Yesterday Idaho issued a draft plan that is being called a plan to provide for “limited” hunting of wolves (would they call it anything else?). And of course, the media will buy that phrase, at least for a while. In fact my home town newspaper has just such an on-line poll this morning. “Do you favor a plan to allow limited hunting of wolves in Idaho?”
No doubt the Governor was told or figured out that his early statement about wolves that was extremely hostile, was not helpful in the cause of reducing wolf numbers in Idaho, so he has a nice statement included for this plan .
A quick glance once over of the plan indicates to me that it is a plan to kill as many wolves as possible under the disguise of hunting, while allowing the state to claim they still have 15 breeding pairs of wolves or more. It is a plan to cause maximum disruption of wolf packs and one that will probably increase the number of livestock killed by wolves as disrupted packs and females with pups try to feed their offspring.
It is not a hunting plan; otherwise management would be to keep the population nearly stable (as they do for deer and elk) and the hunt would be in the winter when wolf pelts are at their finest. Nevertheless, they are saying it is to manage wolves like other big game and the person who digs no further will probably say “that is OK; it makes sense.”
While Defenders of Wildlife and the Idaho Conservation League are being promoted as seeing this plan as acceptable, this is not true. It was more like they were merely handed the plan slightly in advance of release. Yesterday a Defenders spokesperson told us this is just a flat out lie. It is not acceptable to them.
The plan does provide for having an area or two where management will be so people might view wolves, but no specific areas are suggested, nor size.
Because it is Thanksgiving, a full analysis of the plan will have to wait, but you can read the plan at the Idaho Fish and Game website
Because I haven’t read it fully, it will probably have to correct some mistakes.