August 18, 2009

Wolf quota set; enviros say they’ll sue

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Idaho has set its long-awaited wolf hunt quota, and at least one environmental group says it will seek an injunction to block the hunting, the Idaho Statesman reports. The state set the sport harvest at 220, and said the Nez Perce Tribe could take another 35 of Idaho’s estimated 1,000 wolves. Montana at already has set its quota at 75 wolves, or about 15 percent of the state’s population. The group Defenders of Wildlife has said it will seek to bar the Idaho hunt in court, and another group Earthjustice, in June filed a suit to put wolves back on the endangered species list.

“We believe that any level of hunting an imperiled wolf population is inappropriate,” said Jenny Harbine, told the Statesman.

Earthjustice maintains that the region’s population of 1,600 wolves is too small to support public hunting.

Federal authorities released a new policy for state control of wolves in April. Wyoming’s wolves were left on the endangered species list, but Idaho and Montana got clearance to set their own rules for managing the animals. A story in the Missoulian quotes a local taxidermist as saying a lot of local folks will get the tags and be on the lookout for wolves when out hunting, but he’s not expecting a rush of business.

“We’re in the woods every weekend, but I only saw four wolves,” Steve Denwell said, “although I saw tracks almost every time we went out. I think most people are going to have a (wolf) tag and if they see one while deer or elk hunting, they’ll shoot it.”

 

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