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Wolf woes: How politics and lawsuits are shaping management of the species

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Montana’s wolf hunting season is in full swing with trapping season set to begin soon, but a recent state judge’s order has put a temporary halt to some regulations and an upcoming hearing could have major implications on the remainder of the season.

Republicans in the 2021 the Montana Legislature passed a number of laws aimed at reducing Montana’s wolf population, which pushed the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt some of the most aggressive regulations since delisting. Contentious hearings, intense media attention and lawsuits have largely defined the conversation since.

On this episode, Tom Kuglin with the Montana State News Bureau talks about a debate over wolves in the state that has remained at a fever pitch for nearly two years now.

Wolf collars provide valuable information (Video courtesy of Montana FWP)

This podcast is created in partnership across five newsrooms – the Billings Gazette, the Helena Independent Record, the Missoulian, the Montana Standard and the Ravalli-Republic. You can support this podcast and our efforts by subscribing. Visit any of these newspapers’ websites, and click on the Become a Member button at the top of the home page. We appreciate your support of local journalism.

Thom Bridge can be reached at


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Thom Bridge is a photojournalist at the Independent Record.

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