February 17, 2011

Montana versus the Feds

By Montana versus the Feds

Author:  Damien M. Schiff

Here's an interesting development in the ongoing gray wolf saga (quick recap:  feds tried to delist the wolf in Montana and Idaho, but keep it listed in Wyoming;  a federal judge last year overturned that decision, holding essentially that either the wolf must go off the list altogether or stay on).  Governor Brian Schweitzer (a Democrat) is saying publicly that Montanans should be authorized to shoot ESA-protected wolves that attack their livestock.  In the governor's colorful prairie-speak:  "???If there is a dang wolf in your corral attacking your pregnant cow, shoot that wolf.  And if its pals are in the corral, shoot them, too."

So far, the feds' response has been measured, with Interior saying that it agrees with Montana that better wolf management is warranted but that the governor's recommendations are not the right first step.  The governor has stated that his lawyers believe that he's in his rights, but I can't imagine how a state could trump ESA protections.  You can rest assured that if any Montanan takes up the governor's advice, the environmental community will be quick to bring a citizen's suit.

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