October 15, 2009

Wolf Hunting

A wolf hunting season has finally started in Idaho - what are the ramifications of that decision and how long might it stay in place? Host Marcia Franklin and her guests discuss these issues and take questions from viewers. The program immediately follows an episode of Outdoor Idaho that looks at the history of wolf reintroduction in Idaho.

Guests include: Jon Rachael, wildlife manager for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game; Suzanne Asha Stone of the Defenders of Wildlife; Carter Niemeyer, former wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Mike Popp, a hunter and outfitter in Kamiah.

Wolves were reintroduced to central Idaho in 1995 and 1996 as an "experimental, non-essential population" under the Endangered Species Act. On May 4, 2009, the federal government removed the wolves from the endangered species list, saying the population had recovered and that both Idaho and Montana had adequate management plans.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game started a wolf hunting season this fall, with a total quota of 220 wolves. As of October 15, the agency had sold more than 23,000 tags to Idahoans, at $11.50 each. More than 500 out-of-state residents had purchased tags, at $186 each. Hunters had killed 54 wolves. The first of 10 numbered tags had been auctioned for $8,000, at an event in North Carolina.

Wolf advocates have sued to put the animal back on the endangered species list, but decided not to challenge the hunting season.

This Dialogue follows a new episode of Outdoor Idaho, "Wolves in Idaho," that looks at the history of wolf reintroduction in Idaho.