Archive for Idaho
www.latimes.com 24th April 2011
State officials in Montana and Idaho are drawing up plans for wolf hunts within their state borders following the removal of the species from the US Endangered Species List. The downgrading of the wolf’s status was achieved by what is known as a ‘budget rider’ where an additional legal document is attached to a ‘must-pass federal budget bill’. This particular document, pushed through by Sen. Jon Tester (Democrat-Montana) and Rep. Mike Simpson (Republican-Idaho), has given the Interior Department 60 days to remove the wolf from the endangered species list in every state apart from Wyoming. The reintroduction of the wolf to the Rocky Mountains 16 years ago has created a bitter debate between locals and conservationists. Their numbers have since grown to around 1,700 and have affected local elk populations. Wolf advocates worry that the new legislation will effectively create an open season on wolves thereby making them severely endangered yet again. ”We’re hoping people can see what kind of circus is going on here,” said Garrick Dutcher, spokesman for Living With Wolves, a documentary film project that captured the rituals and habits of a pack of wolves in the Sawtooth Wilderness. “I’m not aware of any time when an animal was a cause for a state emergency disaster declaration. I mean, that’s when the National Guard gets called in, right? It’s really just a call to arms, a rallying cry, for wolf haters.”
www.latimes.com 18th October 2010
A group of US congressmen are seeking to alter the 1973 Endangered Species Act to remove America’s Gray Wolves off the list forever. Over recent years, conservationist groups with the help of the government have been working on reintroducing the wolf to the Rocky Mountains and other areas. The problem is that the 15 year project has been a success and now local officials complain that wolf populations threaten livestock, game animals, as well as hunters and farmers. The original aim of the project was to have 300 wolves spread across three states but numbers currently stand on 1,700. Conservationists claim that 2,000 is necessary for a full recovery. The Act’s protection of wolves has already been lifted in Montana and Idaho in 2007 paving the way for the first legal hunts of the species. Wyoming, however, kept restrictions in place causing U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy to state that you couldn’t claim a species was recovered in two states and endangered in another. The wolf went back on the protected list but many were unhappy with the decision. Recent bills have been introduced that threatens the species to be taken off again. The Act has only been altered twice before: in 1978 to give the go ahead to dam construction prevented by a species of snail; and in 1991 to allow timber exports from the habitat of the Northern Spotted Owl.
http://www.nytimes.com 16th September 2010
A research team has set out to discover whether Grizzly bears still inhabit the North Cascades in Washington State, USA. The bear has not been seen in the area since 1996 and biologists are facing the distinct possibility that the species has died out. For 30 years now the federal government has been doing its best to reintroduce Grizzly bear populations to the states of Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and Washington but success has been limited to Yellowstone National Park and the Continental Divide area of Montana. The effort in the North Cascades of Washington has reached a stale-mate due to mixed public opinion on the matter. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the body charged with overseeing the Grizzlies repopulation in the area, is perpetually strapped for cash hampering efforts. Furthermore, local farming communities worry that an increase in bear populations will result in increased confrontation between people and the bears.
Grizzly bears were put on the endangered species list in 1975 but were removed from the list in 2007 due to a trebling in numbers throughout the Rocky mountains. However, a federal judge in Montana recently ordered them back on citing factors including changes to their habitat due to climate change.