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Eye On Boise

Fri., Feb. 21, 2014, 10:14 a.m.

House debate on wolf bill: ‘We have gone from one extreme to the next’

In the House debate on the $2 million wolf control bill, HB 470:

“This bill is not a wolf-management bill,” Rep. Marc Gibbs, R-Grace, told the House. “This is a wolf control funding bill.” The measure, HB 470, would set up a new board and pump in $2 million in state general tax funds on a one-time basis, plus contributions from the livestock industry and from hunting license revenues, to focus on “controlling depredating wolves.” The money could not be used to pay livestock owners for losses, Gibbs said.

Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, spoke against the bill. “This bill proposes five times the amount that was even requested,” she said. “I don’t think the data backs up that there’s any reason to do this. … Every bit of data that we got from Fish & game shows that the number of wolves we have in the state is dropping … without spending $2 million … based on the hunting and control measures we have right now.”

Rep. Cindy Agidius, R-Moscow, said, “I believe this can be better done without another layer of government and without spending $2 million. … I just think that we have kind of gone from one extreme to the next to try to solve this problem.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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