U.S. Fish and Wildlife Takes Over Wolf Management in Idaho

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken over wolf management in Idaho and plans to open a 24-hour, toll-free line for calls related to endangered gray wolf management within Idaho.

The action comes in response to Idaho Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter's announcement that the state would no longer manage wolves as a designated agent under the Endangered Species Act.

The toll-free line would serve as a clearinghouse to help the public report wolf mortality and find answers to other wolf management questions as the transition from state to federal management occurs.

"We want to assure the public that the Fish and Wildlife Service will investigate all wolf depredation incidents and take appropriate action," said Robyn Thorson, director for the Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Region. "When livestock depredation is reported, we will continue to work closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services Division as it investigates depredation by problem wolves, and we will authorize wolf control as situations dictate."

Procedures for reporting wolf depredation incidents remain unchanged. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services Division will continue to respond to suspected wolf depredations on livestock or pets. To report wolf depredations, contact Wildlife Services at 866-487-3297 or 208-378-5077.

In August, a federal court found that the Fish and Wildlife Service's rule delisting wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains was not valid and returned wolves to the endangered species list.

In Idaho south of Interstate 90, wolves are protected as an experimental population. Anyone may legally shoot a wolf in the act of attacking any type of livestock on their private land or grazing allotment, and anyone may shoot a wolf chasing or attacking their dog or stock animals anywhere except within National Park Service lands.

North of the Interstate, endangered wolves are subject to additional protections and may be taken legally only when authorized by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Livestock owners may not kill wolves seen actively chasing, attacking or killing their livestock; only authorized agents may take chronically depredating endangered wolves.


cuffs68's picture

How does Alaska do it?

Maybe Idaho, Montana and Wyoming should ask Alaska's Fish & Game how they've been able to manage the wolves in their state so successfully!


Actually, Idaho washed their hands of conservation management not a "numbskull judge"  rescinding the duties.  It appears the Idaho Governer has a myopic view of conservation and absolutlety zero knowledge on the subject of species re-introduction and the processes of nature returning to a balance.  Good to know Idaho clearly values and protects the handfull of wildlife that bring in money to the state while disregarding and turning a blind eye to other speices.  The future generations thank you Otter.     


hawkeye270's picture

I am still livid over the

I am still livid over the fact that some numbskull federal judge, with little to no experience with wolves or wildlife management stripped Idaho and Montana's management of wolves. Last year's harvest seemed like such a success. Wolves had finally been recovered to the point that their management would be handed back over to the states (where wildlife management is rightfully placed). The harvest was not over zealous and they were cautious not to exceed their quotas. I can see why Wyoming was not given management of their population in the first place (I can't believe they thought that thier plan even stood a chance of getting approved) but Idaho and Montana came up with great common sense management practices. The whole situation really just frustrates me.