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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Idaho lawmakers vote 5-4 to protect wild big game

An elk is one of about 20 wildlife species photographed by motion-activated cameras as they came into bait stations in the Idaho Panhandle region mountains. The project is monitored by the Multi-Species Basline Initiative research organized by the Idaho Fish and Game Department. (Multi-species Baseline initiative)
An elk is one of about 20 wildlife species photographed by motion-activated cameras as they came into bait stations in the Idaho Panhandle region mountains. The project is monitored by the Multi-Species Basline Initiative research organized by the Idaho Fish and Game Department. (Multi-species Baseline initiative)

WILDLIFE -- There's good news and bad news this morning for big-game hunters and wildlife lovers from the 2015 Idaho Legislature:

Thank God -- The Senate Agriculture Committee voted today to reject a controversial rule change easing restrictions on importation of farmed elk into the state that brought warnings from state Fish & Game Director Virgil Moore of potential catastrophic impacts to Idaho’s wildlife herds.

The bad news:  The vote was only 5-4.

That means nearly half of the committee was willing to back a rule change sought by domestic elk ranchers at the risk of subjecting wild deer, elk and moose to a deadly parasitic worm.

Can a niche of agricultural interests have that much influence to threatened the entire Idaho hunting industry?

And what about big game in Montana and Washington, both of which could be subjected to meningeal worms if they were transmitted to Idaho game?

Apparently some parliamentary issues continue to dog this issue, so stay tuned.

And stay amazed that elected state lawmakers continue to undervalue the irreplaceable wildlife resources within Idaho borders.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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