Friday, December 7, 2007

Idaho Wolf "Management" Plan Released

Idaho Fish and Game is having a series of public meetings to receive comment on it's wolf "management" plan. The dates and locations of the meetings around the State can be seen here. The Boise meeting is Thursday, Dec. 13th from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Trophy Room at Fish and Game headquarters, 600 S. Walnut St, Boise. All the meetings are being held in a short span of time, so there is very little time for public input, and if you want to be heard, you have to act quickly.

You can view the plan here, and you can also submit your comments online at the same page. Fish & Game is asking for input on some specific components of the plan, but you can comment on any aspect.

The plan is, sadly but not unexpectedly, slanted towards killing rather than protecting. They have decided to have no less than 15 breeding pairs of wolves. This means killing the vast majority of the wolves we have now, and it means keeping the population at very vulnerable levels. Besides, it is not always easy to determine which pairs are breeding, and killing at the levels proposed will vastly alter pack structure and impact breeding. A reading of the plan reveals all kinds of issues - even if you just skim it you can see them. They also plan to allow every kind of hunting you can imagine, including baiting. It's disgusting.

I get that wolves are going to be delisted, and even that at some point they need to be managed to avoid over-population. But to allow the killing at the levels proposed is ludicrous and will undue years of progress and keep wolves on the brink of danger. One epidemic of canine distemper or parvo could have a massive impact on the wolf population. Plus, with wolves there is vastly more motivation for people to poach, as there is a huge hatred of wolves still in play in this state. What will be the fine and punishment for this? Certainly not enough to deter anyone under this plan.

Sigh. It's sad. Take a moment to comment, online or at the meeting. It may not do any good, but it won't hurt, and the more rational people who comment vs. the "kill them all" folks, the better off we all are.

The letter of intro from Otter is a joke. This is the same guy who said that he wanted to be first in line to kill a wolf. The wolves are in deep, deep trouble.

You can read a gray wolf fact sheet to learn more about wolves here. The Defenders of Wildlife have been the greatest voice for the wolves and have had meaningful rancher reimbursement programs during the reintroduction. Contributions are another way to consider helping.

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