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Two bills currently pending in the Montana Senate Fish and Game Committee advocate for increased wolf killing at a time when Montana can’t afford to lose any more of these iconic creatures. In the last season alone, trophy hunters and predator control agents killed 312 wolves. HB279 allows wolf trappers to be reimbursed for costs associated with cruelly killing wolves using traps, and HB291 establishes a privately funded “wolf mitigation account,” instructing the Department of Livestock to use this money to contract with USDA-Wildlife Services to kill problem wolves.

Last November, the world was outraged when the famous wolf Spitfire stepped over the invisible boundary from Yellowstone into Montana and was killed by a trophy hunter. Her death serves as a grim reminder that there are those willing to target any wolves for a thrill or a quick buck, completely ignoring the fact that they are more valuable alive than dead. Not only are wolves a symbol of the wild and a source of pride, but wolf- and other wildlife-watching tourism generates millions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs each year.

Wolves are valuable gems in the Treasure State, and it doesn’t make sense to financially reward trappers that kill these vulnerable animals in some of the cruelest ways imaginable. Committee members must hear from Montana residents opposed to these HB279, HB291, and any other bills that would harm our wolves and wildlife. Please contact leg.mt.gov/web-messaging.

Janice Hergenraeder

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Laurel

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