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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Fed judge says Idaho trapping rules violate ESA, allow endangered lynx to be killed in North Idaho

Idaho must change its trapping rules, because current rules are violating the Endangered Species Act in North Idaho by allowing inadvertent trapping of federally protected Canada lynx, a federal judge ruled today. Patrick Carney, president of the Idaho Trappers Association, told the Associated Press that if all the rule changes sought by environmental groups that sued were enacted, it’d severely cut back trapping in Idaho. "If they implement all that, wolf trapping is over, and so is all of the other trapping," Carney said.

Besides wolves, other animals legal to trap in Idaho include coyotes, bobcats, otters, beavers, foxes, marten and mink.

The conservation groups in the lawsuit said trapping in Idaho has increased from about 650 licenses issued in the 2001-2002 season to more than 2,300 in recent years. Officials say that at least four lynx have been trapped in Idaho since 2012; one was killed after a trapper mistook it for a bobcat.

Judge B. Lynn Winmill, in his ruling, found that trappers likely would capture additional lynx in the Panhandle and Clearwater regions through inadvertent trapping if the rules are left unchanged. You can read a full report here from AP reporter Keith Ridler.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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