9 Feb 2009, 10:38am
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
by admin

The High Costs of Wolves

by Allen Schallenberger

A recent final research report by the Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) shows that wolves are grabbing 67 percent of the funding compared to all other big game surveys in the state of Montana. That figure has increased from 45 percent in 2005.

MT FWP is getting $823,604 from the US Fish and Wildlife Service for wolves. FWP is spending about $2,000  yearly per admitted wolf.  Those wolf numbers are a little hazy as FWP makes their wolf count at the end of December but will not release the numbers until their annual wolf report in March. Also the public should know that a fiscal note on SB 183 indicates FWP wants to spend about $6,600 per wolf.

What is the true cost per wolf in Montana today? How much money is taken from other FWP programs? How much are the universities, USFWS, USDA Wildlife Services, other agencies and environmental groups spending per wolf in addition to FWP?  What is the cost of the numerous big game animals killed by wolves?  For example wolves kill 23 elk per wolf in the Madison Valley during the 6 month winter period. What they are killing the rest of the year is unknown.

Humans must pay FWP restitution fees for illegally taken big game animals. Trophy animals — bighorn $30,000; elk $8,000; moose and any mountain goat $6,000; deer $8,000; antelope $2,000.  Other restitution fees are bighorn and wolves $2,000; elk and moose $1,000; buffalo and antlered deer $500; deer and antelope not covered by above sections $300.  The wolves are killing thousands of expensive animals.

What are the costs of livestock killed, wounded and harassed as well as animals such as dogs?  What are the stress costs for big game, livestock, ranchers, hunters, outfitters, other citizens and businesses and the costs of wolves spreading diseases? The feds imported wolves with $12,000,000 stolen funds [from hunting and fishing excise taxes].

Note: Allen Schallenberger is an experienced wildlife research and management biologist, wildife consultant, former cattle rancher, 20-year general outfitter, and a 5th generation Montana native. He is a frequent contributor to Wildlife and People and SOS Forests.

24 Feb 2009, 3:03pm
by Bob S.


Please note: As an Albertan (Canadian) and grad student in forestry (M.Sc.) from U. of Idaho who was close to the USPS operation (1995) collecting the initial wolves for release, many questions were raised amongst us wondering will these critters stay in the national parks. Many predicted that wolves would become a burden on wildlife managers and livestock producers throughout the western states. This indeed has happened. The federal (US) people must be held accountable!!!!!! Remedial action is needed now.

25 Feb 2009, 5:40am
by Mike L.


The truth is that these folks did not want the wolves to stay in the Park. The “smoke is out of the jug” and these wolves will end up throughout the west eating up big game populations and anything else they can catch. Soon the livestock will be gone along with the big game and now we are back to a real wilderness environment. Isn’t that just a wonderful legacy we leave for our grandchildren that may want to hunt something!!

25 Feb 2009, 9:16am
by wheat


Thank you U of I student!!! Nice to know you are able to see the side of the ranchers, farmers, Out of State, and In-State Sportsmen, and all people that love all wildlife, not just one species that kills everything, including your own dog!

What people don’t know is that wolves are being dumped, still, all over Idaho, by the same people working in the gov, as well as by the Indians that raise wolves. People have seen stock trailers full of wolves dumped in Oregon, by Enterprise, and down by Kendrick, Idaho.

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