Trappers can continue pursuing wolves under Idaho's current regulations after a federal judge rejected a request by conservation groups to temporarily block the state's expanded wolf trapping and snaring rules.
Members of the public were limited to one minute each, as nearly 100 commenters spent more than two hours advocating their stance on wolves.
The lawsuit alleges a quorum of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission conducted illegal meetings via email before considering controversial regulations.
At the end of 2021, the model estimates 1,141 wolves were in the state.
FWP will take public comment on proposals until July 21, with regulations to be voted on at the August meeting of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The dip comes despite new laws and regulations aimed at increasing the take of wolves by hunters and trappers.
Three more wolves were killed in southwestern Montana’s Region 3 hunting district after Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks closed the season there on Feb. 17, when the 82 wolf quota was reached.
A poaching investigation in northeastern Montana that lasted more than two-and-a-half years ended with 24 people facing fines, deferred jail sentences and loss of hunting, fishing and trapping privileges.
The groups in December sued Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission over discrepancies in the state’s wolf hunting and trapping regulations.
The organizations claim the current wolf hunting and trapping regulations contain conflicting language and were changed without public participation.
Fifteen wolves were shot after roaming across the park's northern border into Montana, according to figures released to The Associated Press. Five more died in Idaho and Wyoming.
Fifteen wolves have been hunted in two wolf management units directly north of Yellowstone National Park so far this winter, and wolf trapping hasn’t begun there yet.
Months after Idaho lawmakers enacted a controversial law expanding wolf hunting and trapping, pushback from critics has continued, with a cadre of opponents once again taking their complaints to the court system.
The woman's lawyer said her client was not politically motivated, but instead wanted to "ruin" an ex-boyfriend's evening.
Wildlife advocates argue the state-sponsored hunts including in Wisconsin, Idaho and Montana could quickly reverse the gray wolf's recovery over the past several decades in large areas of the West and Midwest.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission Thursday placed additional restrictions on wolf trapping aimed at reducing the number of federally protected grizzly bears and Canada lynx caught unintentionally.
In the coming months, the commission is expected to take up major changes to elk and deer regulations.
The vote followed a passionate hearing where commissioners and public commenters sparred over fair chase ethics, science-based wildlife management and legislative mandates.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet in person on Aug. 20 and those wishing to make public comments via Zoom must register the day before.
Among the many new wolf regulations the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission is taking public comment on are some potential changes to uniquely managed areas adjacent to national parks.
The commission and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are tasked with implementing new laws.
“The changes to Idaho and Montana state law will drive populations below these minimum thresholds, and strip state agencies of their already limited capacity to maintain populations above these levels,” the petition says.