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POL: 2012 LARGE PREDATOR POLICY JEFFERSON COUNTY LARGE PREDATOR POLICY WHEREAS, Grey Wolves have been populating Montana since the 1980's, and WHEREAS, Grey Wolf populations have continued to grow naturally, and WHEREAS, Grey Wolves were introduced into Yellowstone National Park near the Montana Boarder in the 1990's against the wishes of the State of Montana, and WHEREAS,the biological and temporal requirements to delist the wolves ( 100 wolves or 10 breeding pairs)had been surpassed by December of 2002, and WHEREAS, the State of Montana wanted to have a cushion for State management of 150 wolves with 15 breeding pairs, and that goal was reached before 2004, and WHEREAS,the wolf population has now exploded to exceed 800 known wolves and according to some experts, the wolf population has more than doubled that amount, and WHEREAS, the exceedingly high wolf population coupled with increases in lion and grizzly bear populations have resulted in catastrophic decreases to our big game herds and increased predations on our domestic livestock, and WHEREAS, wolves are known to carry several diseases that could be contagious to domestic livestock and humans, and WHEREAS, 87-1-217 MCA list three goals of the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department for the management of large predators in order of priority as follows; (a)protect humans, livestock, and pets; (b)preserve and enhance the safety of the public during outdoor recreational and livelihood activities; and(c)preserve citizens' opportunities to hunt large game species., and WHEREAS, Article IX Section 7 of the Montana Constitution states: Preservation of harvest heritage. The opportunity to harvest wild fish and wild game animals is a heritage that shall forever be preserved to the individual citizens of the state and does not create a right to trespass on private property or diminution of other private rights., and WHEREAS, 87-1-217 MCA (6) states: The department shall ensure that county commissioners and tribal governments in areas that have identifiable populations of large predators have the opportunity for consultation and coordination with state and federal agencies prior to state and federal policy decisions involving large predators and large game species. NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the following will be the policy of Jefferson County Montana regarding large predators. Jefferson County Large Predator Policy 1 a � 1.) The Jefferson County Commission demands immediate coordination of all State and Federal agencies that are involved in any matters at all related to the management of large predators within, could be within, or are adjacent to the Jefferson County political boundaries. 2.) The Jefferson County Commission is willing to accept the numbers put forth by the State of Montana of 150 wolves or 15 breeding pairs as sufficient for the continued existence of wolves in Montana. 3.) If any large predators are to be released within the boundaries of Jefferson County,the County Commissioners must be notified of the intent to release and the location of the proposed release at least 14 days prior to the anticipated release. 4.) The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners asserts that it is the County Commissioners responsibility and duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens,protect the agricultural and tax base of our county, and protect the right to harvest game animals as guaranteed by the Montana Constitution. 5.) Jefferson County Resolution 41-2008 asserts the county's legal standing and requests coordination with all federal and state agencies maintaining jurisdiction over lands and/or resources within Jefferson County. This resolution 41-2008 is hereby made a part of this policy. 6.) Jefferson County acknowledges that large predators are a part of our landscape and accepts that fact. 7.) Jefferson County is willing to co-exist with these large predators in reduced numbers, so long as they do not have an adverse impact on the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens, do serious harm to our agricultural and tax base, or decimate our large game herds. 8.) Jefferson County will coordinate with as many other counties in Montana as may be impacted by large predators, with the intent of solving differences and presenting a united message to take to the state and federal governments. 9.) Jefferson County will participate in a sub-committee of the Montana Association of Counties (MACO) dealing with large predators, and will be willing to pay milage and per diem for county representatives to attend meetings until those costs could be taken over by MACO. 10.) Additions or changes to this policy may be made at any time by amending this policy. Jefferson County Large Predator Policy 2 a J DATED this 10`h day of April, 2012. ATTEST: l= "1\1\;L; ' 1 BONNIE RAMEY LEONARD WORTMAN, CHAIR CLERK AND RECORDER DAVE KIRSCH,COMMISSIONS ' illiMAS E. LYTHGOE,leo .SIONER Jefferson County Large Predator Policy 3 i 1 LI 14_,1-- • , vU