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Wolf Lovers To Protest In North Idaho

Looks like an environmental organization named Howl Across America is planning a protest rally in Coeur d'Alene Sunday afternoon, staging from 11 to noon at  Ramsey Park. A Berry Picker sent a link to Hucks Online, containing an exchange between Howl Across America and its followers. First, the announcement: "The Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance is planning to hold two protest rallies in August to protest the wolf hunt planned to start on Sept. 3rd in Idaho, and to protest the removal of the Gray Wolf of the Northern Rockies from the Endangered Species list, by way of the Budget Bill last April. One of our protests will take place in Sandpoint, Idaho and the other in Coeur d' Alene." The Sandpoint rally had been scheduled for yesterday afternoon. You can read the entire exchange here.

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Wolf Hunt Open House In CdA Today

No quota has been set for the wolf during this year’s season. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has proposed a wolf hunting season for Aug. 30 to March 31. Jim Hayden, IDFG regional wildlife manager, said the commission has also proposed a trapping season for the wolf, Dec. 1 through Jan. 15. “We’ve added a month to the front of the hunting season and this will be our first trapping season,” Mr. Hayden said. The public is invited to an open house at the Panhandle Region office at 2885 W. Kathleen Avenue in Coeur d’Alene (today), from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Regional staff will be on hand to answer questions and to solicit input on the 2011 wolf season proposals. Mr. Hayden said the changes should bring an 18 percent harvest increase. Overall, the IDFG expects to see a 20 percent reduction in the state’s wolf population numbers/Summer Crosby, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Do you support a wolf hunt without quotas in Idaho?

Wolf Hunt Plan Calls For No Limits

Idaho is planning a fall wolf hunt with no overall limit - and no limits in four zones, the Panhandle, Lolo, Selway and Middle Fork zones - because of “documented impacts to elk and other prey species in those zones,” Idaho Fish and Game officials announced today. It’s also planning a trapping season for wolves in the fall, in an effort to reduce the wolf population by more than the 188 animals taken in the state’s first wolf hunt in 2009/Betsy Russell & Becky Kramer, SR. More here.  (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman photo by Shawn Raecke, of new Idaho F&G Director Virgil Moore)

Question: As wily as wolves are, do you think they'll still be OK, populationwise, without a bag limit in Idaho?

F&Ger Sez Judge Wolf Ruling ‘Asinine’

Idaho Fish & Game Commissioner Tony McDermott of Sagle said he’s been hearing from “frustrated sportsmen,” and he told Fish & Wildlife Service Regional Director Robin Thorson, “I’m not sure your federal rule failed, I think it was maybe the federal justice system and one judge that didn’t like the rule, didn’t like it for political reasons and threw it back into the political arena.” McDermott said that’s just his opinion, but said, “There are no good options out of the political arena right now” and said the issue on wolves is a “judge’s asinine decision.” McDermott also said he’s read the 10(j) rule, and it’s “unbelievably complicated,” saying, “I’m almost convinced it was written by at least 20 lawyers when it was written back in 1974”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Idaho claims it did everything right re: its handling of wolf hunts only to be thwarted by a federal judge who reinstituted the hunting ban because Wyoming couldn’t get its act together. Is this an example of an activist judge abusing his power?

Another Green Monday

Last Thursday night, DTE attended an open house at Windsor Elementary regarding growth management review planning in Spokane County. A fitting location considering the topic: Quiet, rural area, surrounded by a few farms and wetlands. But for the uninitiated, the evening discussion would’ve been boring and depressing. The audience consisted of lawyers, activists, and local residents curious to learn more about their new neighbors since population projections indicate the county will grow more than 150,000 by 2031. Boring because the information demands that people particpate in the planning process yet nobody knows how to involve them. Depressing because the county builds in unincorporated areas and our city okayed chaotic projects like Southgate which disregard our Comprehensive Plan and run contrary to the Growth Management Act. It’s a free-for-sprawl.

Currently, the City Of Spokane is planning to annex West Plains, further stretching our bare services—-safety, utilities, acquifer—- and impacting rural lands. Even City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin agrees we’re in trouble though not just for the same reasons as DTE: Smart growth contributes greatly to stopping climate change with reducing driving dependency, as half of green house gas emissions come from automobiles in Washington. To meet our state emission reduction mandates—-no more than the 1990 level by 2020—-the county and city’s comprehensive plans need to make sure this new development happens in places where residents are able to walk, bike, car pool, use transit, and not drive long distances. However, the conventional wisdom is like purchasing a bigger pair of pants to deal with a weight problem. Citizens should voice their concerns to the county about the 2011 update for the Urban Growth Area. This issue won’t go away however your chance to comment will.

After the jump are some stories you might’ve missed.