For Immediate Release:  August 25, 2021

Contacts: Derek Goldman, Endangered Species Coalition, 406-370-6491

Jonathan Oppenheimer, Idaho Conservation League, 208-867-3505

Conservation Groups Urge Federal Review, Oversight of Gray Wolves in Montana, Idaho

Missoula, Mont. – Today, the Idaho Conservation League and the Endangered Species Coalition sent a letter urging Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams to initiate a formal examination of new threats to wolves in the Northern Rockies states of Montana and Idaho.

The letter cites criteria in the 2009 Northern Rocky Mountain wolf delisting rule that prompt a USFWS status review of gray wolves when changes to wolf management or policy “significantly increase the threat” to the wolf population. The letter also requests the immediate issuance of a new “post-delisting monitoring period”—a clause of the Endangered Species Act that requires more stringent oversight of state management for recently-delisted species.

This past spring, legislatures in Idaho and Montana passed bills that expand hunting and trapping which will likely result in a significant reduction to the wolf populations in each state. For the first time, lethal neck snares, baiting and night-hunting with high-tech optics will be allowed in Montana. In Idaho, the legislature removed bag limits, allowing individual hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves, year-round, while pursuing them with dogs or on vehicles.

“Legislation allowing lethal neck snares, baiting and wolf bounties is excessive, and is out of touch with the way Montanans and Idahoans want to see wolves managed,” said Derek Goldman, Northern Rockies Representative for the Endangered Species Coalition. “With these new, extreme wolf-killing measures, the states are reneging on the management plans they agreed to, and the Service has a duty now to step back in and hold the states accountable.” 

“The Idaho Legislature implemented significant changes to wolf management in Idaho over objections from the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and others. As a result of their actions, they are inviting the US Fish and Wildlife Service to play a more active role in wolf management,” said Jonathan Oppenheimer, External Relations Director with the Idaho Conservation League.

The letter sent today to the USFWS concludes:

Taken together, the changes made to wolf management in both Montana and Idaho represent a shift, and present a significant risk to wolf populations in each state. These legislative changes constitute a stark departure from the USFWS-approved management plans in each state. Therefore, consistent with the 2009 delisting rule, we hereby request that the USFWS initiate a status review and immediately place the Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf DPS under a post-monitoring period, as described above.


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7 comments on “USFWS petitioned to review status of Gray Wolves in Montana, Idaho

  1. To slaughter wolves as they protect our climate to kill them we are destorying our planet we must protect them

  2. By killing wolves we are doing irreparable damage to the Ecosystem of the planet. Let’s think long-term for once, shall we?


  3. Why do humans believe they have the right to decide which animals will live and others will be slaughtered? Excuses like attacking livestock, or killing too many elk (thereby preventing hunters from killing them), and so many hundreds of years of horror stories going back as far as bedtime stories we read our children are part of the problem. But the truth is that wolves are more like humans than hunters care to admit. They are a strong family unit and work together for the good of the pack, especially their pups. They hunt only the weak, the old and the young. And they benefit the entire ecosystem. Why must they die so quickly, and so brutally, the moment they were removed from the ESA’s protections? 218 wolves killed in Montana in 4 days? That is insane and criminal! Also, the fact that rules have been changed specifically for wolves–no other animal can be hunted at night, or hunted from the air, but wolves are. And bounties are even being paid toward each dead wolf. It is becoming a bloody slaughterfest. And the wolves will not be the only ones that will lose. In the end, we will all lose as the ecosystem that they had helped to re-establish back in 1995 when they were returned to Yellowstone, will disappear as well. And the elk and the deer and the beaver, and many other animals with it. We are not gods. We should not have the right to choose whether a species lives or dies.

  4. I couldn’t have said it better then Lori, who commented above did. The war on wolves is just an out and out slaughter so the bloodthirsty hunters can kill them, so they can kill more Elk, and any other animals that they can. We no longer need to hunt for food, it’s all about killing and not fairly either, using snares, traps, dogs, night hunting, by air, snowmachines. No better then canned hunts. Also no limits?? Why did we bring them back from the brink of extinction? So we could kill them off again. Soon this country will be nothing but a big concrete jungle. There won’t be beautiful forests full of free wild animals where we can experience the wonders of nature. Please stop the killing before it’s too late.

  5. The universe is made for the benefit of all beings, not for one species. And no one species has the right to take away the share from others. And anyone using more than their share is a thief because they’re stealing from nature and other species. They’re stealing from other humans, who have a right to the Earth’s gifts or they’re stealing from future generations through non-sustainability.
    Isha Upanishad

  6. Fight fire with fire when it comes to saving wolves. No more reason to be Mr. Nice Guy when it comes to saving wolves. It didn’t work in the past and it isn’t working today. We need to be more aggressive. I’m not saying be a terrorist or anything, we have to get mad, and let that motivate us. Please, the wheel that sqeeks the loudest gets the oil. This is matter of life and death, literally for wolves.

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