Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, answering reporters' questions at a ceremonial bill-signing ceremony in Greenleaf today, said, “Not more than 20 minutes ago, I received word from Secretary Salazar that wolves will be delisted tomorrow. When we knew that Congressman Simpson and Congressman Rehberg from Montana and other folks that worked so hard to get that continuing resolution (wolf de-listing) amendment, I immediately got a hold of the Fish and Game Commission, and the new director, Virgil Moore, and asked them to start preparing, right now, a responsible management plan, not unlike what we did in ’09, so we have a good boiler plate. We have got a good primer on how to do it correctly and responsibly.”
He said, “You can probably expect within the next couple of weeks some announcements on the calendar of when the wolf hunt will begin, how many we will be taking. In ’09 our quota was 220. We successfully took 188 wolves and it will be that same kind of response and that same kind of responsible management plan.”
Otter added, “Actually we didn’t want them here at all. But they said ‘don’t worry about it, because you will only have a hundred wolves.' It is estimated we have over 1700. So we have far exceeded their expectations, and so it is time to do the right thing. And Secretary Salazar, under the direction of the concurrent resolution, is doing the right thing.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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