Idaho House passes wolf disaster declaration

It Passed 64-5

Sometimes you have to wonder…….
It doesn’t seem like a good move by those who want wolves to be delisted to me.

House presses on with wolf disaster declaration.
Associated Press

Update: According to sources in the legislature, I’m guessing that this will likely pass the Senate and be signed by the Governor. How this will affect negotiations in the US Senate over the rider to delist wolves, which is attached to the Continuing Resolution, is yet to be determined.

Idaho House declares wolves a disaster emergency.
By Laura Zuckerman – Reuters

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s wilderness math doesn’t add up

Idaho’s fact free governor testifies about Idaho Wilderness-

Clement “Butch” Otter has always made his way catering to most backward power groups in his unequal, economically poor, but wilderness rich state.  The poorly paid teachers, educationally deprived students, overflowing prisons, and dispirited population are fine by him, but he has never liked wild backcountry, and especially designated Wilderness, and there is a lot of it in Idaho.  Some of it was protected by Act of Congress during Idaho’s brief green period, 1969-1980.  The rest has been protected by rugged topography and dedicated Idahoans and their allies who have fought long odds ever since.

Otter recently shared his ignorance about Idaho’s Wilderness with a committee in the new Tea Party U. S. House of Representatives. Rocky Barker has a good article on his testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee in today’s Idaho Statesman.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s wilderness math doesn’t add up. “In a fight against more wilderness, Otter may have vastly underestimated the economic impact of what the state already has.” By Rocky Barker. rbarker@idahostatesman.com. Idaho Statesman

Idaho lawmakers reject bill to let public comment on megaloads

Public Comment on them? We won’t even consider the bill, says Idaho legislative committee-

House panel rejects megaloads hearing requirement, won’t introduce bill. Spokesman-Review

Representative JoAn Wood is quoted in the article. According to Ballotpedia, “Wood is a business partner in a trucking/farming company.”

You can see the company in Eastern Idaho on your way St. Anthony. Government by conflict of interest; it is a principle of Idaho government.

Former Gov. candidate Rex Rammel could face charges for allegedly killing elk

Wow!! Who’s next?

Who knows? If there is a conviction in this case, it might solidify my theory that anti-wolf advocates are behind the decimation of elk herds 😉

Recall, Rex Rammel is the politician who joked about “Obama tags“. He also had a run in with then Governor and now Senator Jim Risch after his canned hunt elk escaped and were shot by Idaho Fish and Game agents.

We’ve written about him here before.

Rex Rammell vs. the Elk vs. the Law
Boise Weekly

Former Gov. candidate could face charges for allegedly killing elk .
KBOI 2 – Boise

– – – – –
Addition by Ralph Maughan. So this Karen Calisterio in North Idaho who just had a “scary,” but completely unverified encounter with wolves on her property was Rex Rammell’s campaign manager.

New story. Warden confiscates elk from Rex Rammell, plans to file poaching charges. By Rocky Barker – rbarker@idahostatesman.com

House backs Hell’s Canyon sheep bill

Now it’s up to the Governor.

Bighorn sheep near North Fork, Idaho © Ken Cole

Bighorn sheep near North Fork, Idaho © Ken Cole

This bill is not just going to affect bighorn sheep in Hell’s Canyon, it affects bighorn sheep throughout the state. It is political game management which can be changed at the whim of livestock industry pressure.

It does not address important issues regarding disease transmission and basically writes off recovery of declining bighorn sheep populations as “acceptable”.

The media has not reported that there has been an amendment to the bill changing the timeframe in which the IDFG must develop, with the permittees, best management practices.

Here is the new language in the bill:

“(E) The Idaho department of fish and game: (1) shall develop a state management plan to maintain a viable, self-sustaining population of bighorn sheep in Idaho which shall consider as part of the plan the current federal or state domestic sheep grazing allotment(s) that currently have any bighorn sheep upon or in proximity to the allotment(s); (2) within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this act will cooperatively develop best management practices with the permittee(s) on the allotment(s). Upon commencement of the implementation of best management practices, the director shall certify that the risk of disease transmission, if any, between bighorn and domestic sheep is acceptable for the viability of the bighorn sheep. The director’s certification shall continue for as long as the best management practices are implemented. The director may also certify that the risk of disease transmission, if any, between bighorn and domestic sheep is acceptable for the viability of the bighorn sheep based upon a finding that other factors exist, including but not limited to previous exposure to pathogens that make separation between bighorn and domestic sheep unnecessary.”

This language ensures that disease transmission will continue and that it is “acceptable”.

Here is the old language:

(E) The Idaho department of fish and game: (1) shall develop a state management plan to maintain a viable, selfsustaining population of bighorn sheep in Idaho; and (2) within one hundred twenty (120) days of the effective date of this act will cooperatively develop best management practices with permittees for their federal and state grazing allotments that include or adjoin core populations of bighorn sheep as determined by the department. Upon commencement of the implementation of best management practices, the director shall certify that the potential risk of disease transmission, if any, between bighorn and domestic sheep is acceptable for the viability of the bighorn sheep core population. The director’s certification shall continue for as long as the best management practices are implemented by the permittee. The director may also certify that the potential risk of disease transmission, if any, between bighorn and domestic sheep is acceptable for the viability of the bighorn sheep core population based upon a finding that other factors exist, including but not limited to previous exposure to pathogens that make separation between bighorn and domestic sheep unnecessary.

House backs Hell’s Canyon sheep bill
Associated Press

Midvale residents say Gov. Otter has abandoned rural Idaho

Otter pushes for road money, but residents gripe about feds, wild sheep

Here in Idaho the legislature has gone into overtime because Governor Otter vetoed 35 appropriation bills over the course of a few days because he wants the legislature to raise gas taxes for road construction projects. They are not complying.

Each month Governor Otter spends a day in an Idaho town or city in his program “Capitol for a Day”. This time he spent the day in Midvale, Idaho and got an ear-full from the rural residents, who overwhelmingly supported him in the election, about his proposed gas tax increase and his veto of the bighorn sheep killing bill SB1175.

This is an interesting look at the conflicting values of rural and urban values.

Midvale residents say Gov. Otter has abandoned rural Idaho
DAN POPKEY, Idaho Statesman

Senate OKs new bill to help resolve sheep conflict

Will this save the collaborative group?

Bighorn Sheep © Ken Cole

Bighorn Sheep © Ken Cole

The new bill, SB1232, passed the Senate but will it save the Bighorn Sheep Domestic Sheep Advisory Group? Some of the members of the advisory group are saying the new bill interferes with what the group was formed to do and is still bad for bighorn sheep. Will the advisory group continue?

Senate OKs new bill to help resolve sheep conflict
Associated Press