In a letter to the editor last week, Pat Connell recently climbed onto the Militia/Freeman county-supremacy scheme dubbed “coordination” last week with a veiled political threat to Fish Wildlife and Parks officials who refused to extend the wolf-hunting season on the West Fork district. “The Commission behavior (sic)… is going to make for a very adversarial relationship between the department leadership and the legislature next session. Perhaps with a new administration, and the appointments that would follow, things may improve.”
One of the proposals he boasts of supporting is the alarming notion of an open-season with no hunter-orange requirement for literally anybody who wants go to running around shooting in the woods or just the other side of the fence from someone’s backyard until a subjective “wolf quota” is met. In a highly-populated area like Mr. Connell’s district, which he accuses FWP officials of “breaking trust with,” that’s code for “duck and cover” hunting rules that are provocatively irresponsible on its face.
It’s not that the county commissioners’ (and now Mr. Connell’s) county-supremacy scheme is actually going to do anything but be divisive, unproductive and waste taxpayer money on something a county commission or a legislature has no statutory authority over. Wolf policy is ultimately for the American people at large to decide, not just Ravalli County commissioners or Mr. Connell. What these calculated anti-government broadsides do, however, is send a message to the taxpaying citizens of this valley and this state that we are in danger of seeing yet another ineffective, far-right-laden train wreck of a legislative session in 2013, similar to the 2011 session that justifiably made Montana the laughing stock of the nation.
If, as Mr. Connell asserts in his letter, he “strongly supported better treatment for the department’s wardens” in the last session, he owes those wardens – and the citizens who pay them to do their jobs – an apology in this apparently-calculated example of his doing the opposite.