March 19, 2009

Wolf Delisting

In this one-hour special, Marcia Franklin examines the recent decision by the Obama administration to take gray wolves off the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana. The wolves, which were reintroduced in 1995, are now estimated to number more than 800 in Idaho. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar found that they have recovered well enough to be delisted, which was the recommendation under the Bush Administration as well. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will manage the population, including administering a wolf hunting season this fall.

Conservationists argue there still isn't enough genetic diversity among the packs to ensure long-term survival and are expected to challenge the decision in court.

Franklin talks with Jim Unsworth of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Suzanne Stone of Defenders of Wildlife, Grant Simonds with the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association, John Faulkner, a sheep rancher, and Ralph Maughan of the Wolf Recovery Foundation about what's next for wolf management.