Caitlin Balch-Burnett, Colorado Outreach Representative for Defenders of Wildlife, traveled to Idaho earlier this month to host two Wolf Activist Trainings for Defenders’ members and supporters. Together with Suzanne Stone, Defenders’ Northern Rockies Representative, they hosted two evening trainings, one in Boise and one in Ketchum. Both events were well attended and the discussion was lively and informative. Over 50 people gathered at the Cole/Marr Coffee House in Boise to participate in the training and in Ketchum, 25 people braved the snow to attend.
The goal of the activist training was twofold: to educate interested and passionate citizens on the current threats to Idaho’s wolves and then to inspire them to voice their positive message supporting a sensible, science-based solution for managing these animals.
Suzanne discussed the current and complicated situation with wolves in Idaho, including potential state and federal legislation that could negatively impact wolf recovery efforts. She also highlighted a successful co-existence project, the Wood River Wolf Project, which Defenders has been sponsoring for three years. She explained that by using proactive, nonlethal tools, wolves were deterred from preying on more than 10,000 sheep as they move through central Idaho wilderness.
Caitlin discussed the many ways that citizens can be a voice for wolves during this crucial time. She gave tips on how to communicate successfully with the media by writing letters to newspapers and commenting on online articles. She also discussed the importance of writing and calling your legislators and other elected officials, urging them to support legislation that will ensure a healthy, sustainable wolf population over the long run. Finally, Caitlin spoke about hosting information tables at community events, such as fairs and festivals, to educate folks in the community about the threats facing the wolf.
Here is a clip of one of our supporters explaining she got involved.
Thanks to all our members and activists who turned out in Idaho to help support ongoing wolf recovery! Check out our Activist Tool Kit to see what else you can do to get involved.