By Gary Bogue
Friday, January 12th, 2007 at 8:35 am in Killing wolves.
"BOISE, Idaho (Associated Press) — Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he’ll support public hunts to kill all but 100 gray wolves in the state once the federal government removes the animal from Endangered Species Act protections.
"The governor said he hopes to shoot a wolf himself."
It’s amazing what some people, even the governor of the state of Idaho, will do to raise a few bucks (while courting the votes of Idaho hunters!). But you have to admit, wiping out an entire species of wildlife in the state for political purposes is really over the edge. The Gov.’s rationalization for doing this ("wolves are rapidly killing elk and other animals essential to Idaho’s multimillion-dollar hunting industry") is also bad science. Most scientific research shows that wolves don’t cause major damage to elk herds.
This is the same bad argument Alaska has been using for the aerial hunting of wolves. Their motives are also the same. They don’t want any natural predators killing animals that paying hunters could be killing.
I wonder if it would help if wolves bought hunting licenses?
Here’s some more of the Idaho wolf-killing story by Associated Press writer Jesse Harlan Alderman:
The Idaho Office of Species Conservation estimates the state’s current wolf population at about 650, in roughly 60 packs. Governor Otter told The Associated Press after a rally of hunters on the Capitol steps that he wants hunters to gradually kill about 550 of the animals, leaving about 100 wolves or 10 packs, the minimum the federal government would allow before wolves again would be considered endangered.
"That management includes you," Otter told the approximately 300 hunters, many wearing camouflage clothing and blaze-orange caps. "I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself."
Idaho Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife bused in wolf opponents from as far as Twin Falls, 130 miles away, for Thursday’s rally with Otter and several state lawmakers. They urged the government to immediately remove wolves from endangered species protection.
Otter also signed a proclamation making Thursday "Idaho Sportsmen Day."
The crowd — including one hunter with a stuffed baby fox around his neck and a sign declaring "Wolves are illegal immigrants too" — stood for more than an hour in the midmorning snow. They applauded wildly as Otter amplified their position that wolves are rapidly killing elk and other animals essential to Idaho’s multimillion-dollar hunting industry. …
There’s more, but I think you get the point.
The Helena Independent Record (newspaper) in Montana printed the entire press release if you’d like to read the rest. It’s at http://www.helenair.com/articles/2007/01/12/montana_top/000wolves.txt
If you’d like to find out what you can do to help wolves, check out the Defenders of Wildlife Web site at http://www.defenders.org/