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The divide over wolves…

Nearly 20 years after gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho, deep fault lines remain in public opinion over wolves’ presence and the appropriate limits of their range, reports S-R reporter Becky Kramer. The divide was spotlighted last month, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was ready to get out of the wolf business. Agency officials have proposed ending federal protections for the 6,100 wolves in the Lower 48 states by the end of the year, with the exception of the Southwest’s Mexican gray wolves. Read Kramer's stories herehere, here, and here from Sunday's Spokesman-Review.

Allred Would Reverse Wolf Decision

Keith Allred, Democratic candidate for governor, held a news conference on the Capitol steps today to announce that he opposes Gov. Butch Otter’s decision to pull Idaho out of wolf management, and that if elected, he’d reverse it. “We should be expanding state control, not giving it away to the federal government,” Allred declared. “If we want wolves de-listed, we need to stay in the game”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Should Idaho be involved in wolf management?

Otter Ends Idaho’s Wolf Management

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter formally ended Idaho’s management of wolves Monday. Otter told Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Idaho no longer will act as the federal government’s “designated agent” for managing “your wolves” in the wake of a federal court decision returning the predator to the Endangered Species list. Otter directed the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to immediately refocus its efforts on protecting Idaho’s deer, elk and moose. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will seek additional flexibility kill wolves, Otter said “so we can exercise our sovereign right to protect our wildlife”/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you make of the move by Gov. Butch Otter to pull the state out of managing federally protected wolves?