Featured image: Gray wolf. Photo courtesy of Tracy Brooks, Mission Wolf and USFWS.
Contact: Andrea Zaccardi, (303) 854-7748, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Law Would Allow Hunters Unlimited Wolf Kills, Year-Round Trapping on Private Lands
BOISE, Idaho— The Idaho House of Representatives today approved a bill allowing the state to hire private contractors to kill up to 90% of Idaho’s wolf population of approximately 1,500 wolves.
“If this horrific bill passes, Idaho could nearly wipe out its wolf population,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Unless we can stop this from becoming law, decades of progress towards wolf recovery will be lost.”
In addition to hiring private contractors to kill wolves, Senate Bill 1211 would allow hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves, run down wolves with ATVs and snowmobiles, and trap year-round on all private land across the state. The bill will also increase annual funds for wolf killing by the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board from $110,000 to $300,000. Created in 2014, the Board uses taxpayer dollars and other funds to kill wolves.
Bill proponents assert that wolves kill too many elk and livestock. But wolves kill less than a fraction of 1% of Idaho’s livestock annually, and elk population numbers are above management objectives in most of the state.
As a result of today’s 58-11 approval, Gov. Brad Little must decide whether to sign the bill into law or veto it. If this bill is signed into law, the Center will be considering next steps to protect Idaho’s wolves and wildlife, which may include legal action.
“Governor Little must veto this cruel and disastrous bill,” said Zaccardi. “Idaho’s state wildlife agency should be allowed to continue to manage wolves, not anti-wolf legislators dead set on exterminating the state’s wolves. We’re going to do everything we can to fight for the survival of wolves in Idaho.”