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Eye On Boise

Mon., Aug. 31, 2009, 6:19 p.m.

Genetics part of wolf debate

One concern raised by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy raised when he issued the 2008 injunction stopping wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana was the lack of evidence of genetic mixing between the wolf populations in the various states. "I don't think he was provided with enough information on that issue last year," said Ed Mitchell, conservation information manager for Idaho Fish & Game. "Since he talked about it, both states have gathered up a lot more information about it."

Evidence of genetic mixing would show that, rather than isolated populations that could, in time, develop genetic problems that could lead to extinction, the wolf population in the region is a single, viable population, Mitchell said. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who was in the courtroom in Missoula this morning, where Molloy again was presiding, said there was "a considerable amount of discussion about the genetics that exist between the three states (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming), and there is evidence that there is an exchange of genetic material among the wolf population within those three states."

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.