Idaho Fish and Game Commission suspends 2008-2012 Wolf Management Plan

Directs Department to prepare a new plan consistent with 2002 Legislative Plan.

The IDFG Commission voted unanimously to suspend the 2008-2012 wolf management plan, which maintains a wolf population of 518 wolves in the state of Idaho, and directed the Department to prepare “an appropriate wolf species management plan, consistent with the 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan approved by the Idaho Legislature and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

In other words, this means that the IDFG has abandoned all pretense of biological or scientific management of wolves in favor of a politically driven plan which only commits to maintain 10 packs minimum but would institute remedial management measures if the population falls below 15 packs.

IDFG Wolf Motion to suspend 2008 plan

Here is the language of the motion which was unanimously passed:

(1) Continue the pursuit of control actions under 10j for the protection of ungulate herds while wolves remain listed under the Endangered Species Act;

(2) Suspend immediately the 2008-2012 Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan; and

(3) Postpone consideration, until delisting resumes, as to the specifics of day-to-day state wolf management and upon delisting of gray wolves in Idaho; the Commission will direct the Department to prepare an appropriate wolf species management plan, consistent with the 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan approved by the Idaho Legislature and the u.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Youtube video of the meeting and more comment to come. Watch this space. Read the rest of this entry »

Judge: Anti-wolf activist Tony Mayer will face felony for poaching elk

Save Elk, Prosecute Anti-wolf Activists

You may recall that Blaine County Judge Ted Israel recently dismissed a felony elk poaching charge against anti-wolf activist Tony Mayer, the founder of SaveElk.com.

Idaho Department of Fish & Game officers carry away the trophy rack Tony Mayer is alleged to have illegally taken

At that time, the court held that there was probable cause to pursue misdemeanor charges for the offense.  However, Mr. Mayer’s felony charge was dismissed without prejudice because to charge on a felony prosecutors needed to establish that he had poached an animal worth more than $1000 (“trophy” bull elk are valued at $5000).  At that time, the measurements prosecutors used to determine the “trophy” status of the animal were taken before it had dried at room temperature for 60 days, a Boone and Crockett protocol allowing for “shrinkage” (the antlers had been admittedly stored in a freezer for a period of time).

After the initial measurement of the elk Mayer killed, but by the time pre-trial rolled around and the court issued its dismissal on the felony charge, the antlers had been stored at room temperature for 60 days allowing prosecutors to immediately have the rack re-measured and determine that even with shrinkage it was still a trophy animal pursuant to statute.   The prosecutor re-filed the felony against Mayer.

Defendants have a right to a “pre-trial hearing” to demand demonstration of probable cause and contest the prosecution’s evidentiary basis for pursuing its charge.  In order to move a felony charge to trial, the prosecutor needed to establish that there is probable cause to believe that several essential elements of an infraction of law took place.

Today, Mayer stood pre-trial on the re-filed felony for “flagrant unlawful killing and/or possession of a trophy bull elk,” again arguing for a dismissal of the charge .

Probable Cause That Mayer Poached the Elk Read the rest of this entry »