21-06: Resolution to Declare Wolves a Predator in Eastern Montana

As amended at the 2021 Area 1 Meeting

Submitted by Valley CD, 2021

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- 15-102MCA); and

WHEREAS, the non-native northern Canadian timber wolf subspecies (Canis lupus occidentalis) released in Yellowstone National Park by the US 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 (ESA) mandated recovery zone for the non-native northern Canadian timber wolves; and

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

WHEREAS, it is only a matter of time before wolf packs are established in eastern Montana; and

WHEREAS, this would be devastating to the livestock industry, the hunting economy, and the safety of the residents of eastern Montana; and

WHEREAS, eastern Montana stock raisers and residents should have a RIGHT to protect their livestock and families (hunting is a privilege) from these non-native, destructive carnivores; and

WHEREAS, one way to help these constituents would be to follow Wyoming’s lead and remove the legal protections and declare wolves in eastern Montana a predator;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Montana Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) requests the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission to address the issue of declaring all wolves a predator in the non-ESA recovery zone of eastern Montana.