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U.S. District judge sets hearing for wolf hunt challenge; animal-rights group calls for Idaho potato boycott

August 25, 2009 | Wolves

By Rocky Barker - rbarker@idahostatesman.com
Published: 08/24/09
http://www.idahostatesman.com/235/story/875670.html

RELATED DOCUMENTS
· Read the court documents for the wolf injunction hearing Aug. 31

ADDITIONAL DETAILS
· Stores report brisk wolf tag sales in Idaho

· Rocky Barker: Will Idaho's hunt hurt wolf numbers?

U.S. District Judge Donald Malloy has granted wolf advocates a hearing on their request for an injunction to stop wolf hunting in Idaho and Montana.

Meanwhile a national animal rights groups has called for a boycott of Idaho potatoes to protest the hunt.

Malloy scheduled the hearing for Aug. 31, the day before hunting was scheduled to begin in Idaho. Attorneys for Earthjustice, the group representing the 13 groups challenging the hunt and the federal government will get three hours to make their cases in court.

The groups say the hunting seasons would cripple the regional wolf population by isolating wolves into disconnected subgroups incapable of genetic or ecological sustainability. The wolf hunts would also allow the killing of the breeding alpha male and female wolves, thereby disrupting the social group, leaving pups more vulnerable.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission set a limit of 220 wolves for this year. The Nez Perce can take another 35 so that sets the estimated harvest at 25 percent of the estimated population of more than 1,000. But environmental groups say the hunt actually represents 30 percent of the population at the end of 2008 when Idaho had 39 breeding pairs and Montana 34.

Montana set its limit at 75 wolves, about 15 percent of its estimated population. Wolf population have been growing at a rate of 20 percent annually since they were reintroduced in 1995.

The groups also challenge the legality of delisting wolves in Idaho, Montana, northern Utah, eastern Oregon and western Washington while keeping them on the endangered Species list in Wyoming.

Friends of Animals said it was calling for a potato boycott because of the vocal backing of the hunt by Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.

The (Darien, Connecticut) based group referred to Otter's 2007 statement to hunters, "I'm prepared to bid for the first ticket to shoot a wolf myself." They also didn't like Otter's explanation of respect for wolves in an IdahoStatesman.com story Aug 19.

"You can still hate them and respect their cunning and their place in nature," Otter said

Friends of Animals' president, Priscilla Feral said in a press release: "Gov. Otter's enthusiasm for wolf killing not only demonstrates a complete lack of conscience and understanding of the word 'respect' it shows a lack of respect for nature and the ecosystem."

One-third of all potatoes in the U.S. are grown in Idaho, she said.

"As long as Idaho is in the business of killing wolves, the nature-respecting public should stop buying potatoes there," she said.

Comments

It is a shame wolves are no longer on the areas of the East Coast that they one were. Bears, coyotes, and bobcats are, however, and plenty of people complain about them too. Indeed, some humans seem to have a lot of complaints against just about any other animals they see or imagine in their midst. These animals were here before we were and it's weird that we'd think something gives us the right to send them away. That's a view that needs a good deal of re-thinking.

When are human beings going to learn to live in peace with the other creatures on this earth, including other humans? It is our only home. Wolves are highly intelligent, social animals who live in family groups. Perhaps the wolf hunters might understand if some larger being, better armed, decided that there are too many human beings and they need to be culled. Certainly human population threatens this planet far,far more than a recovering wolf population does. Please put a stop to this senseless killing, Judge Malloy.

Wolves, as predators, are scapegoats to satisfy predominatly urban sport hunters and guarantee convience and hunting access. Must wolves pay the price again for sport hunters to have a few hundred more elk, caribou and deer. Wolves deserve their rightful place in the ecosystem , and also keep large game population healthy. It is a sad and frightening time for Idaho wolves. - Teresa Bourque

i can't believe how many people are defending killing these wolvess,big deal they're eating your cattle, you're going to kill them enyhow, the wolf is just speeding up the process.and if ranchers are so worried about their cattle, maybe they should get a real job, no one eats that junk anyway, ask a cartioligist what he thinks about beef, he will tell you to eat it , he needs a new boat,because he is going to be the last guy you see after being diagnosed with colon cancer.i guess idaho did not get effected by the recession, real estate values booming, low unemployment, balanced state budget.and yet their biggest problem is a wolf who is afraid of his own shadow, now he has a bunch of einsteins who think they know what's best for his survival. here's an idea, how about leave the wolf alone and focus on the real problems effecting idaho. isn't that what you elected the governor to do.he must be doing a great job if this is the biggest problem facing idaho residents.

[Blog editors' note: Wrong, wrong, wrong, Sara. They're gray wolves in North America and Idaho is in North America. Whether or not Sara's native to Idaho doesn't interest us either.] Thank You C.W. Hurless for pointing out the most important fact about the wolves in Idaho and Montana: They are not native! These are animals that were transplanted from a completely different ecosystem and evolved to survive in much different and more extreme environment. Shall we go ahead and transplant some grizzly bears into California? ....

[Blog editors' note: Bullroar to the misinformation below. Idaho's elk hunters have complained about declining elk populations since the mid-1990s when few wolves dared to live in Idaho's wilderness. Weather, malnutrition and hunting deaths account for declines in elk, yet there are an estimated 115,000 elk in Idaho compared to 850 or fewer wolves. In Montana, there are an estimated 150,000 elk vs. fewer than 500 wolves. The post below sounds like another wolf-hating liar to us. ] Do you realize how fast wolves are reproducing? Some of the packs are having up to twelve 12 or 13 pups at a time and when hard winters used to allow the survival rate to be one or two that is not the case any longer. Lets look at the elk population....it is drastically declining. They can only calve once a year....

"Wildlife management," which is really just another perverted superiority complex/fantasy that human animals harbor, is pseudo-science, non-science, or better yet, non-sense. Wolves don't need humans to manage them, plain and simple. Neither do any other "wild" animals. We humans don't know how to 'manage' our own populations, or, as the comments on this blog can attest, our aggressive, regressive attitude towards non-human life.

Judge Molloy, Northwestern States have issued too many licenses for this savage wolf hunt. Killing off 1/3 of the wolf population is inhumane. The pictures from hunters who proudly show off dead wolves, is horribly painful. There are many people who deeply love these animals. I know the hunters are a forceful, hate-driven group of people, just read their blogs, where they are so eager to KILL -- these hunters are blood thirsty animals, the same as they call the wolf. But please consider those of us who have a loving heart and respect nature. Please stop the bloodshed and prevent the extinction of the beloved North American wolf. Thank You!

Wolves are magnificent wild creatures and should be treated as such. They should not be "managed" these are wolves for God's sake they aren't things they are living creatures and have as much a right to live on this planet as we humans do. Just because we are capable of "profound" thought DOESN'T mean we have any more right to live here as any other animal. Hunting any animal for ANYTHING besides food is SICK and wrong.I am deeply ashamed to be part of this selfish species. How many livestock live in America? Millions. How many wolves are there in America, um, lets say 2000! Losing 10 livestock is not a big deal!! I mean it is our fault that theses wolves have nothing to eat anyway. The cruelty wolves face for doing what they have to do to survive is horrific!! We should solve the problems WE'VE created first and not make things up about an innocent creature just so we can feel better about ourselves. Its not the wolves RUINING the planet, Its US!

We have no rights to decide for what God created. Wolf may be overpopulated as they say but think about it, how many animals are overpopulated before that are now extinct? How about humans we are extremely populated for Pete's sake are we going to have human killing game to decrease our numbers? NO! It's a damn idea. We have a major role in circle of life. Humans are the caretakers of God's creation but were the one that's destroying it. What can you feel (killers) if your own family was attacked by good for nothing man like you and say its just a game.? I know nothing about Idaho or Montana but I hope your government or locals of these places will be given a good heart for each living species that you still have. We don't have wolf here -- we're only seeing wolves in pictures and on TV. We need them! I know you have GOD in Idaho and Montana!

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