Idaho Fish & Game Commission framework for wolf management

Fish & Game Commission lays out framework for Idaho wolf management

IDFG News Release
May 19, 2011

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, May 19, directed the Fish and Game Department to:

1.    Manage wolves in a manner that will ensure wolves remain under responsible state management in conjunction with the rest of Idaho’s wildlife.

2.    Manage wolves as big game animals consistent with the goals and objectives of the 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management plan approved by the Idaho Legislature and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep wolves off the Endangered Species List.

3.    Control wolves where they depredate on livestock and other domestic animals or threaten human safety.

4.    Control the population of wolves and other predators as needed to address areas where elk or other prey populations are below management objectives.

5.    Develop wolf hunting season recommendations for consideration at the Commission’s July 2011 meeting and develop trapping recommendations.

6.    Conduct additional species management planning as appropriate.

Commissioners also agreed to support the state the of Idaho’s legal defense of challenges to state management, such as those lawsuits challenging the 2011 congressional action for wolf delisting, and urge Congress to continue to provide funding for monitoring, control and depredation compensation related to the wolf population introduced by the federal government into Idaho.

Fish and Game authorizes deputies to kill wolves

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has delegated authority to kill wolves to county sheriff deputies in Idaho County.  It is unclear what training or methods deputies will have at their disposal when killing wolves.

Fish and Game authorizes deputies to kill wolves – AP

Cadwallader believes this is the first time his agency has delegated authority to local law enforcement agents to kill wolves.

Idaho F&G kills Lolo wolves from helicopter

Idaho politicians’ long hoped for campaign to kill Lolo wolves has begun with small “success”-

Idaho F&G kills Lolo wolves from helicopter. Lewiston Tribune.

“. . . the hunting has been halted because it hasn’t been as successful as expected, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game official says.”

After about decade, Idaho Fish and Game began their reduction of the number of wolves in the Lolo area in north central Idaho along the Montana border. They got five wolves. Their operation is already over for now.  Too expensive!!! They say they will rely on outfitters to kill wolves and a long and generous quota of wolves in the Lolo for the hunting season.

I have been writing about this plan, and it has been discussed on the blog for a long time. My position for a number of years has been that there are not as many wolves in the Lolo as commonly thought, and they are a minor reason at best why the elk herds in the area remain far below their previous numbers (prior to the 1990s).

Biologists, except one, who were part of the no longer required “peer review” by the ESA were very skeptical whether this action would increase elk numbers. This included a biologist who clearly did not like wolves. I suspect this will have little long term effect on wolves in the larger area because there are not many wolves, just like there are not many elk. Of course, the two logically go together, don’t they?

I see the wolf reduction  as a blood ritual with the intent to satisfy politicians in the local area and in Boise. Performance of ritual is vital to perpetuation of a myth — the myth being that wolves are holding back a return to halcyon elk hunting days of the 1950s.

Budget bill pending before Congress would remove wolves from endangered list

Well, they’ve done it. They’ve reached an agreement to keep language in the upcoming budget bill which would delist wolves everywhere in the Northern Rockies except Wyoming. (Added to clarify what has happened)

While this process doesn’t immediately delist wolves, it cannot be challenged. It is unclear exactly what the language says but presumably wolves in the Northern Rockies will be delisted in all but Wyoming as previous wording has indicated. Previous language mandates the US Fish and Wildlife Service to republish the rule which delisted wolves in 2009. It does not preclude a petition to relist wolves if their populations become endangered again. The delisting rule still holds the states of Idaho and Montana to their management plans but it seems that, with the most recent “wolf disaster declaration” that they don’t intend to allow more than 100 wolves to persist in the state.

Also, the recent settlement agreement, as some have previously indicated, will likely provide political cover to the USFWS to accept Wyoming’s management plan with little or no changes. It seems that wolves are facing dark days ahead.

Here is the previous language, “SEC. 1709. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this division, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such re-issuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review.

Budget bill pending before Congress would remove wolves from endangered list.
Matthew Brown – Associated Press

To clarify, the language has not been passed yet.  It was not included in the short term budget agreement which funds the government for the next several days but, rather, will be included in the long term budget bill which is being written and will be posted for review for three days as House rules require.

And in the end, hysteria triumphs in Idaho Legislature

” . . . our Legislature has completely abandoned reasoned discourse.”

Editorial basically says Idaho legislature has gone bonkers. And in the end, hysteria triumphs in Idaho Legislature. Magic Valley (Twin Falls, ID) Times-News.

Most of the comment on the blog has been about what happens to the wolves, but my take has also been if they pass crazy legislation like this in the Idaho legislature, can you imagine what other laws must be like? As they say, “when the legislature is in session, lock your gate and prepare to protect your life and property.”

I have been thinking about this and all the other frightening things the legislature has done this year (fortunately not to me directly). Sane Idahoans need to organize or they will lose their freedom, property, and many other rights.  Because it is such a Republican state by tradition, there might have to be a third party.

The legislature also just closed their primary election (that is they will now only allow registered Republicans to vote in it). The effect of this is to permanently lock craziness in power because independents and Democrats will have no say in who the Republicans nominate for office. In Idaho the winner of a primary election is pretty much the one who will win in November. Otherwise, the only hope is reform from within the Republican Party.

Idaho Statesman: Beware: Legislative ‘scientists’ at work

The Idaho Statesman has published an editorial about the recent “Wolf Disaster Declaration” recently passed by the Idaho House and sent to the floor for a vote in the state Senate:

Our View: Beware: Legislative ‘scientists’ at workIdaho Stateman Editorial Board

Boyle says Idahoans feel physically and psychologically threatened by the wolves — a message echoed, in less-than-measured tones, in the bill itself. “The uncontrolled proliferation of imported wolves on private land has produced a clear and present danger to humans, their pets and livestock, and has altered and hindered historical uses of private and public land, dramatically inhibiting previously safe activities such as walking, picnicking, biking, berry picking, hunting and fishing.”

Not exactly. Wolf attacks are extremely rare — and certainly in relation to the region’s population of fearmongering political panderers.

Strong language in the editorial, but not enough to pacify what looks soon to be their bloodlust fantasy codified into state statue.

Hearing in Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee today on wolf disaster declaration

The Senate Resources and Environment Committee will be holding a hearing today at 2:00 pm on H343 in room WW02 of the Capitol building. There will likely be crowd present so be there early if you want to testify.

This bill, which is likely to pass and be signed by the Governor, demonstrates exactly why Idaho cannot be trusted to manage wolves. Even if the IDFG desires to set management goals for wolves above the minimum of 10-15 breeding pairs or 100-150 wolves, the legislature is showing that it can, and will, override them. This legislation seems to even strike at their own 2002 plan which allows wolves to persist in areas where they are not even causing conflict. This would define conflict in such a way that even their presence on a mountain top far away from anyone is a conflict because it might scare some weakhearted berry picker.

Senate Resources and Environment Committee hearing schedule.

You can watch or listen here: Idaho Legislature Live (Idaho Public Television).