Former members of Montana’s Wolf Management Advisory Council will gather in Helena, April 12, to review and discuss the wolf management plan they helped to create.
The disbanded 12-member citizens’ council last met about five years ago to discuss specific hunting and trapping recommendations in anticipation of the wolf’s official recovery in the northern Rocky Mountains.
“A lot has transpired since the council last met in 2007,” said FWP Director Jeff Hagener. “Governor Steve Bullock and I have invited the members to gather in Helena for a one-day meeting to review the status of the wolf in Montana today and to discuss the effectiveness of the management plan.”
The April 12 meeting, set to begin at 8:30 a.m., will be held at FWP Headquarters in Helena, 1420 E. Sixth Ave. The meeting will be video streamed live to each FWP regional office. A live audio stream will also be available via the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov.
The meeting agenda includes introductory remarks from Gov. Bullock, Hagener and Chase Hibbard, the former chairman of the council. The core of the agenda includes an update on existing federal requirements; a review of the legal procedures that led to delisting in 2011; and reviews and updates on the wolf population’s status, research activities, hunting and trapping seasons, livestock depredation, recent wolf-related legislation, and wolf-program funding. The agenda also includes opportunities for public comment at 2 p.m.
The delisting of wolves in 2011 allows Montana to manage wolves in a manner similar to how bears, mountain lions and other wildlife species are managed, which is guided by state management plans, administrative rules, and laws.
Montana wildlife officials recently estimated that at least 625 wolves, in 147 verified packs, and 37 breeding pairs inhabited the state at the end of 2012. To learn more about Montana’s wolf population, visit FWP online at fwp.mt.gov.
The wolf advisory council was created in 2000 to advise FWP on the development of a wolf conservation and management plan. Montana’s plan was approved by federal officials in 2004.
FWP ensures its meetings are fully accessible to individuals with special needs. To request arrangements call FWP at (406) 444-3186.
(Report released by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks 4.3.13)