Montana Governor: Remove Whole Wolf Packs
In perhaps the boldest confrontation of state versus federal power in the wolf wars, Montana Governor Schweitzer wrote the Department of the Interior, notifying the department of "new directives" regarding Montana's wolf management.
First, for Montana’s northwest endangered wolves (north of Interstate 90), any livestock producers who kill or harass a wolf attacking their livestock will not be prosecuted by Montana game wardens. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) wardens will be directed to exercise their prosecutorial discretion by not investigating or citing anyone protecting their livestock.
Further, I am directing FWP to respond to any livestock depredation by removing whole packs that kill livestock, wherever this may occur.
Still further, to protect the elk herds in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley that have been most adversely affected by wolf predation, I am directing FWP, to the extent allowed by the Endangered Species Act, to cull these wolves by whole-pack removal to enable elk herds to recover.