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Montana Approves Grizzly Management Plan

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The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a grizzly bear management plan for if and when the animals in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem are removed from the endangered species list. More specifically, the commission set a population goal of approximately 800 grizzlies. “The overwhelming majority of the comments didn’t really address the rule,” Ken McDonald, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife bureau chief, told the Missoulian. “There was a lot of ‘don’t hunt, don’t …

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RMEF, BLM Project Benefits Montana Wildlife, Sportsmen and Women

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Below is a 12/11/2018 news release from the U.S. Department of Interior regarding a RMEF project that permanently protected and opened access to nearly 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat in southwest Montana. Another Conservation Win: Secretary Zinke adds 960 acres of Prime Wildlife Habitat to Montana BLM lands WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the Bureau of Land Management has acquired lands from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for $1,025,000 …

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Ask Congress to Pass Sportsmen’s Package

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Senate and House leaders are considering recommending end-of-the-year approval of a “Sportsmen’s Package” bill that includes several provisions RMEF strongly supports. These include modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Act to allow additional funds be used for recreational shooting facilities and hunter recruitment; providing additional hunting opportunities for veterans; implementing an “open until closed” federal lands management policy to prevent public lands from being closed to hunting and fishing; allowing bows to be transported through National Parks; allowing qualified volunteers to help with wildlife management in National Parks; requiring information be published about which groups sue the federal government and collect attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act; establishing a reasonable, cross-boundary, cross-jurisdictional permit for small public lands filming operations; and preventing the Army Corps of Engineers from prohibiting possession of a firearm at certain federal water resource developments.

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Hunters Help Fight CWD in Minnesota

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Hunters can participate in two special deer hunts to help limit the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild deer in southeastern Minnesota. Residents and nonresidents can participate in the hunts from Friday, Dec. 21 to Sunday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 28 to Sunday, Dec. 30 in deer permit areas 603, 347 and 348, and portions of deer permit areas 343 and 345 that are south of Interstate 90. The hunts are one step …

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Newspaper Calls Out Lawmaker over Wolf Comments

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A newspaper based in Salem, Oregon, and founded in 1928, called out Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) for comments he made regarding those who favor the state management of gray wolves. You can read the editorial below: Editorial: DeFazio’s Wolf Comments Out of Line  The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would remove the grey wolf from the federal Endangered Species list. The bill passed on a 196-180 vote.  The measure would strip wolves …

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CWD Detected in Grand Teton National Park

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The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory confirmed that an adult buck mule deer from Grand Teton National Park has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The deer had been struck by a vehicle and tissue samples were collected by National Park Service personnel and submitted for testing. Wildlife managers say that while this raises concern, the positive test result does not come as a surprise based on recent positive results for …

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Elk Population Ailing in Southwest Colorado

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Colorado has the largest elk population in North America but numbers are suffering in the southwest part of the state. According to the Durango Herald, wildlife officials whittled down ballooning elk numbers in the 1990s and they’ve yet to bounce back. “In the last six to eight years, we’ve tried to go back into the population growth phase,” Scott Wait, Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist, told the Durango Herald. “But we are struggling getting the …

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House Votes to Delist Gray Wolves

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The House of Representatives voted 196-180 on Friday to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48. The legislation will next head to the Senate. Nine Democrats joined Republicans in voting to advance the legislation, which was originally cosponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Twelve members of the GOP voted against the bill. Dozens of lawmakers didn’t cast a vote in what has now become a lame duck session of Congress. That included …

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Environmental Group Files Suit, Wants More Wolves Nationwide

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The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) wants more wolves all across the United States so it followed through on a threat to file suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation adamantly opposes such litigation and believes wolves need to be delisted nationwide and managed by state wildlife agencies just as they manage elk, mountain lions, deer, bears and other predator and prey species. According to a Los Angeles Times …

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Tests Confirm CWD in Northern, Southern Montana

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Second tests on tissue samples from a white-tailed buck harvested in southern Liberty County and a mule deer doe harvested within the CWD-positive area in Carbon County came back positive for chronic wasting disease. The lab at Colorado State University confirmed the tests. The whitetail in Liberty County was harvested in hunting district 400, but outside both the current CWD-positive area and the 2018 priority surveillance area, which includes the northern half of Liberty County. …

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Authorization Given to Remove More Livestock-Killing Wolves

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind authorized the use of lethal measures to remove wolves from two packs that have repeatedly preyed on cattle on grazing lands in northeast Washington. The two wolf packs subject to lethal action are the Smackout pack in Stevens County and the Togo pack in Ferry County. Susewind authorized the removal of one or two members of the Smackout pack after WDFW field staff confirmed that …

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CWD Spreading Across Central Canada, Hunters Asked for Help

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Wildlife officials in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan discovered chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a new wildlife management zone, meaning the disease is now confirmed in 45 of Saskatchewan’s 83 wildlife management zones.  Thirty-four cases of CWD have been identified in the province this year. The new case involved a 3½ year-old elk bull in zone 42E, south of Melfort that was submitted as part of the ministry’s voluntary CWD surveillance program. “Hunters play a …

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Ask your Representative to Vote for Wolf Delisting Bill

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The U.S. House of Representatives scheduled a vote the week of November 12 on H.R. 6784, a bipartisan bill requiring the Secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules removing gray wolves from the threatened and endangered species list in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states, including Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The bill would also prevent further judicial review of these rules.

Gray wolves have exceeded recovery goals in these states and no longer require federal protection. State wildlife agencies are best to manage predator and prey populations through public hunting and other management tools in order to strike a balance for gray wolf and ungulate populations.

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Grizzlies Found in New Wyoming Location

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Chalk up another location where grizzly bears are turning up for the first time in decades. Only a few months after wildlife officials confirmed a grizzly sighting in Cody, Wyoming, now they captured three grizzlies south of Byron. “This is certainly first time in recent history we’ve captured a bear in Big Horn,” Dan Smith, Wyoming Game and Fish (WGFD) regional supervisor, told the Cody Enterprise. “We’ve had a busy year here in the Cody …

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CWD Found 25 Miles from Missouri Elk Herd

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The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirms that a whitetail deer a mere 25 miles away from the state’s elk herd tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. “Oh, we certainly are concerned with that proximity to the elk,” Jasmine Batten, MDC wildlife disease coordinator, told the Springfield News-Leader. “At this point there’s no reason to believe CWD has reached Peck Ranch, because we do test all the elk mortality cases we find. But the case …