Boise hearing shows backers/opponents true colors – and numbers

Once again, the Fish & Wildlife Service’s attempt to undermine the integrity and contribution of science in the wolf recovery process was met with a diverse and vociferous outcry of wolf, and science, supporters.

Diverse Numbers

Fish and Wildlife Service officials were welcomed –again– to Boise thursday with wolf supporters spanning Idaho’s social gammet substantially outnumbering wolf opponents. From young students – who’s grasp of the underlying issues impressed and compelled – to biologists, hunters, sportsmen and women, activists and just plain Idaho citizens who care.

The reasons for dissaproval of the new (10j rule) were many. A few examples:
*Insufficient time to prepare comments (a complaint that garnered near consesus)
*The fact that there would be no federal oversight of the integrity of the science with regard to peer review
*Arbitrary state wildlife objectives
*Overwhelming elk populations as is
*An inability to prove motive for individual killing of wolves
*The promotion of killing wolves for no other reason than fulfilling their natural role in Rocky Mountain ecosystems.
*The ineffectiveness of culling wolves to attain game objectives
etc., etc., etc.

Proponents of the rule change, noticeably less robust in number and science-based appeal, cited a need for protection of dogs, the state’s competency to manage, the need for “flexibility”, and the difference between “Canadian Gray wolves” and “Rocky Mountain wolves.”

Jim Caswell’s comment (Bush’s pick for BLM head)
Stevenson’s comment (Idaho state rep.)
Steve Nadeau’s comment (IDFG large carnivore manager ~ “Let’s get on with it [delisting]”

A hedged bet? Political fodder? Why 10j?

The (10j rule) hearing, which places the oversight and decision-making process to kill wolves almost exclusively in the states’ hands, was consistently characterized by opponents in Boise as being an end-run around the delisting process, “de facto delisting”. FWS is in the process of delisting as it is ~ why this rule expansion now?

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  1. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    Any chance of finding copies of the video, or having transcripts of the comments posted above for those of us without bandwidth?

    I’ll probably download these from school if I can remember, next time I’m in town; but maybe there are those out there who’d like them but don’t have bandwidth.

  2. kt Avatar

    Idaho’s elected officials are a disgrace. Representative Stevenson (after the statement above) then proceeded to doze off for the rest of the hearing. At least he, unlike Butch Otter, does not appear to be much of a direct threat to wolves.

    I heard something today from a very reliable source in an agency. Some of the Wolf Haters have already been heard talking about going to the pound and getting dogs and essentially staking them out to lure wolves in to attack, if this horrible rule moves forward. Revolting to even think about – especially in the same week that the football player dog-fighting operation was exposed.

    There is so much leeway for just that type of thing to happen – and given the mindset of some of the “sportsmen” Wolf Haters, I woduln’t put anything past them.

  3. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    We should get Michael Moore to film the lawsuits over this. It’ll be more fun than going to Havana.

  4. be Avatar

    i will get a dial-up size up — you can also see the videos as they trickle in on youtube

  5. be Avatar

    kt – that’s the thing, they say that baiting will not be actionable but it seems that dogs are bait. there’s no way of proving intent. it’s open season for anyone with the time to visit the humane society before heading to the woods.

  6. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    Be: I warned of this when I first heard about it…that these new rules would eliminate ANY means by which to prosecute for illegally killing a wolf.

    Near my home, a wolf was shot from the roadside recently, in what I term an “Idaho drive-by.” All the person would have to say is that they saw the wolf near some livestock; or that they were walking their dog and a wolf threatened it; and they would get away. The ONLY way to prosecute would be to involve forensics and expert testimony; and Fish and Game, nor FWS has the budget for that.

    I do hope they catch this guy, and that this rule doesn’t pass. If they catch this guy, I will write an amicus brief. And being the closest citizen to this shooting; I’ll have some say I hope. I’m going to encourage that they throw the maximum at this guy. I know our local judge; he’s a pushover for the good ol’ boys…but I’ll make my amicus public and pressure the guy to do the right thing. If that happens, and the rule doesn’t go through; we should see some positive things to help stop illegal wolf killing. But as I’ve already stated, I think this rule change will go through.

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Brian Ertz