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Following the removal of Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in 2011, the state of Idaho has waged an increasingly ugly assault against these animals.
Just this year, it passed into law the setting aside of nearly half a million dollars to exterminate 500 wolves. In December 2013, it hired a trapper to go into a federal wilderness area to kill two wolf packs, and it has announced that it intends to kill more. In February, the state gunned down 23 wolves from a helicopter to artificially bolster an area elk herd.
Idaho's Governor Otter famously said in 2007 that he wanted to be the first to kill an Idaho wolf after federal protections were taken away. Since then, almost 1,000 wolves have been killed.
To: Idaho Governor Butch Otter
I have watched with dismay as the Idaho State Legislature has passed, and you have signed into law, policies that seek to scrape the bottom of the barrel of the responsibilities Idaho was entrusted with when gray wolves were restored.
Since losing Endangered Species Act protections, nearly 1,000 wolves have been needlessly slaughtered by trap and by gun. This is in spite of the fact that elk are beyond capacity in some areas and other species, such as mountain lions, bears, and coyotes, have been allowed to exist in much greater numbers in Idaho.
I urge you to direct the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to immediately revise its current and future wolf control policies to allow wolves to exist at a level relative to other similar species. The reputation of your state and your administration is placed at risk through the enactment of policies that have led Idaho in the position it is in today. I urge you to consider this perspective and move to enact more sound conservation principles.
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