Idaho Governor Butch Otter started it and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is continuing the defiance. Both governors have directed their game wardens to stop investigating wolf kills in their states, but earlier this week Governor Schweitzer took it one step further: He is encouraging livestock owners to kill wolves that prey on their livestock, even in areas where it is not currently allowed. But he didn't stop there; he is also ordering game wardens to kill wolf packs preying on elk herds, specifically in the Bitterroot region of Montana.
"We will take action in Montana on our own," he said. "We've had it with Washington, D.C., with Congress just yipping about it, with [the Department of] Interior just vacillating about it."
There will be gnashing of teeth in D.C. and of course the California contingency of animal rights wackos will be reeling in front of their TVs after seeing this "in your face" assault, but isn't it about time?
How long do we have to sit back and watch wildlife populations, that we as hunters helped manage to healthy densities, be destroyed by wolves? Wolves are well beyond recovery goals, yet continue to eat their way through the big game herds.
I've long been an advocate for state's rights, and if there ever was a time to snub the federal government, this is it. Unfortunately they'll start grandstanding soon and begin holding back federal funds in one way, shape or another. Wyoming has been defiant all along by holding out for their own management program that basically gives wolves protection in the northwest corner, but predatory status almost everywhere else. It's time all the states follow Montana's lead and protect wildlife resources before people with no connection to these states destroy some of the finest wildlife populations ever to grace this country.
Thanks Schweitzer. I'm tired of looking behind my back for these dang wolves!