Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission Ignores Science and Public Input to Push Wolf Extinction Agenda

For immediate release February 21, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT:   

Talasi Brooks, Western Watersheds Project, (208)336-9077; tbrooks@westernwatersheds.org

 Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission Ignores Science and Public Input to Push Wolf Extinction Agenda

BOISE, Ida. – Thursday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission unanimously approved expanding wolf-killing in Idaho—ignoring 85% of the 27,076 comments it received on the proposed rule changes that urged the Commission not to approve the measures. This follows the Commission’s vote at its January 23 meeting to increase wolf tag limits in the state so an individual may now kill up to 30 wolves.

“The Commission’s unanimous approval of these rule changes demonstrates that it doesn’t represent Idahoans who value our native wildlife, including wolves and other predators,” said Talasi Brooks, a staff attorney with Western Watersheds Project.  “Their wolf extinction agenda is an insult to science.”

The approved rule changes allow wolf hunting year-round in most of the state, including when pups are young, and in the remaining areas it is only closed during the month of July. The rule changes also allow trappers to deploy deadly and nonselective snares on public lands, where they pose a hazard to pets, protected wildlife species, and the public.  The justifications for the increases are founded in the false, yet commonly-held, belief that killing wolves will decrease wolf predation on domestic livestock or inflate elk herds.

“There is no scientific justification for killing nursing mother wolves and young pups, said Suzanne Stone, wolf conservationist.  “Livestock losses are only worsened by constant loss of pack members, and science shows that those removals actually lead to more livestock losses, as demonstrated by the increasing number of livestock deaths blamed on wolves. Only in places where wolf family packs are stable and commonsense nonlethal methods are used to protect livestock are losses maintained effectively at the lowest levels statewide.”

“Elk harvests are at record highs throughout most of the State,” said Ken Cole of Western Watersheds Project. “This hate-based management just shows what happens when wolf management is entrusted to State political bodies, further proving that wolves need federal Endangered Species Act listing to be truly protected.”

 

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