25 Apr 2011, 9:50pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

EDITORIAL: Idaho provides cautionary tale

Wallowa County Chieftain, April 21, 2011 [here]

This is a tale of two states. In one, the reintroduction of wolves has resulted in a political meltdown leading the state Legislature to call on the governor to issue a disaster declaration.

In the other, wolves are relative newcomers but have amply demonstrated the threat they pose to livestock by killing dozens of sheep and cattle.

Idaho and Oregon present a case study of the reintroduction of wolves, which are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. In a real sense, what is happening in Idaho today is what could happen in Oregon tomorrow.

In 1995, 66 wolves were trapped in Canada — where tens of thousands of them roam — and released in Idaho. They had been eradicated in the U.S. because of the problems they created for settlers. Since reintroduction, the wolf population has multiplied exponentially.

Today about 1,650 wolves live in Idaho and they have taken up residence in neighboring states.

However, instead of declaring the reintroduction a success and allowing the state to manage wolves as it would other wildlife, extremists for years used the federal courts to dictate whether the wolves in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington should remain protected. …

Livestock owners have gone to the Oregon Legislature asking for permission to protect their property. Among other requests, they want the ability to kill a wolf that is attacking livestock.

That is only reasonable, and the Legislature would do well to guarantee that basic property right. Once the wolf is taken off the federal endangered species list — which hopefully will happen soon — livestock owners must be able to protect themselves and their animals. … [more]



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