Idaho Department Fish and Game recently hosted a public meeting in Coeur d’Alene. An agenda item was, “Commission direction on expenditure of Department funds.” Fish and Game gives $110,000 annually to the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board for the slaughter of wolves “for the protection of ungulates.” Fish and Game considers wolves a threat to the elk farm they are creating.
The Idaho Legislature created the Control Board in 2014 to establish a funding mechanism to kill wolves, in addition to long hunting and trapping seasons. The Legislature has appropriated $1.2 million in three years from the state general fund to the Board. Fish and Game and the state Department of Agriculture also fund the program. In 2015, approximately $6,000 was spent per wolf kill.
Most commenting in Coeur d’Alene spoke against the continued funding of aerial gunning operations in Idaho, and the hiring of trappers to kill wolves in the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness. Fish and Game plays a central role in both. The commissioners announced at the meeting that the funding would continue.
Is it any wonder the Legislature chooses not to fully fund education and health care when political hacks are running our state government and wildlife departments?
Brett Haverstick, Moscow