Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter has signed a wolf control bill that will allow 500 wolves to be killed in the state.
The Missoulian reports the wolf-control bill will allocate $400,000 of state money towards the effort, and will establish a five-member panel to regulate the process. The panel will include representatives from the state’s agriculture, livestock and hunting communities. As for the money, it will be used to reduce the state’s estimated wolf population of 600 down to 150.
“Idaho wants to manage our wolves, and we want to manage them to a reasonable number so that the species don’t get endangered again and the feds don’t come in and take it over again,” Otter told the Associated Press.
The federal government delisted wolves in both Idaho and Montana from the protection of the Endangered Species Act back in 2011.
Wolf hunting is a divisive topic in Idaho. Otter and several others from of the hunting and livestock communities believe wolves pose a significant threat to the state’s game and livestock animals. Conservationists on the other hand are concerned that the state will kill too many wolves. One of the most vocal anti-wolf hunting groups is Defenders of Wildlife.
“Idaho’s elected officials and state agencies have declared a war on wolves,” Defenders of Wildlife representative Nancy Golman said. “When Congress handed wolf management over to Idaho in 2011, they said they would manage wolves like other valued species. But they’re blowing it.”
The five-member board that will regulate the wolf hunting efforts will not include a representative from the wolf conservation community.
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