The overreach on wolves begins

Settlement, legislation, or legal challenges?

I expect an overreach by the people who are angry about the relisting of wolves. There are many who are pinning their hopes on legislative action taken in the House and Senate to remove all protections from wolves under the Endangered Species Act but I think that will likely fail due to the make up of the committees that they have to pass. Who knows though?

There will also be legislation in the Idaho State Legislature intended to “scare the b’jeez out of the environmental loons”. That would look great in court when the judge reviews the next delisting proposal and it probably would give even the USFWS pause in delisting wolves in the Northern Rockies.

The “good ole’ boys” network of ranchers, hunters, and now game agencies is also forming a coalition to overreach too.

The problem they have is that they have to deal with Federal laws that have become very popular with the nation as a whole. If they are considering removing just a single species from protection of the Endangered Species Act, regardless of it’s status (eg. the Mexican wolf), it probably won’t sit well with the American people who will be awoken to the irrationality of Western politics.

They are also considering legislation which would allow delisting based on state lines as proposed in the last delisting rule. That would leave the ESA gutted as well because it would mean that the best available science would be trumped by political considerations when delisting or listing a species.

While IDFG has committed to managing for 518 wolves once it gets management authority, the Idaho Legislature has shown that it surely wants fewer than that. They want the IDFG to maintain only the minimum of 15 breeding pairs that the Legislature’s plan calls for and they are willing to force the IDFG to do that.

Groups form coalition on wolf issue.
By EVE BYRON Helena Independent Record






  1. timz Avatar
  2. timz Avatar

    “We are deeply concerned, however, with a recent decision in the United States District Court for the District of Montana, to relist the wolf under the ESA for procedural reasons”
    So not following the law is now a “procedural reason” for reversing a decision?

    1. jon Avatar

      A legal wolf hunt may not be needed Timz. I’ve have seen quite a few people claim they are going to go out and kill wolves by trapping them, shooting them, and poisoning them. I guess they are fed up and are going to supposedly take matters into their own hands. I guess we will have to wait if they come through with their threats.

    2. timz Avatar

      So Jon, I wonder if the powers that be will call those activities, “procedural problems” or violations of the law.

  3. kathy miller Avatar
    kathy miller

    just got this from Defender’s…. (selected text).
    The federal Wildlife Services agency (a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is the primary wolf-killer in the United States. Now they want to expand their wolf-killing operations. They plan to work with Idaho officials to kill up to 80 percent of the wolves in north-central Idaho by land and from the air.

    Their plan also includes killing entire packs — including gassing helpless wolf pups in their dens — and surgically sterilizing alpha wolf pairs.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole