Wolves Back on the Endangered Species List? Not For Montana Says Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
A recent decision by a federal court has put Wyoming Wolves back under the federal protection of the Endangered Species list. According to Mark Holyoak from the Missoula-based Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Wyoming’s legal wolf issues are the result of a technicality.
"In Montana and Wyoming the same rule was in place: the 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolf minimum," Holyoak said. "But both those states said, we're going to have a 50% buffer of 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves, just to make sure that there is not an issue. Wyoming, the court ruled, did not have that language in place to make sure that that buffer existed."
Wyoming is currently attempting to bring Wolves back under state management and a new court ruling could happen this week.
"Wyoming's wolf hunt is expected to begin on Wednesday the first, so this ruling has put things on hold, which has put everything in a bind; I mean, people have bought tags, people have bought trips... so it looks like the court is going to address this in a timely manner," Holyoak said.
Montana is not expected to face the same issues Wyoming is dealing with because the state has the proper 'buffer' language in its management plan and because the wolf population here is at least 300 percent above what it is mandated to be.