Defenders of Wildlife expressed disappointment in the Idaho Fish and Game Commission for authorizing $300,000 today for the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board to kill more wolves in areas where chronic livestock depredations have been reported or where ungulate populations are below management objectives.
“Today’s decision was a missed opportunity to manage wolves with a sustainable strategy,” said Eric Clewis, senior Northern Rockies representative at Defenders of Wildlife. “Scapegoating wolves for changes in elk populations is not based in science, and simply killing wolves will not magically lead to more elk. That money could be better used to increase practices that reduce conflicts with livestock and make these shared landscapes safer for both.”
Defenders of Wildlife and many of its Idaho members urged the commission to devote these funds to nonlethal conflict prevention projects that can deter wolves from killing livestock. Defenders of Wildlife has successfully utilized these strategies with ranchers throughout the Rockies, helping ranchers protect their livelihoods while preserving Idaho’s unique biodiversity. Prior to the meeting, the commission received over 50 letters from Defenders members, Idaho residents, and other concerned individuals requesting it devote these funds to nonlethal deterrence.
Defenders will continue to work with livestock owners and multiple partners to promote nonlethal conflict reduction work, as well as engage with the commission, commission staff, and the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board on these opportunities.