Montana’s U.S. Delegation Unanimous in Opposition to Wolf Ruling

By Beacon Staff

Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg and Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester all denounced U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy’s decision Thursday to reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves:

Rehberg: “It’s high time for the billion-dollar environmental extremist industry to start listening to local experts and stop assuming all knowledge about wildlife issues resides outside of Montana. State wildlife managers have legitimate concerns over depleting elk and deer populations and our livestock industry is faced with ever increasing wolf encroachment. Montana has developed a responsible wolf management plan and it should have been given a chance to succeed.”

Baucus: “I am extremely disappointed that Montana’s population of gray wolves will return to the Endangered Species List. Montana has long had an excellent wolf management plan in place and it shouldn’t be set aside because Wyoming’s plan continues to come up short. This dispute has gone on long enough and I’m looking at all options to deal with it. When Congress returns next month, I plan to introduce legislation that puts wolves under Montana’s management.”

Tester: “This decision misses the mark. I’ve always supported Montana’s common-sense wolf management plan—and its wolf hunt—because it’s a home-grown solution to an issue important to a whole lot of Montanans. If Montana is going to be home to wolves, they’ve got to be managed in a way that works for the folks who live and work here. This decision highlights the importance of bringing all parties together to find a regional solution.”