The Senate has voted 26-8 in favor of HB 470a, the now-shrunken $400,000 wolf-control bill that previously was a $2 million wolf-control bill, with a new board set up to oversee the spending of the money to kill problem wolves. Since the bill was amended in the Senate, it still must go back to the House for consideration there as amended. Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said, “HB 470 creates an entirely new board and would duplicate efforts and create confusion about which state agency has control.” She said the measure wouldn’t help Idaho’s wolf-management efforts keep the wolf off the federal endangered list, and doesn’t include enough attention to non-lethal control methods.
Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, said, “It creates that unnecessary board the good senator from 26 (Stennett) talks about, it’s highly inefficient and poorly organized, it will create quite a bit of confusion, but there is a problem, and that’s the only option that is before us at this time. I reluctantly will be voting aye.”
Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, said, “HB 470 is a funding bill. … It is not a wolf management bill. … This is not a wolf extermination bill as some of the opposition is claiming. This bill does not compensate ranchers for their lost livestock due to wolves. Funding for wolves has decreased, and more control will equal less depredation and less need for compensation dollars.” He added, “This is a good bill, a necessary bill.”