to protect their property from wolves.
To read the letter from Baucus, visit the Clark Fork Chronicle.
Source: Clark Fork Chronicle
Posted by Haylie Shipp