Judge temporarily halts wolverine trapping
greatfallstribune.com; john Adams
The plaintiffs asked the judge to stop wolverine trapping in Montana until the full case can be heard. Wolverine trapping was set to begin Saturday. Montana is the only state in the Lower 48 to allow wolverine trapping. "We are happy that the judge stopped trapping before more wolverines could be killed," said Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.
Once prolific across the West, the population of wolverine in the Lower 48 states is now down to no more than 250-300 individuals, of which Montana has the highest concentration of about 100-175, according to wildlife experts.
The Alliance in August petitioned Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission to halt trapping. Garrity said the commission did not respond to the petition and did not formally open the wolverine trapping issue to public comment after the petition was filed. Consequently, the Alliance and its co-plaintiffs filed suit in state district court in October, challenging continued trapping as a violation of state laws requiring maintenance or restoration of rare animals.