-Idaho legislature working on anti-wolf, anti-wilderness
Feb. 14, 2006
Update Feb. 22. Idaho
State Senate adopts anti-wolf memorials by voice vote. Is this room for
optimism--they felt they had to hide how they voted?
The Idaho state legislature is working on two legislative memorials that are harmful to wolves or to wilderness. They just pass these things like this with little debate, and wonder why conservationists don't trust them?
House Joint Memorial 10 has passed the House and is in the Idaho senate. HJM 10 urges the US Fish and Wildlife Service approve a wolf delisting plan for Idaho and Montana while Wyoming continues to say "No! We won't develop a good wolf management plan." Idaho wants to have full management of wolves now, so they can start killing them without having to get scientific approval from the federal government.
House Joint Memorial 11 (HJM11) revisits the recent Forest Service decision to turn down the request by Idaho Fish and Game to helicopter dart wolves and collar them inside the Frank Church Wilderness. The Forest Service turned down the request because hundreds of Idahoans and others wrote in saying, "it's wilderness, use must legally use low tech methods in a legally designated wilderness if you want to catch wolves." If Idaho gets approval for this, it is a motorized threat to the entire National Wilderness Preservation System, meaning your state too, if you are not from Idaho. The point of wilderness is not to make things fast and easy. It's to keep some areas reserved for traditional skills and solitude. What's wrong with trapping wolves as they have been doing in the Frank Church in order to radio collar them?
State legislative memorials don't have any legal power. They just represent the opinion of the legislature. They are often ignored, but they certainly send the wrong message and they provoke distrust. Folks like the Forest Service can use memorials to reject public opinion to the contrary.
If you'd like to contact the Idaho State Senate, call toll free 800/626-0471. They are pretty nice, but the interns who answer don't take really complicated messages. If a state legislator gets five contacts on a piece of legislation like this, it is a landslide.
If you are an Idahoan, contact (email) your particular state senator. The Idaho legislature website makes this easy to do.
This swept through the House without debate because most of the legislators don't know anything about the issue other than past stereotypes. See story 2-14- in the Idaho Statesman. "Lawmakers grill Forest Service on helicopter use to manage wolves."
URL for the Idaho legislature
Feb. 22, 2006
Yesterday, the Idaho State Senate adopted both memorials by voice vote, making impossible to determine who should be punished in an election. I think the legislature may be a bit worried because Idahoans are no longer showing knee jerk anti-wolf attitudes, and they may want to avoid an election on the issue, especially one in an urban place where someone may lose because they voted against wolves. They would be devastating to their anti-wolf mythology.
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