"I disagree with my opponent’s definition of sovereignty and his idea about the state's role," Gov. Butch Otter said today in response to Democratic challenger Keith Allred's statements about wolves at a press conference this morning. "State sovereignty to me isn’t managing a federally protected species under miles of federal red-tape as a designated agent of the same government that forced wolves on the people of Idaho in 1994 without regard for the devastating impacts it will have on our wildlife, livestock and way of life." Click below for the rest of Otter's statement.
"Today many Idahoans, including me, don’t see any benefit to being a designated agent without the flexibility of a public hunt, which was denied. Idaho has an approved management plan and has as much flexibility as allowed under federal regulations.
"We have shown Congress, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the courts that Idaho has and will manage wolves responsibly when they are delisted under our approved state plan which was praised by Judge Malloy in the recent litigation.
"I am still committed to finding a path forward for delisting. My goal remains restoring state management under our approved plan as quickly as possible. While Idaho and Secretary Salazar couldn’t agree in the interim, I am hopeful that our shared commitment to achieve delisting will be accomplished in the near future.
"This shows what Keith doesn’t know, which is the State does not have to be a designated agent to proceed with the Lolo application or any other application to kill wolves that are devastating our ungulate herds. That is a separate process under 10(j)."