Idaho Gov. Butch Otter today announced the five members of the state's new wolf control board, for which the Legislature this year appropriated $400,000 to kill problem wolves. Otter named Richard Savage, a former Idaho Cattle Association president and a rancher from Hamer, as the livestock industry representative; Tony McDermott of Sagle, a former Fish & Game commissioner, to represent sportsmen; and Carl Rey of Meridian to represent the general public. The board is co-chaired by Idaho Fish & Game Director Virgil Moore and Idaho Department of Agriculture Director Celia Gould.
“Managing wolves is expensive, and federal funds to sustain the Idaho management plan approved by the Legislature in 2002 are drying up," Otter said in a statement. "This solution was developed collaboratively by wildlife managers, sportsmen and ranchers to provide a reliable funding source from stakeholders for this important work.” In addition to the state funds, lawmakers approved fees of $110,000 from sportsmen and $110,000 from the livestock industry to support the board; click below for Otter's full announcement.
C.L. “Butch” Otter
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 7, 2014
GOVERNOR OTTER APPOINTS WOLF DEPREDATION CONTROL BOARD MEMBERS
(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of three members to the new Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board, created by the Legislature effective July 1 to help Idaho protect wildlife and livestock from the transplanted predator.
Along with its co-chairs – Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore and Idaho State Department of Agriculture Director Celia Gould – the new Board will include Hamer rancher and former Idaho Cattle Association president Richard Savage representing the livestock industry, Carl Rey of Meridian representing the general public, and former Idaho Fish and Game Commission member Tony McDermott of Sagle representing sportsmen. Savage and McDermott will serve terms expiring July 1, 2016. Rey’s term will expire July 1, 2017.
At Governor Otter’s request, the Legislature appropriated $400,000 from the General Fund, and approved fees of $110,000 from sportsmen and $110,000 from the livestock industry in creating the Wolf Control Board. It will be responsible for allocating funds to control wolves when there are conflicts with Idaho’s livestock and wildlife populations.
The goal is improved coordination of control efforts as the State works through the five-year period of Endangered Species Act (ESA) delisting oversight by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That period ends in May 2016. Legislation creating the Wolf Depredation Control Board sunsets in 2019, enabling lawmakers then to evaluate the continuing need.
“Managing wolves is expensive, and federal funds to sustain the Idaho management plan approved by the Legislature in 2002 are drying up. This solution was developed collaboratively by wildlife managers, sportsmen and ranchers to provide a reliable funding source from stakeholders for this important work,” Governor Otter said. “It’s up to us to address damage to our livestock herds and native wildlife while maintaining State control over this species that was foisted upon Idaho by the federal government.”
Creation of the Wolf Depredation Control Board will not eliminate the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s day-to-day management responsibilities over wolves. That includes the continued listing of wolves as a big game species for controlled hunting and trapping.