Canis lupus

Range and Distribution


GWA Position on Wolf Management

The issue of managing wolves in Montana is complex, divisive and emotional. The abundant rhetoric of public interests and self interests is full of truths, half-truths, non-truths and inappropriate extrapolations. The science of wolf/prey dynamics continues to evolve. Local information on wolves is always incomplete and very soon out-of-date. Gallatin Wildlife Association does not have resources to effectively and constructively enter and sustain efforts in this melee.

Our general position on wolf management in Montana is:

1. Wolves have both positive and negative values that vary across the diverse landscape of Montana.
2. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is the appropriate agency for managing wolves in our state.
3. FWP should manage wolves based upon the best available science and upon the most reliable local information.

  • FWP should resist politically-based pressures to manage wolves in ways that do not conform to the best available science and information.
  • FWP must recognize that the current wolves are relatively new in most of Montana. Their ecological and economic relationships are evolving rapidly in a dynamic environment that is influenced by climatic variation and trends. Often, the recent past will provide poor predictions of the future for wolves and their prey. In short, wolf behavior, ecology, population dynamics and depredations will vary across time and space.
  • Given the above difficulties, FWP should proceed with caution, testing its management assumptions with adequate monitoring and evaluations of management effectiveness.

4. It is in the public interest for all to recognize the complexity and newness of wolf ecology and management in Montana. We must learn as we go and accept that the best solutions to management issues may not be readily apparent, will vary locally and may change from time to time.


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