Montana Bill Seeks to Remove Federal Wolf Management
The Missoulian has an article up about a new wolf bill that will be introduced to the state Legislature. State Senator Joe Balyeat, a Republican from Bozeman, plans to try again at passing a wolf management bill that he introduced in 2009. Its a powerful piece of legislation that directly takes on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) under the 10th Amendment.
“It’s still a 10th Amendment exercise to wrest control of wolves out of the hands of the federal government,” Marbut (a co-author of the bill) said. “It has been the traditional function of state police power to manage and regulate wildlife within the state. Only in recent times has there been construed authority for the feds to manage wildlife. When the Endangered Species Act has been argued in court, the claim for authority the feds make is the commerce clause. But how many wild wolves have you seen sold across state lines? The answer is zero.”
But the bill goes further than just addressing wolf management and also takes on the issue of liability for wolf damages, injuries and deaths.
It would make anyone “responsible for inflicting wolves on Montana or preventing state management of wolves” liable for damages to anyone injured or killed by a wolf, including anyone “party to a lawsuit with the purpose of preventing or delaying the implementation of state management of wolves.”