BOISE — Idaho wants to kill dozens of wolves it blames for eating too many elk in rugged northcentral Idaho.
Department of Fish and Game deputy director Jim Unsworth says his agency will ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for permission to kill wolves in the Lolo area, near the Montana border.
There, elk numbers aren’t meeting agency goals and Fish and Game blames the big predators, along with habitat problems.
According to the agency’s plan, 75 to 100 wolves estimated in the Lolo region would be reduced to 20 to 30.
The agency had hoped hunters would help, but that’s likely no longer an option after U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy restored Endangered Species Act protections on Thursday.
Unsworth says Idaho sportsmen had felt that they were part of management, “but that’s going to be taken away from them.”