RMEF Urges Hunter Restraint Toward Wolves

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is urging hunters to continue their restraint and to not take wolf management into their own hands while afield this fall.

RMEF President and CEO David Allen also is thanking hunters in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming for their patience and sportsmanship over the years since wolf populations in those states have been fully restored but still federally protected.

Allen said, “We understand the growing frustration felt by sportsmen regarding wolves. We’re extremely frustrated, too. However, we ask hunters to avoid the temptation to solve this problem through ‘vigilante wolf management.’ The sporting community must continue to follow our time-honored tradition of legal, ethical hunting.” [Read more…]

Conservation Groups Urge Stop to Wolf Negotiations

MISSOULA, Mont.—In a letter to Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Joe Maurier, conservation organizations are urging state officials to stick with science in determining adequate populations of gray wolves, rather than negotiating with environmental and animal rights groups to allow surplus populations.

The agency is currently negotiating a settlement with the 13 groups who sued to keep gray wolves federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

These negotiations potentially threaten to weaken the state’s authority to manage populations of game and non-game species, presenting a dangerous precedent for other states seeking to manage wolf populations through their respective state agencies.
[Read more…]

Attention All States- Prepare to be Sued Over Wolves

MISSOULA, Mont.—With their latest petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, animal rights activists are preparing to sue for federally mandated release of wolves in every state, warn officials with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

David Allen, RMEF president and CEO, says animal rights groups have learned that introducing wolves translates to major fundraising, and activists have found a way to exploit the Endangered Species Act—as well as taxpayer-funded programs that cover lawyer fees—to push their agenda and build revenue through the courts. [Read more…]

Changes For 2010 Wolf Hunting

Montana’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission will be asked to consider a number of changes next week for the proposed 2010 wolf hunting season.

Based on lessons learned from the state’s first regulated wolf hunt last year, FWP wildlife managers are proposing to create 14 wolf hunting units and will ask the commission to consider overall harvest quotas of 186 and 216 wolves. Commissioners approved a harvest quota of 75 wolves across three wolf management units for the 2009 season.

“In a word, it’s all about balance,” said Ken McDonald, FWP’s chief of wildlife. [Read more…]

Video Game Takes Kids Outside


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is launching a new online video game aimed to encourage kids to go outside and learn about the environment. Designed for children ages 8 to 11 years old, Neighborhood Explorers is accessed through the Service’s Let’s Go Outside! website at http://www.fws.gov/letsgooutside/.

This is an interesting dynamic as you would have thought with the Fishing and hunting games for video game consoles, computers and arcades would have generated some interest in kids!

Read more on this here!

Partners Protect 2,675 Acres of Habitat, Access in Washington



MISSOULA, Mont. Several partners including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation have completed a 2,675-acre first phase of a three-year project to protect wildlife habitat and public access in the Cascade Mountains near the Naches River in Washington.


By 2011, the entire project will transfer more than 10,000 acres in Kittitas County from Plum Creek Timber Co. to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).


First-phase partners included The Nature Conservancy, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, WDFW and RMEF. A broad coalition, including the Kittitas County Commissioners, Yakama Nation, U.S. Forest Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources, supported the project.


We’re proud to be a part of this unique partnership that is generating permanent benefits for wildlife and sportsmen. The first phase of this project has moved a significant piece of critical elk range and calving grounds into public ownership, said David Allen, president and CEO of the Elk Foundation.


Habitat includes alpine areas home to mountain goats, shrub-steppe and basalt cliffs for elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep, and streams used by bull, cutthroat and rainbow trout as well as salmon. The diverse landscape hosts a wide variety of other species including several classified as sensitive or threatened.


The area, called Rock Creek, also is a popular recreation and scenic destination.

[Read more…]

Research Offers 10 Reasons for Managing Wolves



MISSOULA, Mont. Science-based field research, funded in part by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, is yielding solid data on why gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming should be managed by state wildlife agencies. said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. Tying up this issue in courts defies a proven conservation system that is extremely successful at balancing predatory species within biological and social tolerances. Elk Foundation has long funded scientific research on topics surrounding elk and habitat. Universities and state and federal agencies apply for RMEF research grants and conduct the projects. Researchers present results to peers at professional conferences. New understanding leads to better management strategies for all wildlife in elk country.but still federally protected population of keystone predators is complicating and hindering elk management, as well as conservation itself.ld be counted in the U.S. Leadership, stewardship and funding from hunters restored elk to their current population of more than 1 million. It’s this resource that made wolf recovery possible. Yet hunters and state conservation agencies are being victimized by continuous delays in wolf management.

Wolves have been on and off endangered species lists in recent months. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has repeatedly announced at least partial delisting and state-based management via regulated wolf hunting. But, each time, anti-hunting groups have blocked the effort with lawsuits.

List, delist, and repeat. It’s become an endless cycle driven by those who profit from legal uncertainty over gray wolves,


Here’s a sample of findings, from many different research projects, that support the Elk Foundation’s position that wolves should be managed this fall via state-regulated hunting.

1. In the northern Rockies, original wolf recovery goals for population size and breeding pair estimates are now exceeded by over 500 percent and 333 percent, respectively.

2. Wolf populations in Montana are increasing 10-34 percent annually.

3. Wolves are the top predator on adult elk, especially bulls. Bears take more calves, but at least black bears can be scientifically managed via hunting.

4. Cow-calf ratios are commonly lower in areas with both bears and wolves.

5. Between November and April, wolf packs in Montana kill 7-23 elk per wolf.

6. Since 2000, elk numbers across non-wolf western states have held relatively stable, while elk populations across Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have dropped a combined 4.2 percent. In many local areas, elk reductions have been dramatic and significant. Wolves are a factor, affecting not only elk numbers, but also their distribution, movement and behavior.

7. Elk hunting adds nearly $1 billion per year to the U.S. economy.

8. Hunter opportunity is being reduced to counter declining elk populations in Idaho.

9. A fully restored

10. In 1907, only 41,000 elk cou

Allen encouraged Wyoming and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work together on a mutually agreeable wolf management plan. This would remove one of the obstacles that conservationists can actually control, enabling regulated wolf hunting alongside Idaho and Montana, he said.

SCI Moves to Defend Wolf Delisting




Washington, DC – Safari Club International (SCI) today asked a U.S. District Court in Montana for permission to intervene in defense of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf delisting. SCI’s request comes in response to a lawsuit brought by thirteen animal rights and environmental groups on June 2, 2009 to challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision that removed wolves in Montana and Idaho from the “endangered” species list.   


Read the full article here.

Montana wants people to go hunting

Montana Fish Wildlife Parks - FWP

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks-FWP

HELENA (AP) — A dozen or so bills passed during the Legislature’s 3 1/2-month session make it easier to go afield for a sport that has been in decline nationally, but appears to be holding its own in Montana. For the most part, the bills broaden the licensure of hunting or lift administrative barriers.

“Accommodating some additional folks” is how Ron Aasheim of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks sums up the measures. [Read more…]