Tester’s request for Montana wolf hunt approved

Following Senator’s urging, approval expedited for Bitterroot conservation hunt

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Interior approved his request for a conservation wolf hunt in Montana:

“A wolf hunt in Montana is a good next step toward getting wolf management completely back in the hands of Montanans, where it belongs, instead of the federal government.  But we’re not out of the woods yet.  I’m going to keep fighting on all fronts to get wolves back under Montana’s common sense management plan—because Montanans deserve responsible leadership that gets results, not just partisan grandstanding.”

The Interior Department today preliminarily approved Montana’s request for a conservation wolf hunt in the Bitterroot Valley.  The decision is now posted for public comment on an expedited timeline of 14 days before receiving final approval.

Tester has consistently urged Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to approve Montana’s request for a hunt, telling Salazar in January, “a regulated hunt will expand the state’s management options for this predator and restore balance to the system.”

The hunt, to be conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks employees, would thin the population of wolves in the Bitterroot that are having a negative impact on elk population in the area.

Tester has also introduced legislation with Senator Max Baucus to return management of wolves in Montana and Idaho to the states.