Control plans for wolf, grizzly
By PATRICIA R. MCCOY
BOISE, IDAHO - March 8, 2002 - Federal funds must pay for state
management and conservation of grizzly bears and wolves in Idaho,
say proposed state management plans for the two species.
The plans went to the House and Senate floors here March 1 and
Both plans received do-pass recommendations following lengthy
committee hearings, subcommittee meetings, and private discussions
between state lawmakers and conservationists seeking to protect
wolves. The resulting compromises are in Senate Concurrent
Resolution 134 for wolves, and House Concurrent Resolution 49 for
SCR 134 says that if the Idaho congressional delegation is
unsuccessful in obtaining federal funds for wolf management, Idaho
is under no obligation to manage wolves but will not be precluded
from using state resources to eliminate or control wolf-related
It passed the Senate Resources and Environment Committee March
4. It notes that Idaho is on record asking the federal government
to remove wolves from the state by adoption in 2001 of House Joint
Memorial No. 5.
While that is still Idaho’s official position, “in order to
use every available option to mitigate the severe impacts on the
residents of the state of Idaho, the state will seek delisting and
manage wolves at recovery levels that will ensure viable,
self-sustaining populations,” the resolution says.
HCR 49 was approved and sent to the floor by the House
Resources and Conservation Committee on March 1.
The two concurrent resolutions say Idaho will manage grizzlies
and wolves to meet requirements for their removal from the federal
endangered species list.
SCR 134 pledges that Idaho will allow wolves to expand their
current range if it can be shown that can happen without causing
unacceptable conflict. Idaho Department of Fish and Game is to
protect wolves but also “consider their impact on other big game
species, those sectors of the economy dependent upon sport
hunting, livestock, domestic animals, and humans.”
“The wolf population will be managed at recovery levels that
will ensure viable, self-sustaining populations until it can be
established that wolves in increasing numbers will not adversely
affect big game populations, the economic viability of IDFG,
outfitters and guides, and others who depend on a viable
population of big game animals,” the resolution says.
Following delisting, Defenders of Wildlife should continue
paying compensation for domestic animals killed by wolves, says
Further language acknowledges charges by some that wolves are
adversely affecting Idaho’s elk and deer populations. SCR 134
calls on the state fish and game commission and the Governor’s
Office of Species Conservation to begin immediate discussions with
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to define unacceptable levels
of wolf effects on hoofed animal populations.
“Specifically, they will define how these effects would be
measured, and will identify possible solutions,” the resolution
Both resolutions require the IDFG to prepare and submit annual
reports on the implementation and progress of recovery programs.
The report on bears is to “document Yellowstone grizzly bear
effects upon wildlife, depredation on domestic livestock,
conflicts with humans, and any grizzly bear related human