Wolves are in peril in Montana more so than ever. Consider supporting @WolvesoftheRockies and other organizations fighting to save wolves. #persist
"Fielder wants to kill wolves by any means possible, dismissing wildlife protection and public safety. He and his wife Jennifer Fielder, a comrade of Cliven Bundy and leader of the effort to privatize public lands, have been a wrecking ball for wildlife since they moved to Montana."
The Republicans in the Republican-controlled Montana Legislature are already in pitched battle with each other, in total disregard for the responsibilities and honor of their jobs. Giddy with power, the extremists are frothing about leading a coup to make Montana their playground. After all, Greg Gianforte won’t veto their bills.
Nowhere is this clearer than the bills prepared by Thompson Falls Rep. Paul Fielder, a leader of the Montana Trappers Association. Fielder wants to kill wolves by any means possible, dismissing wildlife protection and public safety. He and his wife Jennifer Fielder, a comrade of Cliven Bundy and leader of the effort to privatize public lands, have been a wrecking ball for wildlife since they moved to Montana.
Rep. Fielder is proposing legislation to:
- Allow wolf hunting at night
- Allow wolves to be included in combo licenses
- Allow more wolves killed per person
- Lengthen wolf season
- Allow snaring of wolves
- Revise trap and snare tagging requirement laws
- Revise Fish and Wildlife Commission members
- Revise constitutional language to make trapping part of the state constitution
This comes on top of schemes to put a $1,000 bounty on wolves and double the number of wolves trapped. Wolves are our only reliable defense against chronic wasting disease. They have revitalized ecosystems where they aren’t killed off. But Fielder can count on Governor-elect Gianforte to champion wolf killing. He also wants to get rid of public lands, their playground, but they ignore that.
Wildlife belongs to you and me, to us all. We need to hear the howl of a wolf, songs of coyotes, to watch otters at play and beavers creating their wetlands that check fires and give us clean water. We have a right to walk our dogs in safety from traps on the public lands we love.
Self-styled elitists like Gianforte and Paul and Jennifer Fielder (now on the Montana Public Service Commission as a stand-in for the oil industry) are names you need to know and understand. They are aggressive in their efforts to destroy wolves, make trapping a constitutional right, and take over Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the trophy hunting industry. They intend to whittle away at public lands. They are profiteers eager to sell out Montana.
Montanans need to hear from you. Wolves belong and their destruction is a disgrace to our state. So too are the representatives who support such a pandering, ill-conceived slaughter.
Write letters to the editor, to your legislators. Speak out for our wildlife, our public lands, public safety from traps. This is no time to sit on the sidelines.
Stephen Capra is executive director of Footloose Montana.
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