With new laws for wolf hunting passed, organizations have concerns

They believe that legislators should stay out of wildlife management
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 8:59 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Back in 1938, voters passed a resolution establishing Idaho Fish and Game. This organization would make decisions on wildlife management. However, over the summer, things have changed.

“For the first time since the passage of the voters’ initiative, the legislature has taken it upon themselves to set a big game season,” says Brian Brooks, director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation. “In this instance, it’s for wolves.”

The new law would significantly decrease hunting and trapping restrictions across the entire state. Environmental groups are worried too many wolves will be killed.

“With the passage of the new law, it’s likely that wolf populations will be decimated in Idaho and Montana,” says Andrea Zaccardi of the Center for Biological Diversity.

On the other side of the debate, wildlife groups aren’t worried about populations.

“We don’t believe that there will be a significant drop in the wolf population that correlates with the passage of this bill,” says Brooks. “You won’t likely see an endangered species listing solely based on the drop in wolf populations.”

While the issue of endangerment isn’t necessarily something these two groups see eye to eye on, there is one thing they do agree on - legislators becoming involved in wildlife management.

“How much strength does human emotion play into wildlife management?” says Brooks. “There’s no such thing as a republican wolf or a democrat cutthroat trout. They simply need what they need, and e know what buttons to push to make their populations go up and down.”

“The state commissions didn’t listen to their own scientists out of the fish, wildlife, and parks organizations,” says Zaccardi.

Brooks says the best thing to do in making future decisions is to examine all possible outcomes.

“I think when it comes to wildlife management, people need to zoom back out a little bit and look at the pitfalls of what happens when we get politics involved in wildlife management,” says Brooks

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