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Lawsuit could make wolf management even more costly in Idaho

A gray wolf in Idaho is photographed during winter survey. (Idaho Department of Fish and Game)
A gray wolf in Idaho is photographed during winter survey. (Idaho Department of Fish and Game)

PREDATORS – Here we go again. Environmental groups are asking a judge to stop the federal Wildlife Service agency from killing wolves in Idaho.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the groups have filed a motion for summary judgment in their case, which argues the Wildlife Services has failed to follow the National Environmental Policy Act when killing dozens of wolves in Idaho’s Lolo zone over the last six years.

Federal law requires the government to study and publish the environmental consequences of its proposed actions and to consider alternatives. The lawsuit claims the agency is basing wolf control actions on an outdated environmental assessment from 2011.

The lawsuit asks a federal judge to require the Wildlife Service to set aside the 2011 assessment and require the agency to expand its study or update it.

Most of the funding for wolf management in Idaho comes from sales of hunting and trapping licenses.

There's no word on whether the environmental groups are offering to pony up funding for the costly field work and assessments.

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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