Defenders Asks Court to Halt Trapper Paid to Kill Two Wolf Packs on Federal Lands: We’ve been providing you frequent updates on an egregious program authorized by the U.S. Forest Service to allow a trapper paid by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to kill two entire wolf packs into central Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. This week, Defenders and a host of other environmental organizations took the issue to court asking a federal judge in Idaho to stop this program immediately.
Speaking out, Jonathan Proctor, our Rockies and Plains Program Director, said “this is just the most recent example of the state bending over backwards to accommodate the wishes of people who hate wolves. Wilderness areas are places for wildlife to remain as wild as is possible in today’s modern world. If Idaho’s wildlife officials won’t let wolves and elk interact naturally in the Frank Church Wilderness, then clearly they will allow it nowhere.” A decision from the federal judge cannot come soon enough, as on Wednesday we learned the trapper has already killed seven wolves from the Golden and Monumental wolf packs. This PBS Nature episode, River of No Return showcases the rugged beauty of the Frank Church Wilderness and the exact wolf packs being killed by the trapper now. While Defenders is trying to stop the killing through the court system, you can help by telling the U.S. Forest Service you support the immediate prohibition of the use of national forest lands for this wolf extermination.
Idaho Governor Announces a New Wolf Control Board to Implement Lethal Wolf Control Programs: Also in Idaho, this week, Gov. Butch Otter announced a new state Wolf Control Board that will receive $2 million of state funds to implement lethal wolf control programs throughout Idaho. As with last month’s wolf killing derby and the current trapping of wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness, the Wolf Control Board shows how Idaho treats wolves differently than it treats other wildlife, singling them out for special discrimination. Defenders is mobilizing our supporters in Idaho to let Governor Otter know that plan is unacceptable. Throwing money at lethal control programs without even considering effective non-lethal options for keeping wolves away from livestock makes absolutely no sense! And many such programs do exist.
Working with ranchers, Defenders has pioneered many practical solutions to help livestock and wolves coexist – for example the Wood River Coexistence Project in central Idaho –uses proven, effective nonlethal deterrents like fladry, range riders, electric fencing and guard dogs to help protect livestock and build social acceptance for wolves.