Call to Action

The comment period closed February 10, 2020.

Idaho wolves need your help

A few weeks ago, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) changed their rules to allow a single individual to kill 30 wolves in a given year, increasing the limit by 300% over the past year.
Idaho Fish and Game is making it easier for individuals to reach the 30-wolf limit, by launching an all-out assault on Idaho’s wolves. IDFG is introducing a set of statewide proposals that will enable hunters and trappers to kill more wolves, including pregnant and nursing females and their pups. And IDFG indicated they may move quickly so that their new proposals take effect immediately, soon after public comment period is closed on February 10, just days away.
They need to hear from you today or within the next four days!
These sweeping proposals aim to extend wolf hunting and trapping opportunities statewide, while setting terrible precedent for other states to follow. The proposals would
  • Extend wolf hunting statewide to an unprecedented 11-month to year-round season, throughout denning and pup- rearing periods in the spring
  • Introduce year-round wolf hunting in southwest and south-central Idaho, designed to prevent wolves from becoming established in southern Idaho, cutting off vital connectivity and genetic exchange with other wolf populations in neighboring states to the south and southwest
  • Expand trapping opportunities onto public land, in areas where it was previously restricted to private land
  • Allow use of snares in more parts of Idaho
Comment period closes at end of day on February 10th, just FOUR days from now. Read below for useful information if you also wish to add your comments on these proposals.
If you do not agree with these proposals and see them as ill-informed and damaging, please vote “do not support” on all proposals in the link below.
Comment period has closed. Thank you!
Help us spread the word! Forward this email and share the link with friends and family.
You can also email Idaho Fish and Game officials directly, as well as Idaho Governor Brad Little. Please find email addresses listed below!

Recent Changes to Idaho’s Wolf Policy

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. If IDFG adopts their latest proposals, there will be no place left in Idaho where wolves are hunted for fewer than 11 months of the year and, in many areas, they will be hunted year-round. These policies will have a devastating impact on this highly social and family-based animal. Wolf families will be unnecessarily destroyed with even greater frequency, leaving inexperienced animals to fend for themselves rather than living in a pack and learning from elder family members as is the common natural state for unexploited wolves.
Less than a year ago, Idaho already drastically ratcheted up its efforts to kill wolves, increasing the number of wolves a hunter/trapper can kill in a given year from 10 to 20, and then, just a few weeks ago, to 30. Also in the past year, IDFG dramatically increased the geographic scope of trapping and snaring statewide, while also extending the duration of these seasons. Only the two hunting units that surround the Wood River Valley were spared, thanks to many of you who took action and spoke out! 
Additional pressure on the wolves of Idaho is being provided in the form of financial incentive from a new organization misleadingly titled, Foundation for Wildlife Management, which pays a bounty or “reimbursement” of up to $1,000 per dead wolf either trapped or hunted. This organization is funded in part by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Last year’s changes, as well as the changes being proposed now, were created with detailed input from this bounty-paying organization, as well as from trapping organizations like the Idaho Trappers Association, and by those determined to continue killing wolves. Special interest groups representing big agriculture have also been backing these proposals.
These rule changes, essentially written by “the fox in the hen house,” are having a very real impact, mostly at the hands of the 250 licensed wolf trappers in Idaho. During the past six months, when the permitted number of wolves killed by a single individual was 20, one person killed 20 wolves, and just five people succeeded in killing 68. Trappers killed 153 wolves in just the final four months of 2019. Advancing these new proposals is reckless considering there has not been sufficient time to assess the impact of these previous regulatory changes that have been in effect for less than a year.
Dramatically reducing the small number of wolves living in Idaho is a primary goal of these proposals. IDFG estimates that the wolf population currently stands at about 1,000 wolves but their messaging indicates they would like to see a population closer to 150.
“Despite the Commission’s systematic progression of wolf hunting and trapping seasons, the 2019 wolf population estimate is still at levels well above federal recovery criteria of 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs statewide.”
-Roger Phillips, Public Information Supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, January 28, 2020
What IDFG fails to mention here is that the 150 number was set by the federal government for the point at which wolves would have recovered enough to have avoided the immediate peril of regional extinction, at which point they would consider turning the responsibility of wolf management over to individual states. It was never intended to be the end goal of recovery or a population ceiling. States were expected to become good stewards and ensure the continued recovery of the species. It is typically the role expected of the states to responsibly manage wildlife, while the Federal Government steps in when needed to protect endangered wildlife under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Background and why your voice is needed

After many decades of absence, wolves were brought back to Idaho by the Federal Government in 1995 but, in 2011, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game took over wolf management. Much of IDFG’s revenue is generated by the sale of tags and licenses for hunting, trapping and fishing. Selling tags and licenses for specifically elk and deer hunting provides a very significant portion of their revenue and therefore is where IDFG directs a lot of their resources.
Historically, IDFG policies have been written to exert heavy pressure on carnivores, especially wolves, native wild animals whose role in a balanced ecosystem is to hunt and kill large plant-eating animals, like elk and deer. When questioned about these policies, IDFG’s response is that they are responding to their constituents, namely those who buy the hunting tags and licenses. The reality that is left unconsidered is that Idaho’s wildlife is held in the public trust, owned by all citizens, including you. Idaho’s wildlife belongs to all of us, not only to those who hunt or trap it. Some of IDFG’s proposals are designed to kill wolves that are simply eating elk, their primary diet in the Northern Rockies.
Wolves play a vital role in maintaining the health of our Rocky Mountain ecosystems. Rigorous scientific research has firmly established the essential ecological role of wolves, as a keystone species and top-level carnivore. Proponents of IDFG’s proposals say wolves are responsible for the decline of elk populations and for livestock depredation. In reality, the elk population in Idaho is very similar to where it was when wolves were first introduced into the state 25 years ago. And the number of livestock documented as being killed by wolves has generally decreased over the past ten years.
Nearly all the wolves that live in the American West live in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington. Taking into account only the counties in these states where wolves are known to live, some of the most recent federal statistics show that, in 2015, wolves killed only 148 of 1,980,600 cattle or, one in every 13,382. That amounts to .007%. And, that certainly does not amount to justification for the proposed new policies.
Trapping and snaring are inhumane and indiscriminate. Many non-target animals, including pets, are often caught by these traps as well. Idaho should be reducing, not expanding trapping seasons, or better yet, eliminating the operation altogether.

As a concerned and informed person, please make your voice be heard. Participate in this survey to voice your opinion about these proposed changes and please share this information and survey far and wide.

With gratitude,

P.S. When you’ve done that, you can find more information about wolves and their role in our ecosystem at  livingwithwolves.org. Check it out!!

Officials to Contact

IDFG Director, Ed Schriever:
ed.schriever@idfg.idaho.gov

IDFG Regional Commissioners:
Salmon Commissioner, Jerry Meyers:
Salmon.Commissioner@idfg.idaho.gov

Panhandle Commissioner, Brad Corkill:
brad.corkill@idfg.idaho.gov

Southwest Commissioner, Tim Murphy:
tim.murphy@idfg.idaho.gov

IDFG Regional Commissioners cont.
Magic Valley Commissioner, Greg Cameron:
MagicValley.Commissioner@idfg.idaho.gov

Southeast Commissioner, Lane Clezie:
lane.clezie@idfg.idaho.gov

Upper Snake Commissioner, Derick Attebury:
derick.attebury@idfg.idaho.gov

IDFG Wildlife Chief, Toby Boudreau:
toby.boudreau@idfg.idaho.gov

Idaho Governor Brad Little:
governor@gov.idaho.gov