19-04: Declare Wolves a Predator in Eastern Montana

WHEREAS, Conservation Districts are legal subdivisions of the State of Montana; and 

WHEREAS, the declared policy of the Montana Conservation District Law includes, “…to preserve wildlife, protect the tax base, protect public lands and protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the state” (75-15-102 MCA); and

WHEREASthe non-native northern timber wolf subspecies (Canis lupus occidentalis) released in Yellowstone National Park by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service were morphologically and genetically different from the native plains wolf subspecies  (C. l. nubilus) that historically inhabited Eastern Montana; and

WHEREAS, Eastern Montana was never included in the Endangered Species Act ; mandated recovery zone for the non-native northern Canadian timber wolves; and

WHEREAS, the state of Wyoming set the precedent by declaring that wolves outside the Yellowstone National Park recovery zone would be declared a predator; and

WHEREAS, the establishment of wolf packs in Eastern Montana would be devasatating to the livestock industry, the hunting economy and the safety of the residents; and

WHEREAS, resident wolf packs are not currently established in eastern Montana; and

WHEREAS, one tool that would help prevent the establishment of this destructive carnivore would be to remove its legal protection and declare it a predator;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Montana Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) requests the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission to declare the wolf a predator in eastern Montana.