Idaho ends wolf extermination program (for now)
Good news, bad news. Idaho has halted a plan to eradicate two of the few remaining wolf packs in the US. But 9 animals have already been killed.
Normally wolves are targeted by ranchers whose cattle are attacked (even though the government has compensation programs). But Golden Creek and Monumental Creek wolf packs live in the pristine and protected Middle Fork region of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, far from livestock. This was a plan by Idaho Department of Fish and Game to pump up elk numbers for the benefit of hunters and outfitters.
“It’s a tragedy that nine wolves had to die before the state of Idaho finally pulled the plug on its needless effort to eradicate two whole wolf packs from one of America’s largest wilderness areas,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity, according to a press release by Earthjustice. “The wolves were only playing the role they play in nature and should never have been killed. It should not take court action to stop such cruel, unnecessary and wasteful killing, but I’m glad it has stopped.”
Earthjustice went on to note,
The region of the Frank Church Wilderness where IDFG’s hunter-trapper was killing wolves is a remote area around Big Creek and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Even though this region hosts one of the lightest densities of hunters in the state, IDFG prioritized elk production over protection of the area’s wilderness character. The Forest Service failed to object to IDFG’s plans and instead actively assisted them.
IDFG had won a preliminary round of court tests, but when an appeals court issued an injunction, the agency backed down… at least, for now.
More information at the Earthjustice website.