Idaho’s Wolf Management Receives Scrutiny | The Wildlife News

Idaho’s Wolf Management Receives Scrutiny | The Wildlife News.

Today, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the nation is taking notice of how Idaho is managing wolves just two years after they were stripped of the protection of the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Congress. This weekend anti-wolf forces are having a highly controversial 2-day wolf and coyote killing contest where two person teams will receive prizes for the biggest wolf and most coyotes they kill. At the same time, Idaho Department of Fish and Game has hired a private trapper to kill the entire Monumental Creek and Golden Creek packs of wolves deep inside one of the nation’s largest wilderness areas – the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area – far away from any livestock simply because an outfitter whined to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game commissioner.

The nation is taking notice. This morning the New York Times published a scathing editorial titled “Wolf Haters“, the Idaho Statesman published a Guest Opinion by Rick Johnson of the Idaho Conservation League, and even the BBC reported on the derby.

Idaho’s management of wolves is highly questionable. Since wolves were stripped of Endangered Species Act protection the population has declined by over 20%, Idaho Department of Fish and Game has hand captured and surgically implanted radio transmitters into pups that were just 9 lbs, they allow hunting year-round in some areas of the state, they have inflated the number of breeding pairs by changing the definition of what a breeding pair is, they have shot dozens of wolves in the Selway/Lochsa from helicopters, and now they are allowing wolf killing contests and hiring a trapper to kill wolves in the middle of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area with the permission of the US Forest Service who is letting the trapper stay at their Cabin Creek facility. The US Forest Service, by the way, should withdraw this permission since this kind of activity runs contrary to the Wilderness Act and requires a special use permit. The US Forest Service should conduct an open and public process before this activity proceeds any further.

This type of management has fueled the most virulent conflict among both sides of the debate. The Wildlife News receives virulent comments that never see the light of day on a regular basis. Things are heating up and the Idaho political system feeds the virulence or remains silent. People are even going so far as to poison pups at their den using an artificial sweetener touted by anti-wolf goons. 4 of them were found dead this spring.

Clearly Idaho’s predator management violates the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation. It violates it in many ways that I think have been spelled out well in this essay published on the For Nature’s Sake blog in October.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game needs to listen to the message that it received loud and clear at the Wildlife Summit that it organized last year. But, even before it finished, Director Virgil Moore dashed any hope that the Department would elevate the thoughts of the non-hunting and fishing community to the level impact that hunters and fishermen have. All Idahoans, and even non-Idahoans, have a stake in how Idaho’s wolves and wildlife are managed. Our wildlife deserves better than this politicized and virulent atmosphere that is brewing today. You need to start listening to all sides not just those who pitch a fit the loudest. Killing for fun is not sportsmen like. Killing wolves in the wilderness so that some rich hunter can shoot an elk on a guided trip violates the meaning of wilderness.

Aftermath of Idaho Wolf Derby For Residents | KMVT | Twin Falls, ID News, Weather and Sports | Idaho News, Weather and Sports | Local

Aftermath of Idaho Wolf Derby For Residents | KMVT | Twin Falls, ID News, Weather and Sports | Idaho News, Weather and Sports | Local.

 

Salmon, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )

The town of Salmon is a quiet community.

However, that seemingly changed overnight as the Idaho Wolf Derby thrust the area into the national spotlight.

Protesters angered by the killing of wolves, using drastic measures to try to stop the event.

Resident Theresa Butt states, “my friend got threatened. When we are getting people threatening to come into town and kill people, there is a problem. My friend Jen Larson, someone called and said they would like to hang their entire family up by a noose. Because they own the Savage Grill and sponsored a legal hunt. What’s wrong with that?”

Dave Larson, Jen’s husband, adds, “some extremists can say some things… do we have our guard up? Absolutely. They threatened my family, our business, our employees, our way of life. A guy stands up to that. You keep your guard up and you’re aware of it.”

Jen adds, “we’re just here to make a living and support the community. We don’t want all the wolf lovers to hate us. It’s just crazy– in the last two weeks we have found out there are some crazy people out there, on both sides of it.”

At the conclusion of the two day event, no wolves were actually killed but 21 coyotes were harvested.

Tom Curet, regional supervisor at Idaho Fish and Game, says, “people raised their concerns and from a biological perspective this derby is very closely managed and it’s something that can be supported by the wolves and coyotes and it will have minimal impact.”

While the impact on the wildlife was minimal, some residents feel for the town of Salmon, the damage has been done.

Butt says, “one of the things we’re really concerned about is how we’re being represented in the press. We’re not a bunch of hillbillies running around shooting guns for fun. We are concerned that our animals that we live on, that we have to eat to survive, are being killed by these wolves. We have a legal right to hunt them.”

 

Stop Wolf Hunting Contest in Idaho – The Petition Site

Stop Wolf Hunting Contest in Idaho – The Petition Site.

 

  • author: Judith B.
  • target: Jason Husseman, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  • signatures: 51,305

we’ve got 51,305 signatures, help us get to 52,000

 

 

In what has to be the one of the most bloodthirsty post-Christmas festivities yet, Idaho’s announced a wolf and coyote slaughter contest for all the family. And it really does mean “all the family” – children as young as ten can enter the competition being held on the weekend of 28-29 December.

In this celebration of tastelessness and death, prizes will be awarded for such “achievements” as most female coyotes killed, biggest wolf and so on.

Both wolves and coyotes play essential roles in the ecosystem – they are not pests. Wolves actually need increased protection. Even if numbers did need to be reduced, which they don’t, shooting these beautiful animals should only ever be done by professionals.  Treating it as family entertainment is ridiculous.

Tell Idaho that the true meaning of Christmas is not, in fact, barbarity.

Protect The Wolves

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