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There are a couple of things I would like to ask Judge Donald Molloy to consider in his decision regarding the status of wolves in Montana and other western states. For clarification, I would like to use "FWP" as representative of groups and individuals advocating or in favor of a wolf hunt to help manage populations. Likewise. I would like to use "DOSW" as representative of groups or individuals advocating or in favor of maintaining these wolves as an endangered species.

I would first like him to consider the role of the "DOSW," or "Defenders of Select Wildlife." They seem to become very involved and vocal in their concerns for wolves, grizzlies and similar critters, but seem to have no concern whatever for the declining herds of deer and elk that is so obvious and well-documented. Do not these animals, as well as moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, etc., qualify as wildlife as well? The FWP has for years done what most consider a pretty decent job of management for healthy and sustainable herds. The proliferation of the wolf population since its introduction has made this job virtually impossible and is reflected in deer/elk hunting regulations for 2010.

This likely doesn't bother a strong number of the DOSW membership much, since their anti-hunting philosophy has been voiced very clearly from their spokespersons in the past as they enjoy their quiche or their veggie omelet. Interesting aside that a key ingredient of many of these recipes is eggs - or aborted chickens. Not yet alive, they will argue. By the same definition, neither are the elk or deer fetuses torn from the cows or does by a pack of wolves, then each only partially consumed. Graphic documentation of this, and much more, is available at "SaveElk.com."

Contrived, they will argue. Take a look for yourself and decide. But probably best to have your omelet fully digested first. I would also like Judge Molloy to consider the mechanism by which reimbursement for livestock and/or pets lost to wolves is financed. If I recall correctly, when the wolf was introduced years ago, DOSW agreed to fund this reimbursement. I seem to recall reading recently that this reimbursement process is now costing us, the taxpayers, in excess of a million dollars a year. Why are the taxpayers footing the bill for this? I would like to see Judge Molloy's decision, whichever way it goes, require that the "Personal Interest Groups" that are so much if favor of having the wolf at the expense of so many other animals, be responsible for funding this reimbursement process. I have a strong suspicion that if this was to happen, the "concern" of the DOSW would diminish in relative proportion to the degree by which the well of "other people's money" runs dry. Judge Molloy, I, and I think many others, anxiously await your decision.

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Bob Hicks, Missoula

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