An extremely important issue in places like Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming – wolves. Over the years, the feds introduced Canadian wolves to the area, and residents often claim that these new wolves are wreaking havoc on their property. The crux? D.C. doesn’t allow the people of the state to do anything about the wolves without federal permission.
Some people in Montana are sick of it, and are taking action. From an article in the Helena Independent Record:
State Sen. Joe Balyeat, R-Bozeman, plans to reintroduce a wolf management bill he fielded in 2009. It would declare that the United States government “lacks authority to impose wolves on Montana,” cancel any existing partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage wolves and demand that “the United States agree in writing to unfettered state management of wolves with no further assertion of federal authority.”
“The wolf issue is decided in court all the time anyway,” Balyeat said in a telephone interview last week. “The animal rights people are taking it to court with the judge of their choosing and the issues of their choosing. We’re giving away the home-court advantage. Why not do it on an issue of our choosing and a judge of our choosing? The state’s rights issue is the most winnable issue we have on wolves.”
In a nutshell, the bill claims Montana’s right to manage wolves trumps the federal government’s authority under the Endangered Species Act. Missoula firearms and hunting advocate Gary Marbut helped draft the legislation.
“It’s still a 10th Amendment exercise to wrest control of wolves out of the hands of the federal government,” Marbut said. “It has been the traditional function of state police power to manage and regulate wildlife within the state. Only in recent times has there been construed authority for the feds to manage wildlife. When the Endangered Species Act has been argued in court, the claim for authority the feds make is the commerce clause. But how many wild wolves have you seen sold across state lines? The answer is zero.”