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House passes $2 million wolf control bill on 49-16 vote

Idaho House chamber (Betsy Russell)
Idaho House chamber (Betsy Russell)

The House has voted 49-16 in favor of HB 470, the $2 million wolf-control bill, with 11 Democrats and five Republicans opposing the measure; GOP opponents included Reps. Harris, Agidius, Luker, McDonald, and Barrett, who had earlier said she was leaning in favor. Democrats voting "yes" were Reps. Meline and Smith.

“The issue really is we have wolves here, it doesn’t matter whether we wanted ‘em or didn’t want ‘em,” said Rep. Marc Gibbs, R-Grace, the bill’s sponsor, in his closing debate. “Fish & Game cannot take money from the general fund. That, in fact, is why there’s a new wolf control board. ... It’s to isolate general-fund money from being used in the Department of Fish & Game.”

He said, “The population may have tipped over ever so slightly.” But he said Idaho needs to harvest 35 to 40 percent of its wolf population each year “just to maintain the population – we have never achieved a sustained harvest of 35 to 40 percent on gray wolves.” And though wolf numbers have gone down, he said, “Depredation, our animal loss, continues to go up. … We must maintain the pressure we have put on wolves just to maintain the population we do have.” The bill now moves to the Senate side.

Click below for the full House vote breakdown.

How they voted

Here’s how House members voted on HB 470, the $2 million wolf control bill:

Voting in favor: Reps. Anderson(31), Anderst, Andrus, Bateman, Batt, Bell, Bolz, Boyle, Clow, Collins, Crane, Dayley, DeMordaunt, Denney(Rynearson), Eskridge, Gestrin, Gibbs, Hancey, Hartgen, Henderson, Hixon, Holtzclaw, Horman, Kauffman, Malek, McMillan, Meline, Mendive, Miller, Monks, Morse, Moyle, Palmer, Perry, Raybould, Romrell, Shepherd, Sims, Smith, Stevenson, Thompson, Trujillo, VanOrden, Vander Woude, Wills, Wood(27) Wood(35), Youngblood, and Bedke.

Voting against: Reps. Agidius, Barrett, Burgoyne, Chew, Erpelding, Gannon, Harris, King, Kloc, Luker, McDonald, Pence, Ringo, Rubel, Rusche, and Woodings.

Absent: Reps. Anderson(1), Barbieri, Loertscher, Nielsen, and Packer.

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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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