Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bad wolf management

In a classic example of the dictum Ready, Fire, Aim:

Balyeat bill would cap wolves in state

Senate Bill 183 would enact a wolf plan that does not allow more than 225 wolves in the state and would have the animal managed in a way that ensured it was not affecting big game hunting or the livestock industry. The bill would void any element of federal control of the gray wolf, including enforcement of the Endangered Species Act.

Actually, the bill would bring the full weight of the ESA to bear and Montana would be out of the wolf-managing business in exactly the same way that Wyoming is, as the bill's critics point out:

“Senate Bill 183 will not give the state more control over wolves, it will diminish it. It will not accelerate the wolf being delisted, it will prevent it,” said Chris Smith, deputy director of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Smith said taking on the federal government in court over their power to manage the gray wolf would be “similar to the legislative basketball team taking on the best NBA team in the league.”

But the bill's sponsor, Joe Balyeat of Belgrade, tried to claim that he's responsible for wolf delisting!

“I’ve been told by my contacts, who will remain nameless... that Senate Bill 183 was part of the reason the Obama administration decided to go forward with wolf delisting,” he said.

How boring ... most children give names to their imaginary friends.

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