PREDATORS — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation wants wolves to be more aggressively managed in Montana and they’re offering state wildlife officials at least $50,000 to contract with federal trappers to kill more of the predators.
RMEF President David Allen tells the Missoulian the state isn’t using remedies allowed under the wolf management plan to the fullest.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim says the agency is still considering the offer, according to the Associated Press.
Mike Leahy with Defenders of Wildlife argues that assistance from conservation organizations should further conservation, not undermine it.
Despite months of open public wolf hunting and some Wildlife Services action to kill wolves causing livestock losses, biologists estimate Montana’s wolf population grew by at least 15 percent last year compared to 2010 levels.
The state had at least 643 wolves at the end of 2011. FWP Director Joe Maurier has said the goal in Montana is about 425 wolves.