Disaster Declaration asks for protections that are already in place.
It’s funny to see how Governor Otter, an outspoken anti-wolf politician, tries to calm a bunch of other outspoken anti-wolf politicians. It’s obviously an uncomfortable position for him to be in because he has to face reality about the situation which is not what the reactionary politicians in Idaho County want to hear.
Their request raised concerns about human safety and wolves but, considering there have only been two cases of human death attributed to wolves in the last hundred years, even Otter had to remind them they already had the right to defend themselves and others against wolf attacks. They also ask for state and federal help with livestock depredations but they already have Wildlife Services.
The Governor writes:
In your declaration you specifically reference concerns about public safety. Please be aware that you have always been able to kill a wolf in self defense or in the defense of other humans. That has not changed, nor is a disaster declaration necessary for you to protect yourselves and loved ones from wolves.
You also reference the need for state and federal resources under a disaster declaration to address livestock depredations. You should know that livestock owners already are allowed to kill wolves that are attacking (killing, wounding, or biting) or in the act of attacking (actively chasing, molesting, harassing) their livestock, stock animals and dogs. Additionally, livestock owners can get a “shoot-on-sight” permit for chronic depredations. In 2010, there were six confirmed livestock depredations, two probable and one possible depredation reported in Idaho County. All Idaho County livestock depredation claims which occurred before September 10, 2010, should have been submitted to Defenders of Wildlife and those after that date can be submitted for payment under the state compensation plan.