Will Otter’s tantrum backfire?
If there is a faster way of getting the State of Idaho out of wolf management I can’t think of one. It appears likely that Idaho will no longer have management authority over wolves beginning October 7 if all goes well. I can’t think of a worse way to regain management authority in the future if this comes to pass.
Butch’s impatience and political grandstanding could really backfire.
“We will keep working with the Interior Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the coming weeks to craft an agreement outlining the State’s role in wolf management, providing additional flexibility for addressing depredation, and committing enough federal funding to cover wolf management. But if we don’t reach an agreement within a reasonable time – we’ve set October 7th as a deadline – the State will no longer participate as a designated agent for monitoring, providing law enforcement support or investigating wolf deaths in Idaho.”
The USFWS cannot simply rubber stamp something like this without public input, and if it does, there will certainly be challenges in court that stand a high chance of prevailing.
What happens if Idaho gives up wolf management is anyone’s guess but during the period when Idaho didn’t have management authority the Nez Perce Tribe, under the direction of Carter Niemeyer of the USFWS, were managers. The decisions they made were rational and fair, especially when you compare it to current management by the IDFG and Wildlife Services in which more livestock and wolves die and there is no accountability to the public.
Current management of wolves is rabidly hidden from the public and when people who care about wolf management try to get information they have to go through all kinds of hoops to get it. I’ve submitted Freedom of Information Requests to Wildlife Services that have gone unfilled for months and months. I’ve also submitted public records requests to the IDFG which have met the same fate. I’ve also called the IDFG and Wildlife Services to ask about wolf management and have been told they can’t speak to me.
Wolves are a public resource, and yes, – like it or not – they are different from other animals on many levels. They are managed differently, and public perception is different. That is not going to change.