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Senate backs making hunter information private

BOISE — Senators voted 30-3 to exempt hunting and fishing license information from Idaho’s public records laws.

The bill that passed Wednesday arose after Idaho’s first wolf hunters received unwanted attention from animal advocates. Some wolf hunters told lawmakers they’d been harassed after successful hunts.

It now goes to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter for his signature.

The Department of Fish and Game would keep private information on Idaho Department of Fish and Game licenses, permits and tags — unless written consent is obtained.

Sen. Gary Schroeder, a Moscow Republican and fur trader, says “It’s our responsibility to protect the people from those who would harass, and intimidate, and threaten them.”

Sen. Elliot Werk, a Boise Democrat, contended the bill “goes way over the line” and called for a more-measured response to despicable behavior.

Top stories in Idaho

Federal agency approves Idaho field burning rules

UPDATED: 12:41 p.m.

Federal officials have approved Idaho’s request to loosen field burning rules that backers say offer more flexibility to disperse smoke away from people but that health advocates say will lead to breathing problems for some area residents.