March 14, 2002 For immediate Release

Contacts: Lauren McLean 208-345-6933 x 17
Justin Hayes 208-345-6933 x 24

Idaho Conservation League reacts to passage of Wolf Management Plan

Boise. The Idaho House of Representatives has joined the Senate in approving the "Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan" (SCR 134).

"We are pleased that the Legislature has adopted a plan that will ensure that Idaho has viable, self-sustaining populations of wolves," said Lauren McLean, Idaho Conservation League lobbyist. "The plan is not perfect, but it is a workable compromise."

The final version of the plan that was adopted includes provisions that allow wolves to expand their range provided that they do not cause unacceptable conflicts. It directs the state to manage wolf populations to ensure that Idaho maintains viable, self-sustaining populations of wolves. The plan also provides for the creation and implementation of a "balanced" wolf education program.

Prior amendments to the plan had made it stridently anti-wolf. However, the inclusion of compromise language returned the biological underpinnings that the wolves will need to survive while allowing the State to vent its frustrations regarding wolf reintroduction and to exercise aggressive wolf control measures should unacceptable conflicts arise.

"The Idaho Conservation League worked with Senators Stan Hawkins (R-28) and Laird Noh (R-23) to craft a plan that works for the wolves and allows anti-wolf interests to express their frustration with the federal governmentıs management of wolves," said Lauren McLean.

"We knew that a wolf plan was going to pass the Legislature this year. The question was, would it accommodate the needs of the wolves? Compromise between strange bedfellows has created a plan that will ensure Idaho has healthy wolf populations in the future."