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Free-Ranging Market Would Save Wolves, Ranchers (Bloomberg View)

Posted on by Brendan Borrell

cowGet your rifles ready: Wolf season opens at the end of August, and for as little as $11.50 you’ve got a better chance than ever of bagging this toothy predator.

In July, Montana doubled its kill quota to 220, and Idaho, well, it has declined to set a quota. Wyoming plans to treat wolves as predators in most of the state, allowing them to be killed on sight. If all goes according to plan, the Rocky Mountain wolf population will be knocked down 60 percent from its peak of 1,733 in 2009.

This is obviously a perfectly sound strategy for preserving an iconic American species, which taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars breeding and feeding. No, not wolves, but public-lands ranchers, whose livestock graze on federal property and who are increasingly concerned about attacks by free-ranging wolf packs.