Sunday, April 3, 2011
State's Right To Control Wolves
When it comes to claiming that each and every state should have the right to control or "manage" wolves that are now destroyng wildlife populations and making a very negative dent into livestock driven economies, both Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Idaho Governor C.L. Butch Otter seem to have absolutely no problem spouting off and taking issue with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But whenever it comes time to stand tall in defiance of Endangered Species Protection of gray wolves...neither seems to be be man enough to back up what they say. In short, their mouths tend to write checks that their asses can't cash.
Both of these governors, under pressure from the citizens of their states, have written letters to the Secretary of the Interior proclaiming that, despite federal protection of wolves, these states would no longer manage wolves according to federal court-ordered mandates. Likewise, these two governors have boasted that their state wildlife officials would not investigate the deaths of Big Brother's wolves, and would not prosecute anyone for killing wolves.
"Sending" those letters to the Secretary of the Interior is about as far as these two braggadocios have taken those threats of defiance. The residents of these two states are sick and tired of wolves, and feel that time for action has come and past. On the other hand, the legislatures of these two states are now considering bills which would pretty much do what these two meaningless braggarts boasted. And the biggest opposition to "taking charge of the wolf issue" in Idaho and Montana now seems to be coming from the governors of the two states.
In a classic example of political grandstanding this past week, Schweitzer stood in front of the Capitol building in Helena, brandishing a large "VETO" branding iron for big bills...a medium sized "VETO" branding iron for medium sized bills...then pulled a small sized "VETO" iron out of his pocket for smaller bills. And during comments at the start of the state's 62nd Legislative Session, this governor claimed he would not sign any bills challenging the federal government. And, that's a real shame, since the MT Senate just passed a bill known as the "Montana Wolf Control Act" that has some real bite to it.
The text of that bill can be seen at the following link -
Perhaps the citizens of this state need to start putting pressure back on this backpedaling braggart.
Next door in Idaho, a similar bill, which has been dubbed the "Idaho Wolf Emergency Declaration" is to be introduced this week (on April 6). Among other slight difference, the approach of this legislation is to give the governor the power to declare a state of emergency in any county where wolf populations are a threat to ranching, are destroying wildlife populations, are seriously impacting county economies, or present a clear and present danger (physical, health, psycological) to humans.
As originally drafted, this was a much more comprehensive bill, filled with claims such as... "that wolf recovery efforts in Idaho discontinue immediately and wolves be removed by whatever means necessary." And it directly challenged the U.S. Government, with wording such as "The United States has not dealt with the State of Idaho in good faith concerning the reintroduction of gray wolves in Idaho..." The original draft even included a clause which would have called for placing a $500 bounty on each wolf killed.
All of that has been changed...but the legislation does call for the removal of wolves which are creating a seriously negative impact on Idaho's traditional way of life. But, since it does challenge federal authority to manage wolves, many feel that Governor Otter simply won't man up to his earlier boastfulness.
Again...putting pressure on these two governors could make a difference. In fact, a rally to support the Idaho legislation is now being organized. Anyone wishing to be seen or heard is asked to be at the State Capitol building in Boise at 11 a.m. on April 6th. And they are asked to call the Governor's office at 208 334-2100, and urge him to support this legislation.
You can also go on-line at http://gov.idaho.gov/ourgov/contact.html and send him a form letter requesting the same.
Montanan's wanting to express their support of the "Montana Wolf Control Act" can call Governor Schweitzer's office at 406 444-3111. Or, drop him an e-mail to insist that he sign this legislation, which the Senators that represent the citizens of this state have already passed. His e-mail address is governorSchweitzer@mt.gov.
NOTE: This coming week there will also be a wolf protest rally in conjunction with wolf management legislation needed now in Oregon. Following is a press release from "Wolf Free Oregon"...which is sponsoring this event. Go Get 'Em Guys...And Gals!
WOLF FREE OREGON
Taxpayers Taking Charge of the Canadian Grey Wolf Problems
Editorial News/Press Release
April 3, 2011
Clearing the Waters of the Wolf Wars
On Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at High Noon on the West steps of the Oregon State Capitol, Wolf Free Oregon, Mothers Against Wolves, Blue Mt. Archers and Save Oregon Elk will hold a protest rally for the removal of the Canadian Grey Wolf from Oregon, carrying this message loud and clean will be “Bullhorns and Mothers,” a group of ten mothers armed with bullhorns who ask “Can You Hear Us Now!” They will be supported by their cheering section of two chartered bus loads of passionate taxpayers from Eastern Oregon and sportsmen from Western Oregon. The Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project has been plagued with ongoing accusation of relying on manipulated science to dump a non-indigenous wolf into the region; outright lies to camouflage the devastation wolves would deal other wildlife population and the livestock industry.
The wolf issue has become an environmental version of the television game show “Deal or No Deal.” A short press conference will be held at 12 noon on the West steps prior to the start of the protest.