Wildlife advocates are decrying legislation they say will "wipe out as many wolves as legally possible in Idaho."
Signed by state lawmakers on Thursday, it is expected to get the signature of Governor C. L. "Butch" Otter, who in 2007 said he would "bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself," if gray wolves lost Endangered Species Act protection.
The legislation sets aside $400,000 for a board "to provide funds for the management and control of depredating wolves in Idaho."
In the words of Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity, the legislation's goal is "to wipe out as many wolves as legally possible in Idaho," and said the state "has put a black eye on decades of tireless work to return wolves to the American landscape."
"Political leaders in Idaho would love nothing more than to eradicate Idaho’s wolves and return to a century-old mindset where big predators are viewed as evil and expendable," Weiss's statement continued. "The new state wolf board, sadly, reflects that attitude."
Meanwhile, a group of over 70 congressmen sent a letter this week to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, asking that a proposal to delist the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list be rescinded because it is not based on the best available science.
* * *
Weiss offers more background on the plight of the wolves in this video from the Center for Biological Diversity: