We recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. Signed by Nixon, it had unanimous support in the Senate and few dissenting votes in the House. Imagine that level of support in today’s Congress.
Forty years later, tea party Republicans want to dismantle the law completely. Congress has removed ESA protections for wolves. States like Idaho now manage them, hunters and trappers kill them with guns, leg-hold traps and choking snares. Since wolves were removed from the ESA, thanks to a Sen. Jim Risch rider in a budget bill passed in 2011, we’ve already killed 1,060 wolves in Idaho, according to Defenders of Wildlife.
It’s become barbarism. People in Salmon, including children, participated in a wolf-killing derby right after Christmas. Bloody fun! Idaho Fish and Game has trespassed federal wilderness law to convince Forest Service officials to send a trapper into the Frank Church wilderness to eradicate entire packs of wolves, where wolves actually belong. Boosting elk numbers, but only for human hunters.
Now Gov. Otter wants $2 million of our taxes to eradicate even more wolves. What used to be wise leadership has devolved into savagery. Vote for change!
JANE FRITZ, Sandpoint