Other states require testing of 100% of each private elk herd but the Idaho Legislature is requiring much less from Idaho’s elk growers and slipping money away from funds intended for the enhancement of wildlife. Idaho Senate Bill 1085 would require testing of “not more than twenty percent (20%) of testable animals” leaving elk, deer, moose, and other ungulates at risk of contracting chronic wasting disease, brucellosis or other diseases.
In Montana, citizens even passed an initiative making private elk operations illegal out of the well-founded fear that these operations would transmit chronic wasting disease to wild elk and deer.
Proceeds from elk license plates pay for testing private elk herds
Rocky Barker Voices.IdahoStatesman.com.
Yesterday the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks was out using a helicopter to capture elk with nets so that they could test them for brucellosis, attach radio collars, and implant vaginal devices intended to drop out when the elk give birth or abort a fetus. This is another example of how the livestock industry turns the table against wildlife so that they carry no burden.
Disease testing: Elk study aims to measure spread of brucellosis
By Nick Gevock of The Montana Standard.
I’ve rewritten this post as it appears that there is still a chance for a bill to move in the Senate.
The bill that would have removed wolves from the Endangered Species Act has failed and the bill which would have removed protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana introduced by Max Baucus of Montana was not successfully attached to the appropriations bill.
With so much else going on in Washington DC it appears that none of the bills to remove protections from wolves will be successful this congress but there is still a slight chance that the Baucus/Tester bill could move during the lame duck session of congress.
There is another dynamic here to take into consideration, the Baucus/Tester bill, which would require that Idaho and Montana maintain a number of wolves higher than the minimum of 10-15 packs, is opposed by many sportsman’s groups including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation because it gives wolves even some protection. If this bill is passed it would be considered by some as a win for Tester who is likely to face a very tough reelection battle in 2012. With that, it seems likely that Republicans will try to block it since their whole strategy of late has been to block anything that might benefit Democrats.
That being said, the Baucus/Tester Bill would still set a very bad precedent for the Endangered Species Act. It would set a precedent that would allow delisting of any species if it somehow becomes inconvenient for the powers that be or those who kick and scream the most.
Idaho senators fail in bid to remove federal protection for wolves.
Dan Popkey – Idaho Statesman
State of the species
Anti-wolf bills unlikely to pass before year’s end
By KATHERINE WUTZ – Idaho Mountain Express
Utah bill to delist wolves fails in Senate.
By Laura Lundquist – Magic Valley Times-News
Another form of poaching that is probably more common than this one incident might indicate. This case shows how difficult it is to convict many poachers. It took two years to catch someone using the bait station after it was first discovered.
Is poaching becoming more commonplace because of the recession and could it be the reason for declines in elk? The recent study in Oregon indicates that the level of poaching is very high there. Could it be just as much of a problem in the neighboring states like Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming? What is going on here?
Elk Baiting Poachers Fined, Lose Hunting Privileges.
Idaho Fish and Game News Release
After one of the charges, a felony, had been dismissed due to improper procedure with rating the elk antlers on the Boone and Crockett scale, the charge has been refiled. Tony Mayer, the founder of an anti-wolf website, once again faces a lifelong hunting ban.
Felony refiled in poaching case.
Idaho Mountain Express