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Friday, July 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Resolution seeks ‘emergency’ reduction in wolves in the state

Lawmakers would declare an emergency and urge the governor to do the same and order the state's wolf population reduced, under a concurrent resolution introduced today in the House Resources Committee at the urging of Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries. "This bill is about legislators being able to show their support, should the governor so wish to have an executive order to have wolves removed," Harwood told the committee. Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d'Alene disagreed, and said the resolution appears to move Idaho toward a position like that of Wyoming, which hasn't been given authority to manage its wolf population because of its refusal to enact acceptable wolf management plans.

"I think we all know how big this issue has been in our state the last 10 or 12 years, and the struggle we went through as a state to get to the position to where we can manage wolves," Sayler said. "To me, this is a move back toward a Wyoming position. ... This is a step back to more court cases." Sayler moved to kill the bill, but was outvoted along party lines, with only the panel's Democrats voting in support. The committee then voted, again along party lines, to introduce a corrected version of the resolution. Among the last-minute changes: The resolution now says that it encourages the governor to declare a state of emergency and require the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to use "any legal means" to reduce wolf numbers, instead of just "use any means."

The committee also voted to introduce a measure from Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, to make "human consumptive use" of certain game species a top priority for Fish & Game's management of wildlife, even though Hart, tied up in another committee, didn't show up to present the bill. Rep. Dell Raybould questioned whether a precedent was being set that the way to get a bill introduced was to not show up. Chairman Bert Stevenson said he was concerned about that, but since the committee wanted to proceed and today is the last day for bill introductions, he allowed it.



Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.