Idaho is going down a different path than Wyoming in terms of harming elk–different, but just a bad (privatization of elk). Elk will be livestock, not wildlife if this trend continues. There is already too much agricultural thinking about wildlife in Idaho, and not enough thinking about wildlife as a good thing, in and of itself.

Once again this is a reason why the politicians yell so much about wolves. It’s a diversion from real wildlife issues in Idaho, just as it is in Wyoming. Idahoans need to take the matter into their own hands like Montanans did, and get an initiative on the ballot. The state legislature will never pass a bill on its own.

“We’ve been waiting for this one – this is the industry bill.” With that, Senator Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home began his successful bid to herd S1074 through the full Senate. And in a prepared statement, Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise wrote, “Senate Bill 1074 passed by the Senate today was written by the elk industry for the elk industry. It represents bare standards designed to give only the minimal protection.”

Read the rest in New West. Idaho Senate: License Elk Hunt Operations. By Jill Kuraitis, 2-23-07

It is important to note that the vote was largely on party lines, with Democrats favoring wild elk and Republicans favoring the minimal regulation of elk farmers.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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