Wolf-watching areas sought in Idaho

The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) is proposing a Central Idaho wolf-watching area that if granted by the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) commission would spare wolves in areas surrounding highways in Central Idaho the impending wolf-hunt should delisting pass the test of litigation currently underway.

Should wolves have a sanctuary? Idaho Mountain Express

There is a map of the ICL proposed area featured along with the article.

During an “open house” forum in Boise earlier this week, Steve Nadeau of the Idaho Department of Fish & Game assured those in attendance that the public would be provided opportunity to view wolves in between hunts – a comment at odds his assertion that wolves would learn to avoid humans given the hunts, especially with the lengthy proposed seasons. The question emphasizes the idea about whether the state should provide places in Idaho free of wolf hunts.

I say “yes” – all of Idaho should be free of hunts, until wolves are delisted in a legal manner.

IDFG refused to hold a meeting in Blaine County this time, a community that showed up en masse in support of wolves at a previous gathering brought together by the insistence of the Blaine County Commission. The meeting in Boise was announced a few days prior to its being held, and only after a formal complaint of its  initial exclusion was made.

The site proposed for wolf-watching areas is also among an area where the Blaine County Commission is spurring efforts at pro-active non-lethal wolf controls.

It’s an interesting read to help understand the different approaches wolf advocates take.






  1. Dave J Avatar
    Dave J

    This wolf viewing area is a great idea, and the proposed buffer strip appears well thought out. In 2001 the Landmark Pack came right past our camp which was within this buffer and howled at us (we had our dog with us). It was an amazing experience, better than the YNP stuff. If Idaho F&G were to approve it, I’d be encouraged. (Unfortunately I think we can all predict what’s goinng to happen.)

  2. Chuck Avatar

    I think the powers that be are really stupid, they don’t realize the amount of money that people spend when they go to YNP to watch wildlife, food, motel, gas, scopes. The other problem I see, is what about in the winter, areas like bear valley will only accessable via snow mobile, so unless you have snow mobiles or an outfitter comes in guides people, winter time might not be very good for watching wolves. But am sure Lynne can chime in here as this is her back yard and knows all the nooks and crannies.

  3. heather Avatar

    Yes, by all means they should have a sanctuary!

  4. Brian Ertz Avatar

    We’ll see what the commission decides – possibly later today. it’s wise not to find too much reassurance in any decisions now – the lawsuit casts a shadow over the state’s intention, there is little doubt that they are acting with it in mind.

    i certainly hope that there are safe havens for wolves throughout the state – though my thoughts have me wonder how suitable corridors are going to be assured, how the genetic viability is going to be assured given what we know about necessary numbers, and what significantly altered wolves’ behavior will mean for ‘conflict’ – but more importantly, their ecological effectiveness. it’s important to have wolves over more habitat.

    “Boutique wolves” in affluent areas are better than dead wolves – that’s for sure.

  5. Nathan Hobbs Avatar

    Do wolves deserve a sanctuary? -Yes the whole state.

    The only benefit I see from this is making it illegal 2 ‘hunt’ or better classified ‘slaughter’ a wolf on the side of a paved highway. I think its pathetic to see All the Blaze orange in the fall roam back and forth along the highway in Grand Teton National Park in search of the big bull elks making there way to the refuge. Or the specially designated hunter only ‘road’ they can use within the so called reservation -but thats a diffrent state and a diffrent animal

    If we are going to be forced to have a ridiculous wolf hunt plan than closing off a few miles of paved road and forcing theses so called outdoors men to venture into the woods to get there claim..FINE…maybe while they are out there they will gain a bit of appreciation for the type of terrain and conditions the wolf endures.

  6. ranch hand Avatar
    ranch hand

    A ranchers (private property) should be wolf shooting areas if he or she feels like they are a threat to his livelyhood.

  7. JB Avatar

    “A ranchers (private property) should be wolf shooting areas if he or she feels like they are a threat to his livelyhood.”

    I’ll trade you: livestock producers can kill any wolf that comes near livestock on private lands if you get all of the livestock off of public lands. What do you say? Deal?

  8. Chuck Avatar

    I’m sorry but I was led to believe that here in the United States of America if you could not make it own your own hard work & sweat then you went out of business. If these ranchers can’t make it on their own land then they should find some other way to make money. This should not even be up for arguments sake, there should be no livestock on PUBLIC LANDS PERIOD, this is your land as its my land, no one should be able to trash it, waste it like it was their own private backyard. Defenders of wildlife should not pay one penny to a rancher that lost livestock on public land, you pay to play.

  9. ranch hand Avatar
    ranch hand

    You people dont understand that these grazing rights were in contract when all this “public property” was purchased from the ranchers through time.Huh you want this property well heres some rules …#1 I still get to turn cattle loose on it.wow common sense

  10. Catbestland Avatar

    Ranch Hand,

    “all this “public property”” was never purchased from the ranchers. Rather the ranchers simply helped themselves to federal lands until those lands were regulated. The ranchers NEVER owned it. The public always owned it. Do some research.


  11. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Ranch Hand,
    As cat says the PUBLIC property was never purchased from ranchers. Ranches do not get to –just turn cows out—- on public land although with the way state governments bend over for the livestock industry and the obscenely low grazing fees it probably seems that way. I suggest you do some serious self education on the subject.
    As the saying goes it is be silent than speak and remove all doubt.

  12. Buffaloed Avatar


    I think Ranch Hand “went away”.

    That being said, you are right Cat, and Ranch Hand is horribly wrong let alone incoherent. The grazing “rights” he refers to are not “rights”. That is why permits are issued, you don’t have to have permission to have rights. Good thing he’s not a lawyer because his logic is a little crazy.

    Let’s all hope that those grazing permits will go away either by carrot or stick.

    5 YEARS! 😉

  13. Catbestland Avatar

    I so hope you are right about the permits going away. I think most of the problem is that the ranchers that squawk the most are not educated to the facts and so they end up being their own worst enemy when these issues end up in Court. They actally believe that they have a contractural right to the land. I guess an uneducated opponent is the best kind to end up in Court with. But they sure cause everyone to waste time and money in Court when they don’t listen to reason.

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Brian Ertz