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Eye On Boise

Fri., Feb. 21, 2014, 10:31 a.m.

Wolf debate: ‘Idaho should not be stuck with this’

In continuing debate in the House on HB 470, the wolf bill:

Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, said, “Forty-three thousand hunters raised $380,000 a year buying hunting tags. … The reality is that sportsmen are already doing their part, $380,000 a year is already doing their part. And to take $2 million … for this … seems to me to be fiscally irresponsible. That’s basically two teachers per school district in Idaho that could be paid for, or we can use it to eradicate somewhere between 300 and 400 wolves.”

Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, said, “This bill is a reckless use of taxpayers’ money. I think it’s also an ill-conceived and non-scientific way to manage the state’s wolf population.”

Rep. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, said, “We didn’t want them here anyway. … I don’t think the sportsmen should have to pay for this, and I don’t think the cattle people should have to pay for this. I think the United States government who brought it here should pay for it. Now they’ve informed us that they no longer will do that. So we’re in a dilemma. ... I don’t like anything about this bill hardly at all, and I’m going to have to vote for it. ... I’m really sorry we’re to this state. But I am one of those who is in jeopardy my own self of the continual growth of the wolf in my area, and certainly the people I represent are in jeopardy, and they want me to vote for this bill, so Mr. Speaker, against my feelings of complete disgust, I’m going to have to vote for this bill. But I do want to remind all of you where the problem came from in the first place and that Idaho should not be stuck with this.”

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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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