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Wolf conservation effort commendable, but misguided

| July 26, 2022 1:00 AM

Between 1995 and 1996, 35 wolves were released in select locations of Idaho, with an established goal of fully recovering the Northern Rocky Mountain Population Segment (NRMPS) by reaching the intended goal of 300 total wolves within the NRMPS. The NRMPS spans all of Montana, Idaho, the eastern one third of Washington & Oregon, as well as a portion of Utah. With unregulated wolf populations being known to multiply by 40% annually, the NRMPS reached the fully recovered goal of 300 animals in just 3 years. State management that was slated to begin at the time of reaching that population goal, was held hostage in court by Preservation Extremist groups for the following 10 years. All the while wolf numbers continued to explode and disburse into neighboring states.

The delisting rule presented by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2009 clearly stated the carrying capacity for the entire NRMPS would likely be 1500 wolves. They also stated that housing more than 1500 wolves within the NRMPS (spanning all of Idaho, Montana, eastern 1/3 of Oregon & Washington and portion of Utah) would cause chronic livestock depredation conflicts and hinder the States ability to maintain healthy ungulate (Elk, Moose, & Deer) populations.

Fast forward to today… We now have documentation for more than 3500 wolves within the NRMPS. Meaning we now house 11.7 times the recovery goal, and 230% of what the US Fish and Wildlife Service stated to be the healthy carrying capacity for the entire NRMPS area (Idaho alone houses more wolves than USFWS stated to be the carrying capacity for the entire NRMPS). Consequently, Idaho now spends $9000 per, to remove problem wolves, and has funded Bonner Counties own F4WM.ORG wolf harvest expense reimbursement program, with more than $500,000 in attempt to encourage sportsmen to assist the state in reducing wolf numbers. Currently 58.97% of Idaho’s Big Game Management Units are suffering Chronic Livestock depredation and/or are below objective Elk populations due to over-abundance of wolves…

Cynthia Mason's additional wolf conservation efforts are commendable… but unfortunately lack facts, and are misguided…

JUSTIN WEBB

Sandpoint

Executive Director

Foundation for Wildlife Management

F4WM.ORG

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