Idaho Governor Rejects ESA Wolf Management
In another salvo of the wolf-wars, Idaho's Governor Otter has ordered state wildlife managers to “relinquish their duty to arrest poachers or to even investigate when wolves are killed illegally.” Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Idaho wildlife officials are the “designated agent” for investigating wolf deaths in the state.
Kidk.com has a more detailed story about the Governor's orders, specifically: This means Idaho Department of Fish and Game managers will no longer perform statewide monitoring for wolves, conduct investigations into illegal killings, provide law enforcement when wolves are poached or participate in a program that responds to livestock depredations.
With U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy's ruling in August, Idaho and Montana have had to cancel public hunts. That's especially irked Otter, who contends the first legal harvest that started in 2009 and ended earlier this year demonstrated that states could manage wolves responsibly.
In an angry letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the Republican governor said withdrawing from wolf management will keep Idaho hunters and their money from subsidizing the federal program. "History will show that this program was a tragic example of oppressive, ham-handed 'conservation' at its worst," Otter wrote. "Idahoans have suffered this intolerable situation for too long, but starting today at least the state no longer will be complicit."