Montana Senators to Interior Chief: Restart Wolf Talks

By Beacon Staff

Montana lawmakers are asking Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to resume negotiations with governors in the Northern Rockies over the status of gray wolves.

U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus told Salazar in a Tuesday letter that it was time to “re-engage” the governors after talks on the issue broke down last year.

The Montana Democrats say the election of Republican Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead offers a chance to break the stalemate.

More than 1,700 wolves roam Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. The states have divergent proposals to manage the predators — a factor cited in a federal judge’s decision that blocked proposed hunts and restored endangered status to wolves in Idaho and Montana.

Wyoming’s plan would allow wolves to be shot on sight across most of the state.

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