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.

Feds delay decision on Idaho wolf killing

Predetermined outcome?

Brian Kelly, the new director of the USFWS office in Boise, states that Idaho’s Lolo Zone 10(j) wolf killing proposal has been put on hold so that the agency can conduct a NEPA review. This is good news but I’m betting that they will try to figure out how to get out of doing any review by issuing a Determination of NEPA Adequacy which says they don’t have to conduct any review under NEPA or issue a Categorical Exclusion which essentially does the same. At minimum this requires an Environmental Assessment and more appropriate would be an Environmental Impact Statement. Nonetheless, now that circumstances have changed, there should be more public review.

Whatever the route taken, it appears that Brian Kelly has already made his decision depending on how you read his statement on the matter.

“The intent is to make a decision so the state can do it at a time of year it is more effective to do it.”

Seems like the review is tainted from the beginning and that they are just taking steps to justify it should it be challenged in court. The outcome of the NEPA review is preordained.

Feds delay decision on Idaho wolf killing.
Associated Press