Montana Judge has temporarily restricted wolf killings & trapping near Yellowstone & Glacier National Parks and imposed tighter statewide limits on killing the predators over concerns that looser rules framed last year in the Republican- controlled state would harm their population. State officials authorized the killing of 450 wolves during the winter of 2021-22, but ended after killing 23 wolves, most of them in Montana.
Conservation groups last month sued over 2021 laws passed by the Legislature that were intended to curb gray wolf numbers by making it easier to kill themb. The laws allowed the use of snares , which some consider inhumane, & led to rules that allow individuals to kill upto 20 wolves – 10 for hunting & 10 for trapping. Attorneys for Wildearth Guardians and Project Coyote argued that rules in place for this winter would hurt wolf population and interfere with management of the animals on federal lands such as Yellowstone, where hunting is not allowed.
State Dist Court Judge Christopher Abbot Tuesday ordered Montana Wildlife & Parks to return to a limit of snares when trapping season began on November 28 and reimposed strict limits in hunting & trapping near the National Parks. The order was to expire on November 29, but Abby set a hearing on the matter on November 28 in Lewis & Clark County. Montana woman who killed, skinned Husky puppy was cited for animal cruelty.
“This is a promising step in the right direction, and we will continue using all means necessary to end the senseless , politically motivated slaughter of Montana’s beloved wolves”, said Lizzy Penrock, of Wildearth Guardians. Montana Wildlife Officials said the changes ordered by Abbot would take effect immediately. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Hank Worsech said in a statement that the state has “ proven we can manage wolves.”
“We will comply with the Judge’s order & look forward to the opportunity to defend good science & management strategies, he said “ Governor Greg Gianforte criticized the ruling in a statement in a social media post , saying the Judge “Overstepping his bounds to align with extreme activists.”