Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife

Derek Goldman, Endangered Species Coalition
406-549-2848 ext. 2

Chris Colligan, Greater Yellowstone Coalition

News and Opinion


by DEREK GOLDMAN, Western Wolf Coalition
As you may have heard, state lawmakers in Helena last week overwhelmingly passed a resolution urging that the U.S. Congress remove endangered species protections for gray wolves. Congressional delisting of wildlife would set a bad precedent. If they throw the wolf off the Ark to satisfy special interests, you have to ask yourself, which species will be next?

Nearly a dozen wolf-related bills have already been drafted in Helena, and more are on their way. Besides increasing the killing of wolves in Montana, these bill hearings provide a forum for anti-wolf types to vilify wolves, carnivores, and endangered species generally.

That is why your legislators in Helena need to hear from you!

 **Please contact your state legislators and let them know you value wolves in Montana and the Northern Rockies**

A handful of special interests are falsely blaming wolves for killing too many elk and livestock. In fact, elk populations have INCREASED 60 percent statewide in Montana since wolves were reintroduced and 18 percent in the region. Furthermore, livestock lost to wolves represent less than 1 percent of livestock losses in the Northern Rockies.

It’s time to put the scare tactics aside, and manage wolves based upon reality, reason, and science.

Click here to email your legislators in Helena. You can also use the online form to email the entire Senate Fish & Game and House Fish, Wildlife and Parks committees.

I’ve included some talking points below. Please feel free to put them into your own words. Also, if you would like to attend a hearing at the Capitol in Helena, please contact me for more information.

Thank you for speaking up for wolves and Montana’s wildlife heritage!

Derek Goldman, Field Representative
Western Wolf Coalition
405 S. 1st St. West,   Missoula, MT 59801
Office: (406) 549-2848 ext.2
Fax:    (406) 721-8535

General Talking Points on Wolves

  • We all want to see wolves recovered in the Northern Rockies with responsible state management of wolves.  Those decisions should be made in accordance with the Endangered Species Act, based on the best available science, not politics.
  • The return of the gray wolf to the Northern Rockies is a remarkable achievement in wildlife restoration and an Endangered Species Act success story. Wolves have a long history in the West and are part of our unique Western heritage. 
  • Elk & Wolves:  Contrary to popular myth, most elk herds in the Northern Rockies are thriving. Elk numbers in the region have increased 18% since wolf reintroduction and 60 percent statewide in Montana, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Today, there are nearly 400,000 elk in the Northern Rockies and only about 1,700 wolves.
  • Livestock & Wolves:  Livestock lost to wolves represent less than 1% of total livestock losses in wolf country. Disease, coyotes, domestic dogs, and even winter weather kill many times more cattle and sheep than wolves.
  • According to a University of Montana study, people who visit the Yellowstone region hoping to glimpse a wolf spend around $35 million annually in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
  • Montana’s wolf management plan was crafted by sportsmen, livestock producers, business owners, political leaders and conservationists through an open, collaborative process.
  • The US Fish & Wildlife Service should bring all stakeholders to the table to work together to resolve the conflicts.
We should manage wolves like other wildlife, such as mountain lions and bears, instead of treating them like pests and actively reducing their numbers to minimum levels.

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