Opinion

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Letter

Big Game Populations Are at Risk

Each wolf kills approximately 20 big game animals per year

Sportsmen from western Montana will be holding their second meeting regarding the declining elk, deer, moose and sheep populations in Region 1. The increasing wolf populations have far exceeded recovery objectives and have consequently declined the big game wildlife numbers in this area. These big game wildlife populations are at risk with some areas being completely void of elk! We need to promote and regulate the population of big game wildlife in these areas.

To illustrate this drastic decline, as an example from Idaho, the elk populations in the Lolo region stood at 16,000 elk in 1995 and have plummeted to less than 1,000 in 2016. Each wolf kills approximately 20 big game animals per year. Wolf populations have continued to grow at 28 percent annually despite trapping and management efforts. Idaho and Wyoming have taken a more aggressive approach in wolf management by making it easier to hunt and trap the wolves.

The objectives of the group are to work with legislators to educate the public on the decreased wildlife populations and to work with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to change regulations in order to be able to harvest more wolves with extended trapping seasons and less expensive wolf permits, etc.

The next meeting will be held on Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lakeside Motel Conference Center in Trout Creek. Guest speakers and attendees will include Justin Webb from the Foundations For Wildlife Management, a representative from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Neil Anderson from Region 1, legislative Rep. Bob Brown, and area sportsmen who have witnesses firsthand the declining populations of wildlife in this area. All are welcome.

Glenn Schenavar
Thompson Falls