CORRECTION: This article originally misspelled the name of Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas.
The Ketchum City Council passed a resolution Monday asking the Idaho Fish and Game Department to stop killing wolves in Blaine County.
“The purpose of the resolution is to differentiate the City of Ketchum’s values and polices from the State of Idaho’s and to ask for a different wolf management approach in Blaine County,” the council said.
Mayor Nina Jonas said the resolution's timing was tied to the beginning of hunting season and the community "Trailing of the Sheep," festival, honoring the sheep ranching tradition. The resolution is not meant to be anti-hunting and celebrates the use of non-lethal methods by area sheep ranchers.
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"The resolution asks for a more moderate wolf management in Idaho," Jonas said.
Jonas said several outfitters said the state's effort to reduce the wolf population from the current 650 wolves down to 150 already has hurt local outfitters businesses. Several testified in factor of the resolution, she said.
“The resolution also requests that Idaho’s war on wolves not come to Blaine County where opportunities for wolf watching and tracking enhance our economy,” the council said. “Local outfitters and non-profits offer these popular programs.
Jonas said the council acted because many people in the community have raised concerns, even stopping her on the street.
“The use of traps, snares, and aerial gunning programs puts our backcountry users and their pets at risk, ” the resolution says.
“Currently, the Idaho Fish and Game restricts some of these lethal measures within the Wood River Valley," it adds. "The City of Ketchum’s request will make an official statement that these measures should be continue to be prohibited within the Wood River Valley and the entire County.”