Posted: Jan 18, 2013 2:30 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
HELENA - The Montana House of Representatives is asking the state's wildlife agency to more aggressively manage wolves.
In a unanimous vote of 100-0, lawmakers approved House Bill 73, which gives Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks more tools to manage wolves.
The bill would allow hunters to purchase more than one wolf tag and use electronic calls to lure the animals.
It also reduces the price of a nonresident wolf license from $350 to $50.
The bill is a response to livestock producers and hunters who say the wolves are negatively impacting the landscape in Montana and want to see the state more aggressively manage the species.
"This bill is about one of the great successes we've had with wildlife recovery in Montana, the recovery of the wolf. Unfortunately, along with the recovery we've found we need more management tools in Montana," MT State Representative Kelly Flynn (R-Townsend) said.
The bill also states that in hunting districts adjacent to national parks, the FWP Commission is prohibited from closing a district unless the wolf quota has been met.
This is in response to a recent Commission decision to close a district outside Yellowstone Park after hunters reported killing several wolves with tracking devices on them.
After one more procedural vote, the bill will move to Senate.