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Arrogance Run Amock

by Stephen Capra, Executive Director, Bold Visions Conservation

We start this by acknowledging that often, in writing about the Game and Fish Commission, some could say I rant. However, it is vital to educate and inform you about a Governor, Legislature and Commission and Agency that are doing all they can to destroy biodiversity and predators in both Idaho and Montana. We see this as documentation of their misdeeds, and we will continue to record it and push everyone in both states to be a voice for wildlife.


We cannot allow such stupidity and old-world mentalities to continue to destroy wolves and other creatures and steal from us the chance to see them in the wild. This is a war that must be fought to stop these people's control over this beautiful wildlife. They must be stopped, and we must make our outrage clear; these people deserve no respect. It again proves that the Game and Fish departments are dinosaurs that need a complete overhaul. Wildlife must be given a chance to thrive!


This past week, we were subjected to some of the most arrogant and disgraceful aspects of the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Commission. The commission meeting was full of their usual efforts to expand hunting of any and all species. The commission added a new bow season on moose and allowed more killing of bighorn sheep. Naturally, they voted to support the radicalized bill passed in the legislature last year that allows ranchers to kill grizzly bears if they feel threats to cows or sheep on public lands, often very remote public lands.

The bill should never have been permitted as it once again gives powers to ranchers that should not be grazing these lands from the start and will result in the killing of more bears while the state races to delist this magnificent animal that should never be hunted-period. They are happy with the bison being killed, and they want wolves destroyed.

Yesterday was a special hearing that they gave the public short notice about because when more than 25% of wolves have been killed, it requires a review. This review was their chance to say "fuck you" to those of us that love wolves and demand their protection. Rather than take the situation with a level of decorum or seriousness, the following unfolded. Commission Lane was in his truck watching his cattle. Commissioner Cebull was in blaze orange hunting from a blind while on the call. Commissioner Tabor was leading the call and acting as though he was doing us a favor by having the call and defending their stance on wolves. They were making a statement that arrogance is power.

What was at stake remained that five wolves had already been killed by slob hunters on the Yellowstone border, unit 313. The commission could have ended the hunt on the call and perhaps showed a little decency. A total of six can be killed. Tabor kept pushing, saying they had already reduced the number from 10 to 12. But the whole call was clear: no one cared. If a sixth wolf is killed, no one will know for 24 hours, then the season will end. But by allowing this, they leave the chance open that more wolves will die before the public knows to stop, which did not bother them in the least. So, they allowed the number of six to stand. The only thing missing was for Cebull to start shooting when the decision was agreed upon, too.

As I have said many times, this commission represents the bottom of the barrel regarding people and their disdain for wildlife. They harbor unscientific notions and the dogma of rural ignorance of species like wolves and bears. What they want most is to kill and anger people like us who love wildlife. They are true believers in killing species and supporting trapping. They are Safari Club, NRA members, and groups like the Foundation for Wildlife Management that send out false and discredited information to the public and want only to trap and kill wolves and bears for their own profit. These are not normal humans, but rather sick people who will do the work of the Governor with no moral integrity of what they are doing to the natural world.

Let's understand clearly that these people are trying to hold on to an old paradigm; they know what they are doing and will continue to kill until we win. Until we stop the madness. We will win, but the fight will be brutal; it already is, but wolves need us to be warriors, and grizzlies do, too. We must fight for their right to co-exist and stop the bounties and the need to destroy the very species that keep our natural world healthy. To stop the power of ranchers and demand the management of people, not wildlife. To elect educated people who put wildlife first. That is our assignment.

Let's remove self-serving people like Pat Tabor, as well as the rest of this commission, that has destroyed a once-respected organization, which today is simply a voice for killing and destroying the wild beauty we all love. Let's be loud and proud!

Remember, wildlife will thank you for your efforts, and so too will generations to come.

The killing must end.


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