Idaho Gov. on Wolf Management in State: “Oppressive, ham-handed ‘conservation’ at its worst.”
The governor of Idaho says if anyone has a problem with wolves they need to call the feds, and that...
The governor of Idaho says if anyone has a problem with wolves they need to call the feds, and that the state is officially out of the wolf management business.
From this story in the Missoulian:
_Idaho is out of the wolf management business, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced on Monday. “While some herald the introduction of wolves and the current population as a biological triumph, history will show that this program was a tragic example of oppressive, ham-handed ‘conservation’ at its worst,” Otter wrote in a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “Idahoans have suffered this intolerable situation for too long, but starting today at least the state no longer will be complicit.” That means Idaho Fish and Game biologists and wardens will no longer monitor wolves, investigate suspected wolf kills or provide state law enforcement in response to illegal takings, according to Otter’s spokesman, Jon Hanian.
_”That’s a part of wolf management, and that’s going to become somebody else’s problem,” Hanian said. “Our Fish and Game folks are going to be engaged in refocusing our efforts to protect our ungulate populations, our deer and elk.” The announcement cast a different light on comments by Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who last week claimed Otter was going to make Idaho a “sanctuary state” where federal Endangered Species Act rules wouldn’t be enforced. Still, Hanian said Idaho was not going to become “a free-fire zone” for wolf hunters. But he did say Idaho game wardens would not investigate wolf-poaching incidents – something Rehberg said he’d also heard was coming. When interviewed last Friday, Hanian and Idaho Fish and Game officials said they did not believe Idaho was going to become a safe haven for anti-wolf activity. But they did say a new policy was expected to be unveiled this week – which was confirmed on Monday with Otter’s statements.
In 2006, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accepted wolf management plans from Idaho and Montana as the federal agency moved toward removing the wolf from Endangered Species Act protections. Both states included public wolf hunts as part of their plans. Montana and Idaho wolves were delisted in 2008, but a coalition of conservation groups sued the federal government to block the action. U.S. District Judge Don Molloy allowed a 2009 wolf hunt to take place, but decided this August that the Fish and Wildlife Service had improperly kept Wyoming wolves under federal protection while releasing the other two states._