Your Montana Public Radio
Wed August 21, 2013
'Wolf Hunt Sabotage Manual' circulated by environmental group
The environmental organization Earth First began circulating a guidebook on how to sabotage the hunting of wolves last week.
The online guide lays out steps for destroying wolf traps, releasing trapped wolves and disrupting wolf hunts through methods such as smoke bombs and air horns. It asserts states, the NRA, and the Obama Administration are engaging in a conspiracy to wipe wolves off the face of the planet.
"Sabotaging hunting has been going on for a long time, pretty much as far back as the Endangered Species Act goes,” said Earth First Media correspondent Panagioti Tsolkas.
Tsolkas said the organization received the Wolf Hunt Sabotage Manual from an unknown group calling itself the Redneck Wolf Lovin’ Brigade. He said the manual fits with the mission of Earth First, which holds as a slogan “No compromise in the defense of mother earth.”
The twelve-page manual details strategies for how to find traps set in the woods and how to dismantle them. It talks about using cross country skis to be quieter or carrying a white bed sheet for emergency snow camouflage. It advocates leaving nails along roads trappers might be driving to pop their tires.
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim says the department is used to emotional reactions from the public.
"This certainly though is somewhat over the top as far as things we would even see here at Fish, Wildlife and Parks,” he said. "When you advocate breaking the law, which this certainly does, that's above and beyond what's acceptable."
Aasheim said tampering with traps is illegal and whenb the guide talks about how to release a trapped wolf back into the wild—he said that’s not only illegal, it’s dangerous.
"When you say it's illegal to interfere with wolf hunting, in my opinion it's the right thing to do,” Tsolkas said. “There can be a case made for it that it's actually upholding a law more accurately than the government is upholding its own laws."
Tsolkas believes best science shows that wolves should still be on the endangered species list. He said the way wolves are being managed today is based on lobbying interests.
"I would say in this case the industry of hunting and the trophy aspect of it along with the cattle industry, who have usurped large amounts of public land in the West and want their interests protected, I would say those are the forces that are guiding the policy,” he said.
Ron Aasheim with Fish, Wildlife and Parks disputes that. He said wolves in Montana are well above and beyond minimum population goals. If anything, the department is looking to lower the population.
"What we're trying to do is get to balance,” Aasheim said. “Wolves are healthy, we're committed to a recovered population so that's where we're at and that's where we'll remain.”
He says anyone caught breaking these laws will face consequences, including fines and in some cases jail time.