Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

New Idaho Law Allows Killing of 90 Percent of State's Wolves

The law allows almost unrestricted hunting methods, including the use of night-vision goggles and shooting from helicopters


Supporters of the law argue wolves are a threat to livestock. However, only 102 sheep and cattle were killed by wolves last year. Idaho loses about 40,000 cattle to non-predator factors each year. ( Gerald Corsi / Getty Images)

Last week, Idaho governor Brad Little signed a bill into law that allows hunters to kill about 90 percent of the state's wolves.

The new law, SB1211, was supported by ranchers who say that wolves threaten their livestock and hunters who say that the wolves have reduced elk populations. Both of those claims are disputed by opponents of the new rules, who include scientists, conservation groups and other hunting groups, Douglas Main reports for National Geographic. The new law allows anyone with a wolf hunting tag to kill an unlimited number of wolves and lifts restrictions about how those animals can be killed. It also increases the state's budget for hiring private contractors to kill wolves.

"Today marks a low point for gray wolf recovery in the U.S.," says Zoe Hanley, a carnivore ecologist and representative of the Defenders of Wildlife, per the Associated Press' Keith Ridler. "For years Idaho wolves have been intensely persecuted through the nation's most permissive hunting and trapping seasons, and this bill all but pushes the species back to the brink of federal relisting."


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