FWP Forgoes Wolf Stamps This Fall to Further Discuss Issue

Wildlife officials received and reviewed more than 50,000 comments on the proposal

By Beacon Staff

Wildlife officials are holding off on a proposed stamp that would raise voluntary funds for the state’s wolf management program, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Thursday.

The proposed stamp won’t be adopted this year, FWP officials said, and instead a group of representative interests will be gathered to discuss how to balance the challenges and benefits of creating a new or additional way for those who don’t hunt or fish to contribute to wildlife management.

The proposal would have directed FWP to make available for sale a $20 wolf stamp. The rules would have defined how the voluntary donations would be allocated to wolf management activities. FWP received and reviewed more than 50,000 comments on the proposal over the course of the nearly two month comment period.

“The large number and variety of public comments shows a need to further discuss the concept,” said Ron Aasheim, FWP spokesman in Helena. “With so many different points-of-view expressed, many unanswered questions and divergent expectations remain. We want to get this right the first time, and don’t want to compromise the obvious potential of offering an opportunity to those who don’t hunt and fish the chance to contribute to wildlife management.”

FWP Director Jeff Hagener will seek to convene a group for a day-long discussion this fall. The group’s central task will be to identify or develop common ground for developing future funding recommendations that could be considered for public review and comment.

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