Last Updated on March 18, 2022 by Stone
Idaho passed a bill recently that would reduce the wolf population by 90%. Officials estimate there are 1500 wolves in Idaho and this would reduce the population to 150. Wolves would be put back on the endangered species list if numbers drop lower than that. The bill passed in both the senate and the house of representatives in April 2021 and Republican Governor Brad Little signed it into law on May 5th–wasting no time. The signed legislation will go into effect in the coming months and would be disastrous for wolves in Idaho.
How will this Bill Impact Wolves?
The bill baffles the mind. Hunters will be allowed an unlimited number of tags. It begs the question of how will they know when just 10% of the population is left when there could potentially be more tags issued than there are wolves in the state. It allows the hunting of wolves by airplanes, helicopters, ATVs, and snowmobiles. In addition to shooting them: poison baits, night hunting, trapping, and snaring will all be allowed. Oh yeah, and wolf pups and nursing moms are fair game. The state will even hire private contractors to kill wolves. It’s like Idaho Republicans have a deep-seated fear of these animals. Do they lay awake at night shivering that a wolf is out there like some boogeyman waiting to eat them? Or is it about money? It’s about money of course.
So Why do this?
Cattle and sheep ranchers argue that wolves cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars because they either kill animals or cause them to lose weight by living in fear. Other bill supporters such as hunting groups, claim wolves harm hunting for elk and deer since wolves feed on those populations.
Hell-bent on Ridding the Earth of Wolves
“Backed by an array of misinformation and fearmongering, the state legislature stepped over experts at the Idaho Fish and Game Department and rushed to pass this horrific wolf-killing bill,” Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.
“And Republican lawmakers have promised that this is just the beginning, even though the new measure would doom 90% of Idaho’s wolves. We’re disappointed that Gov. Little signed such a cruel and ill-conceived bill into law.”
“This bill, which has no grounding in science or public values, demonstrates that Idaho can no longer responsibly manage its wolves,” Wight told The Hill in a statement. “The time has come for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to step in and abide by their obligations to review and relist these imperiled animals under the Endangered Species Act now that Idaho is allowing unlimited killing.”
source: The Hill
Unfortunately, decisions made in lieu of science, intelligent thinking, or even popular opinion seem to be the modus operandi of today’s Republican party at both the state and federal level.
What can you Do To Stop Wolf Hunting in Idaho?
These are great ideas here taken from Wolf Watcher:
Ask your elected representatives to protect wolves.
- Meet with, email, write or call Idaho’s elected representatives and/or their staff about wolf management. Be respectful and polite. State government officials who need to hear from wolf advocates include Idaho State legislators and Governor Little.
- Meet with, email, write or call your regional IDFG commissioner and regional supervisor. They, too, should represent your interests and need to hear from you.
- Encourage others to do the same.
- Contact information for Governors and game/wildlife management agencies in Idaho and from wolf states around the country: https://www.livingwithwolves.org/who-to-contact/
Engage the public, inform your community.
- Submit Letters to the Editor or opinion pieces to newspapers in your community and beyond. Your community can learn from and be inspired by your knowledge and passion.
- Alert the media to important developments.
- Organize others to participate or engage in the items listed above or other community efforts.
Sign this Petition on Change.org started by Johnathan Flores.
If you care about nature, you will sign the petition against this bill. If you are a hunter, you too should sign this bill. Why?
If Elk and other deer have no predators, they will overgraze the land and the herd will weaken as food becomes scarce. Wolves keep the pack strong. Wolves help to keep nature in balance. It’s man that upsets the balance.