As a lifetime Idahoan who grew up with hunting as a way of life, I oppose Governor Otter’s proposed “wolf control board.” HB 470 aims to generate $2 million in taxes and fees to form a politically focused committee dominated by governor-appointed positions (four-fifths of the committee). Through HB 470, Gov. Otter wants the wolf management to be primarily directed by ranchers.
The “wolf control board” gained traction recently in Idaho’s House of Representatives, to the exclusion of regular Idaho citizens from their participatory role as stewards of Idaho’s wildlife. This is a further encroachment of politics into what should be the scientific and professional management of the state’s wolves.
There are less expensive and more effective means of wolf management than using HB 470 to fund the killing of up to 450 wolves. For a better example, check out the Wood River Coexistence Project in Blaine County, Idaho. HB 470’s biased management of wolves could push the species back under federal control.
HB 470 represents the governor’s failure to responsibly manage the state’s wolf population sustainably — further demonstrating that the governor is letting anti-wolf politics, instead of science and rational planning, guide state management.
Sean S. Gould, McCall