Idaho Department of Fish and Game is currently gathering comments concerning its proposed hunting season for wolves in the state – the deadline for submission is Friday. Lynne Stone, Director of the Boulder-White Clouds Council, a conservation group based in Ketchum and Stanley, Idaho has put together some ideas for commenting on the plan :
REMINDER! Please take a few minutes and comment on the preposterous Idaho hunting plan. Comments are due by Friday May 16 and must be done on the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/surveys/wolfSeasons/
IDFG has added a last minute “open house” in Boise on the hunting plan. The meeting will be Monday, May 19, 4-8 p.m. in the Trophy Room at Fish and Game headquarters, 600 South Walnut. (Since IDFG is still taking comments Monday night, last minute e-mails could be sent Monday as well.)
All photographs are copyright Lynne Stone and may not be used or reproduced without permission.
Here are some points to include in your comments:
+PLEASE OPPOSE IDAHO’S UNJUST WOLF HUNT. Currently there are about 700 wolves in Idaho. IDFG would allow an overall mortality of 328 wolves from all causes by the end of 2008. Most of this mortality would come in a rifle hunting season this fall with wolf tags offered at a cheap $11.75.
+IDAHO’S PROPOSED WOLF HUNT IS PREMATURE, INHUMANE AND BASED ON POLITICS NOT SCIENCE. Please tell IDFG that you support having wolves in Idaho and oppose wolf hunting. Add that you and your family would like to view live wolves in Idaho, but the proposed hunt robs you of this chance. Yellowstone Park has people come from all over the world to see wolves, yet Idaho’s wolf hunting plan shuts the door on wolf eco-tourism business. (Note that since delisting, in Wyoming outside of Yellowstone, anti-wolf vigilantes are prowling the countryside to kill wolves. The same will happen here if a wolf season starts.)
+PLEASE TELL IDFG that you do not support any of their hunting season alternatives. If and when wolf hunting is allowed in Idaho, then IDFG must start slowly and offer a few permits through a draw system for a once-in-a-lifetime hunt. Urge IDFG to show some enthusiasm for live wolves, rather than treating them like potatoes to be “harvested”. Also, please urge that IDFG start a program of public education about the value of wolves to the natural ecosystem. More efforts must also be made to educate ranchers to use non-lethal methods to keep wolves away from livestock.
+PLEASE MENTION THAT PROPOSED Alternatives 3 and 4, which would allow wolf hunting for seven months from August 30 through March 31, are especially inhumane and unsportsmanlike. A seven-month hunting season shows no understanding or concern for pack structure on the part of IDFG. Wolf pups are only four months old in August. Hunters will target the largest wolves, leaving shredded packs and orphaned pups to fend on their own. Then in mid-winter, as wolves start to return to their traditional den site, hunters can simply follow wolves and eliminate entire packs. Hunters could be shooting at alpha females within a week or two of giving birth.
+COLLAR WOLVES AND THEN KILL THEM? This is another example of the absurdity of IDFG’s wolf management scheme. IDFG spends up to $2000 or more collaring one wolf. Yet, in their proposed hunting plan, it’s ok for hunters to shoot collared wolves. As one anti-wolfer joked at the Challis meeting last night: “Heck, then you’d git yur collar back.”
+WOLF QUOTA SYSTEM AND 72 HOUR REPORTING – IDFG tries to assure us that since they have quotas in all the wolf hunting areas, there won’t be “overharvest”. Yet, wolf hunters have 72 hours to report their kill. A quota could have been met three days prior while hunters are still killing wolves in the backcountry. And that will be just fine.
+THE PROPOSED PLAN ONLY covers 2008 and is driven by powerful political forces like the Idaho Outfitters and Guide Association, Idaho Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife (an anti-predator group), and livestock interests. This plan is conservative compared to what it will be in 2009 — if delisting occurs. The 2002 Idaho Management Plan which is the law of the land in Idaho, says that only 104 wolves are necessary in the entire state to prevent the feds from relisting on the ESA. Currently IDFG is fudging, putting on a facade for a federal judge, saying they will keep at least 500 wolves in the state in the years to come.
+IDFG is totally ignoring the public who understands the intelligence and social structure of wolf packs. IDFG insists it will manage wolves just like black bears and mountain lions, as if they were the same animal.