|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||July 10, 2013|
|Contact:||Bart Melton, Yellowstone Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, 406-223-9902, firstname.lastname@example.org|
Montana Wolf Hunt: Some Progress, More Work Needed to Protect Yellowstone National Park Icon
STATEMENT BY: Bart Melton, Yellowstone Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association Yellowstone Field Office
“The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) believes the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission made progress today steering the State away from a repeat of last year’s highly controversial wolf hunt adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.
“Last season the wolf hunt was disastrous for Yellowstone’s wolves. Several of Yellowstone’s wolf packs use areas outside the Park seasonally, and some of the Park’s most well-known and productive wolves were taken just outside of the Park. NPCA asked the State to change hunting rules to assure the same mistake doesn’t occur again.
“The Commission has taken some positive actions. For example, wolves will not be allowed to be legally taken through baiting and the State has also instituted quotas and bag limits in some Park-adjacent hunting units. We appreciate the steps the Commission has taken to decrease the impacts on Yellowstone’s wolves, but there is certainly more work to be done.
“NPCA is concerned that the State’s decision to extend the wolf hunting season from September 15th to March 15th is well beyond the season for other game species. We are also concerned that the State continued to keep bag limits in some areas unacceptably high, permitting as many as 5 wolves per hunter to be taken in areas within reach of Yellowstone’s wolves.
“Yellowstone’s wolf packs are the foundation for the ecosystem’s wolf population and must be provided special considerations. In addition, they attract thousands of visitors and their tourist dollars to the Yellowstone Region every year. It’s imperative that we protect this iconic species adjacent to the Park as well as the vibrant wolf-related tourism that benefits our local economy.”