On the last day of the Idaho Legislature, HB470, the Wolf Control Board bill, jumped its final hurdle before going to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. The board will be funded with $400,000 from the general fund and $110,000 from the livestock industry and $110,000 from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for a total of $640,000 annually. It is very likely that the governor will sign the bill considering it was one of the three priorities outlined in his January State of the State address.

Ostensibly, the money is to replace a federal funding shortfall for USDA Wildlife Services for control of depredating wolves but several statements by its proponents in the legislature, during testimony and the to the press, indicate that the intent of the board is to reduce the Idaho wolf population to the minimum of 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs.

 
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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Western Watershed Project’s Idaho Director, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is also serves as a member of the board of directors for Buffalo Field Campaign.

29 Responses to Wolf Control Board Bill Sent to the Governor

  1. avatar julie long gallegos says:

    He had 3 points to make in his state of the state address and wolves were one of the points? What a moron.

  2. avatar Tom Murphy says:

    Some one should check into his offshore bank account to see how much the special interest groups paid this bribe taking prick.

  3. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Ken do you think this will be enough to trigger the USFWS review provision? is anything enough or is it time to force a lawsuit. This gets to the heart of the discussion between WM and JB. lawsuits and why they are necessary. Its not environmentalists (to use that dirty word) that create a problem with frivolous lawsuits its the constant eroding, whittling and stealing of resources that prompts lawsuits. Wouldn’t it be a better world if the bloodsucking, lying, cheating, killing class would back off wolves, federal lands and public resources and use long term sustainable approaches to managing resources instead of their scorched earth apocalyptic policies. a wolf killing board for animals a few years off the ESA that have already been trapped, snared and persecuted indecently. This should piss off even the most ignorant citizen.

    • avatar Joanne Favazza says:

      Great post, Louise. Seriously, how much are these people (who clearly don’t give a damn about the ecological of wolves), going to continue to get away with? This kind of “management” of a species only recently delisted from the ESA is completely unethical, unacceptable, and inexcusable. And, I might add–immoral.

  4. avatar Trish says:

    I am not an adventurous, outdoors person, but I rapturously watched the Ken Burns documentary on our I am not an adventurous, outdoors person, but I rapturously watched the Ken Burns documentary on our parks. I cried out to see bison calves playing, improbably escaped yet aided by our rapacious species. That film ended with the 1995 reintroduction of predatory wolves into Yellowstone. I wondered how the wolves did, and how they are doing. I ended up here happily supplied with answers. Still I wasn’t prepared for this grief. I suppose killing wolves that help an ecosystem is daunting. At least your adversaries have that much humanity, they can’t look at the science.

  5. avatar Justin says:

    We moved from Idaho to a neighboring state because the school system is so chronically underfunded that go without basic resources. And now this….$400,000 in tax payer money to kill wolves. How incredibly stupid. Wolves will self regulate their population once the carrying capacity is reached. The normal see saw of predator and prey populations should be the only control method allowed.

  6. avatar Rick says:

    Ken,
    Would you give a short blurb on what drives the extreme management of wolves in Idaho? We all have our own thoughts but it would be good to hear your thoughts since you are closer to the issues than most. For example: I know that the companies that run the guided hunts into the Frank Church charge around six thousand to take a hunter in to kill an elk. Are these companies influencing the legislature?

    • avatar Kathy Vile says:

      You know absolutely they are influencing the legislature along with the cattle men. The average stupid hunter is doing their dirty work with all the killing. They have it made. Money for the killing and dummies to carry out the work who just love to kill and torture most any animal. Sick all the way around. I feel sorry for the normal intelligent people who live in Idaho. But also people of Idaho, it is time to stand up and be heard, you cannot really think this is right in any way. Hey don’t your children deserve this money put towards their education? I have heard that they are very lacking in that department. I know if I lived there I would be doing everything in my power to have that money spent on something to benefit children over outfitters, guides and cattlemen. They are already wealthy enough.

      • avatar Rick says:

        At this point, I really do not know how to address the issue. I have attended Idaho legislative committee meetings, attended wolf advocacy meetings and attended Idaho Fish and Game meetings open for public comment. I am certain that the majority of Idaho people want less killing and better management of wolves. The legislature , including the governor, and maybe in particular the governor, does not care what the majority wants. I asked a Idaho Fish and Game biologist what we can do to positively affect the Idaho management of wolves. He said “use the voting booth, if you can believe what they tell you”.
        If I were wealthy, I would pay every pro-wolf group to meet and brain storm ,egos aside, how to change Idaho’s wolf management.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Rick and all,

          I am afraid the wildlife biologist is right.

          The people in office now in Idaho are a mixture of strict ideologues with a tendency toward conspiracy theory, and many have a strong orientation toward right wing agribusiness ideas. That is one reason I have tried to draw attention to the ag gag law they passed. It says so much about ignoring their willingness to ignore people, the law, and the Constitution in a desire to shut down criticism or inquiry into that sector of the economy.

          Drawing a bullseye on Idaho agriculture with a law like that, or the wolf killing board, would not seem to be in their economic self-interest. People motivated by ideology though are not moved by rational self-interest.

        • avatar Jon says:

          I hate wolves and I vote so

          nyah, nyah, na, na, nyah

          your too lazy to register and you complain too much.

          also sheep are sexy!

      • avatar Ray says:

        Thought this site was supposed to be not anti-hunting? From the sound of “Kathy who is indeed vile”.Why is this obvious urban radical animal rights extremist allowed to spew such hunter hating garbage?

    • avatar JB says:

      Rick:

      I’m not Ken, but I can answer your question. The wolf issue has been politicized–meaning party politics are involved; and in Idaho, there is only one party. When there’s only one party, the ‘real’ election is the primary and the way to win a primary (where mostly party ‘hard-cores’ vote) is to go extreme or go home. Thus, wolf policy in Idaho is about reducing wolves to as close to the federal minimum as they dare.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        JB is right. Idahoans who are angry about these things really have no option but to vote for the Democrats.

        Idaho was a competitive two-party state until 20 years ago. Perhaps in time, perhaps quickly, things could snap back.

        • Ralph- When I talk to my neighbors in Idaho I find most of them are not right wing wackos. Are the Idaho republicans stuffing the ballot box?

          • avatar Mark L says:

            From what I have heard, and no I don’t live there, is that they are the ones that bother to vote (religiously). And a declined vote is a vote for the status quo, normally.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Larry Thorngren,

            The key, I think, is the primary election, an election the average person doesn’t pay much attention to. In a one-party state like Idaho, the winner of the primary election of the dominant party is very likely the winner of the general election. The primary election is a low voter turnout election.

            Nonetheless, this primary election in Idaho in May has been the real election in deciding who is in office. Extremists have learned to target the Republican primary, not just in Idaho, but in all the “red” states. The extremists are smarter than the rest because they vote.

            The influence of extremists in the primary has pulled all the Republicans to the far right so that someone more extreme can’t get the needed primary victory.

            As a result, maybe 20 per cent of the people in Idaho determine who is in office. They are the voters in the Republican primary election.

            • avatar jon says:

              The only way to turn Idaho around is to elect pro-wildlife democrats and throw out anti-wildlife conservatives.

            • avatar rick says:

              I am guilty of not paying attention to politics so in spite of being 66 years old, I am a neophyte here.
              The fact that the primary in May determines who gets in office is disconcerting however from what you are saying, that is what we have to deal with. The question then becomes, is any candidate interested in standing up against ag-gag, wolf extermination etc. I doubt that is the case, but if it were, then how do we get likeminded people out to vote. Maybe the real question worth asking is, which one of the candidates is the least pro ag-gag and wolf extermination.

            • avatar Eric T. says:

              Interesting enough there are 440k Idaho voters registered as unaffiliated.

              240k are registered as Republican.

              55K voters are registered as Democrats.

              With the closed primary if a Democrat wanted to vote in the Republican primary they needed to change their affiliation by March 14. If they didn’t they can’t vote in the primary.

              Those registered as unaffiliated can change at their polling place on the day of the primary.

              A lot of incumbent Republicans are facing primary challengers from candidates that are certainly farther to the. Heck Romney was campaigning in Idaho Falls last week for Simpson and Otter. He stated that “you can’t let Idaho move farther to the right”.

              There could be hope that if some of these Agenda 21, sound currency, repeal the 17th amendment turf the incumbents in the primary that it could help get Democrats elected in the general election. But that isn’t likely to happen.

  7. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I don’t believe you are a biologist
    especially a “wolve” biologist
    and you are certainly not an environmentalist

    “I see the wolve issue as being a real burden to the fight for other environmental issues and I dont wnat my money being spent on their protection. ” big red flag sorry

  8. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    When someone like Otter is the best choice, something is terribly wrong. Kind of like the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, I guess.

    I hope someday we get beyond ‘we have to vote for a bad candidate because the other guy is worse’ voting policy. And holding fast to party ideology even though it isn’t the same as it once was isn’t good either. Idahoans need to get a little courage.

  9. avatar John Nahorny says:

    We need to get these people out of office and keep them out. They are a danger not only to wildlife but humans too. You bet there is a self-serving agenda behind all this. Their rich buddies are influencing legislation and most likely bribing judges from what I’ve read and seen. I moved out of Idaho because of all the corruption even though I loved living there for all the other reasons. There really needs to be an investigation into off-shore bank accounts like Tom said. As in most cases, just “follow the money.”

  10. avatar snaildarter says:

    Just got back from my third annual wolf week at the Buffalo Ranch, hopefully I managed to avoid spending any money amoung the wolf haters.

  11. avatar Ray says:

    As a 6th generation Idahoan not really anti-wolf just urban radical animal rights stupidity.

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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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