The state government with the highest body count of wolves in the West has unleashed a new round of aerial killing. Once again, the purpose is to artificially inflate elk numbers for sport hunters and boost the sale of elk hunting licenses. And once again, the killing is happening on public land.
We’re still trying to learn how many wolves have already been shot from the air in Idaho’s Lolo National Forest. But even one wolf killed in this way is unconscionable.
The deeply disturbing actions by the Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services agency working on behalf of the state of Idaho must stop. And the U.S. Forest Service is letting it happen on its land! It’s now up to the federal government to put the brakes on Idaho’s vendetta against wolves.
What we continue to see over and over again is that Idaho does whatever it wants, whenever it wants, with zero consequences when it comes to wolves.
This latest outrage comes less than a month after Idaho state officials “accidentally” put radio collars on wolves in the nearby Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness area managed by the Forest Service. The state has not ruled out using those unauthorized collars at some point to follow the wolves back to their packs and kill them. While those are not the wolves currently being gunned down in the Lolo, it’s just one more indication that Idaho’s war on wolves will continue and is completely out of control.
Since Congress prematurely forced Idaho’s wolves off the endangered species list in 2011, more than 1,900 wolves have been killed in that state.
Both the U.S. Forest Service and Wildlife Services are agencies in the Department of Agriculture.
Thanks for all you do!
|Jamie Rappaport Clark
President, Defenders of Wildlife