By Brooks Fahy, Executive Director, Predator Defense
“Recently one of our county’s most highly respected environmental organizations, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), proposed that wildlife advocates improve the plight of wolves in Montana by purchasing a special wolf “conservation” stamp for $20. The money raised would allegedly be used to resolve wolf conflicts nonlethally, as well as for public education, habitat improvement and procurement, and law enforcement.
“Sounds great, right?
“The problem is the money will go directly to the state agency in charge of managing wolves—Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). If you’ve been following our work at Predator Defense for any length of time you’ll know that, for the state of Montana, “managing” means “killing.” It is also worth noting that the state has renamed what the NRDC calls a wolf “conservation” stamp a wolf “management” stamp.
“We believe we must speak out against the NRDC’s wolf stamp, and here’s why. The best available science tells us that territorial, apex predators like wolves do not need to be managed.
“Asking wildlife advocates to donate funds to a government wildlife management agency is an endorsement of sorts that implies that agency is deserving of and will use your donation in the best interest of wildlife, in this case wolves. Such an endorsement promotes what we would like to call “The Myth,” which is that wildlife management agencies are using current science and conservation biology, as well as ethical principles, to create responsible programs to benefit wildlife, primarily predators. The truth is they are not.”
SUBMIT A WRITTEN COMMENT OPPOSING THE WOLF STAMP
View the proposed wolf stamp rule and make your comment on the Montana FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/armRules/pn_0177.html
You may also submit your comments by mail, email, or fax to:
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Communication Education Division
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
GR: As much as we want to trust and work with our public agencies, we have to do so with caution. Shifting political breezes often force well-intentioned agency employees to change their commitments. We must seek strong, binding agreements before beginning any cooperative ventures.