Idaho game commissioners frustrated over delays in wolf delisting

Idaho game commissioners frustrated over [delisting] delays. AP in the Helena Independent Record.

Regardless how folks feel about wolves, this is another example of the political trend of recent years to reject science in favor of cultural prejudice, and should be opposed on that basis alone. Recall this recent story, In Idaho wilderness, researchers say wolves aren’t decimating elk

Hopefully Idaho’s next governor, regardless of his stance of wolves, will nominate Fish and Game Commissioners who know something professionally about wildlife management. Other than commissioner Gary Power, at the present they are simply politically prominent individuals with some interest in hunting and fishing. For example, the article states “Commissioners said they continue to hear from angry hunters who see wolves and wolf tracks, but few elk.” That is hardly good evidence (other than political evidence). Satisfied hunters do not contact the commission. Many hunters still need to adjust and hunt differently than before the wolf restoration. Wolves are a good scapegoat for poor hunting technique and bad luck. Finally, even if wolves were seriously depleting elk herds, it is essentially impossible for there to be more predators of elk (wolves) than elk.At lot depends on the next governor of Idaho.

The latest polls show Democracy Jerry Brady surprisingly ahead of long-time GOP office-holder Butch Otter. Hard to believe a Democrat could win in Idaho. Otter is running anti-wolf commercials in an effort to cover up his support for selling off the public lands. Brady hasn’t shown any support for wolves either, but his editorial record at the newspaper he runs, the Idaho Falls Post-Register, is that he comes down consistently on the side of conservation (a word closely and legitimately related to conservative).

Update. The Idaho Statesman (largest paper in Idaho) endorsed Brady from Idaho governor today. One of the things they liked was Brady’s willingness to talk about breaching the four navigation dams on the Snake River in Washington state that are killing off Idaho’s salmon runs. They also liked his support of CIEDRA and the Owyhee Initiative, both very controversial among conservationists. Nevertheless, Otter doesn’t support them because he thinks the development interests didn’t get enough!



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  1. Mary Pawelko Avatar
    Mary Pawelko

    Otter is going to make me a democrat. Congratulations Otter, you creep.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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