When I read that Idaho Department of Fish and Game had hired a hunter/trapper to kill wolves in the Frank Church wilderness, I wasn't surprised, but I was saddened. Fish and Game is charged with managing all of Idaho's fish and wildlife, not just those hunted and fished. They are supposed to do this in an ethical, open and scientifically defensible manner.
I have been a hunter and fisherman in Idaho for over 30 years and care about all native wildlife, including wolves. Like other wildlife advocates I attended the Idaho Wildlife Summit last year. I was encouraged that IDFG wanted to be a more inclusive wildlife management agency rather than just a recreational, service-oriented hunting and fishing agency.
Today, I'm not sure Fish and Game can responsibly manage all of Idaho's native wildlife. Other interests, including some outfitters and guides and radical hunter advocacy groups, are pressuring Fish and Game into decisions that benefit them but are often not consistent with responsible wildlife management. The voices of Idaho citizens who care about all wildlife and want to be involved go unheard. Were the promises at the summit for greater open and inclusive wildlife management lip service? Recent events suggest so.
SIGNE SATHER-BLAIR, Boise