State Of Idaho Funds Controversial Wolf Bounty Program 


Allowing this Bounty to continue should technically nbe illegal, but then when you consider it is Idaho… You understand the fear and fairy tale spreading that they claim wolves are decimating Elk herds when in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana hunters slaughter over 26,000 elk in each state every year.

If you kill a wolf in Idaho, your effort might be worth $1,000. 

A nonprofit in North Idaho covers costs for hunters and trappers who successfully harvest wolves. The group, called the Foundation for Wildlife Management pays up to $1,000 per wolf harvest.

The group has been around since 2012, and although some conservationists dislike it, there’s nothing illegal about the program.

But what is new is the state of Idaho helping to fund the program. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission granted the Foundation for Wildlife Management $23,065 this year to help fund the payments for wolves harvested in target elk recovery areas.

In many ways, Idaho has set the stage for state management of wolves in the West. Wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List in Idaho in 2008 and the state opened a hunting season on them the following year. 

Now, as the federal government weighs whether to delist the species nationwide, wolf management may soon fall completely to states. If that happens states like Colorado and Utah may soon be managing these top predators, and making their own rules around hunting and trapping. If more states take over wolf management within their own borders, how many will follow Idaho’s lead? 

Justin Webb, executive director of the Foundation for Wildlife Management, says the program helps reduce wolf populations in places where the IDFG wants to boost elk numbers — like the Lolo area in Northern Idaho. In 2018 the IDFG killed 10 wolves in the Lolo area to reduce elk predation. 

Webb says hunters and trappers can kill wolves more cheaply than the government, and his organization is trying to help the Idaho Fish and Game. “Because it’s their job to manage our wildlife, and right now they’re not doing so successfully,” says Webb. “In my opinion we shouldn’t have to exist.” 

As a general rule, hunters play a key role in wildlife management by the state. “Our preferred and primary source for management is our hunters and trappers,” says Derick Attebury, chair of the Fish and Game Commission. That’s true whether the state is looking to boost pheasant populations, reduce mountain lion numbers, or remove wolves from the landscape. 

But the fact that the agency is funding a group that specifically incentivizes wolf hunting and trapping is drawing ire from some conservationists. 

Attebury points out that IDFG revenue comes from hunting and fishing licenses, so technically it’s sportsmen, not taxpayers, who are paying for the program. The Foundation for Wildlife Management was one of 11 organizations to receive grant funding, and according to state records, the median amount granted last year was $5,000, The funded projects are diverse, with dollars going toward everything from covered shooting platforms for a local gun club to a habitat restoration project led by Trout Unlimited. Attebury says that, like legal wolf harvest, all of the projects fit with IDFG’s wildlife management objectives.

Source: State Of Idaho Funds Controversial Wolf Bounty Program | Wyoming Public Media #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

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