Idaho governor wants to be the first to kill a wolf in his state

Two black wolvesVarious sources are reporting that the governor of Idaho, Butch Otter, apparently in a Rocky Mountain Oyster-induced redneck frenzy, has stated that he’d like to be one of the first to kill a wolf in Idaho once federal protections are removed. Click here to jump to an article about this in the Idaho Statesman. For a good rundown of this issue, visit Ralph Maughan’s blog.

If the statements by Governor Otter make you feel hot under the collar, or warm and fuzzy, give his staff a call at 208-334-2100.


23 responses to “Idaho governor wants to be the first to kill a wolf in his state

  1. Richard Buchanan

    Before this bastard climbs into a helicopter, gun in hand he better fucking know who to skydive. Some wolves have learned how to fire back.

  2. Certainly, I cannot see how being “endangered” could have been any more restrictive that what we have. They could and can only be controlled if they have certain animals in the process of being killed. FWS states they have no ability to manage them for the well being of other wildlife. If they destroy any particular population of any other species…tough, that is what is called natural.
    The thing is, they might not have picked Yellowstone or Wyoming to live in, they might have chosen the Dakotas, or any other store, and that is what enviros could not abide, not having control over who was to be impacted and where. At least that is my take on it, besides it would have taken “too long” .

  3. I still don’t get it, Marion. You keep acting as if you would 100% accept wolves if they naturally walked down and established themselves from canada. The result would have been the same, just a couple of decades later than now. Do you realize that they would all be managed as regular endangered species rather than being experimental if they wandered down?

  4. You are right Rob, I do not feel it is possible to manage anything halfway naturally. It either is natural (as in wandering wolves locating in an area) or it is not (as in flying and trucking them in). What you are suggesting be “natural management” (artificially increase a population as much as possible, then insist that they be left alone to continue to expand naturally) would be like being “a little married”, you are or you aren’t.

  5. Rob Edward

    You are entitled to your opinion, Marion. Nonetheless, there is no scientific evidence that there was a (as you put it) “naturally occurring wolf population” in Yellowstone just prior to reintroduction. That do won’t hunt. There may have been an occasional wolf or two visiting the area from Montana, but that does not count as a “population”.

    As far as reintroduction goes, it’s not “natural”, but it is necessary in order to right a wrong. You don’t agree, I know. You don’t have to. Stewardship of Wild Nature demands that we do all that we can to restore wolves to as much potentially suitable habitat (i.e places that host native prey) as possible. That’s the bottom line.

  6. Well, Rob, I’m going to jump in here. First of all was it natural to truck crates of wolves into Yellowstone? We know there was a naturally occuring population of wolves already there. Interestingly enough, even though it was closer to the historical number ever seen there, it was not enough for environmentalists. Why the sudden interest in “natural”? The wolves were tested, immunized, collared, tracked. etc, this is “natural”?
    Methinks your idea of “natural” is getting your own way, no matter what it costs other people.

  7. Rob Edward

    In an earlier post, Ron asked: “Will there ever come a time when the wolf advocates will concede to allow hunting of wolves to control their numbers?” I would say that the question starts from a false premise, namely that wildlife must necessarily be “managed” at-all. What did all of these animals do before humans decided we needed to manage them.

    Seriously, wolves evolved and survived for millennia before humans tried to wipe them out. Further, wolves never wiped out their prey. Left alone, wolves, other carnivores, and their prey will find a dynamic equilibrium (not a balance, because that implies a static situation, which is not something that occurs in Nature).

  8. Yes I did. I guess I missed the news release where Clem said that 20-30 packs would be the state objective. Last I heard was something approaching the bare minimum required by the ESA. I won’t even get into the point that the 10-10-10 guideline was a MINUMUM requirement to be able to CONSIDER delisting.

  9. OK Jeff. So what is wrong with Otter wanting to manage wolves to 20 or 30 packs in the state of Idaho. That is well within the law and he is not breaking it. However, wolf advocates cry afoul that he is going to destroy the wolf population, which will never happen.

    Science proves that the state can support this many pack of wolves plus we can retain the great hunting this state has always had and livestock owners can continue their operations with much less conflict between wolves and livestock. What more do you want. You did state that science should drive our wolf management practices.

  10. Clem wasn’t fined for what he did in picking up or removing whatever. It was for not obtaining the proper permits or even attempting to. And that from a individual who has been in the business of legislating law for most of his adult live.

  11. So Jeff E., what your saying is that it would have been better for Butch Otter to leave the garbage in and around the water and that by doing so it would create a better habitat for all the wildlife in the area? Have you ever heard the expression “letter of the law vs. spirit of the law” this is when the intent of or spirit of a law becomes lost as in protecting wetlands. The letter of the law in turn prevents common sense approaches to cleaning up or improving the same wetlands the law was originally intended to protect. If we could all use a little common sense and not let our emotions dictate our actions we could come to agreement on what is best for the wildlife.

  12. Wolfen,
    I have never disagreed with managing wolves through hunting. Have said as much on Ralph’s site and elsewhere. I find the idea of a winter coat lined with a wolf pelt very attractive as a matter of fact. What does bother me is that wolves, or by extension predators in general are viewed as vermin, a mind set advanced mostly by ignorance and fear with not much understanding of ecological dynamics. Should people be allowed to protect private property on private land? Absolutely. Self defense at any time anywhere? Absolutely. But any wolf management should be based on science and not pandering to special interest groups be it for or against wolves.

  13. So Jeff what idealistic plan do you suggest to implement that would be favorable to all interested parties (being the wolf advocates, hunting, and livestock producers)? Can’t wait to hear if it is better than the Governors.

  14. Jeff,

    Good to hear from you once again but on a much more friendly site than Ralph Maughans. As you already know, I will not agree with you on most stuff regarding the wolf restoration. We have already made the rounds many times on Ralph’s blog and it did not accomplish much. However, I do know that wolves have to be managed much like the big game we have now and that is if there will be any left for us to hunt. If the conservationists have their way, especially the radical groups who do not want them delisted for whatever reason, then the good ole hunting days of years ago in Idaho will have gone down the tube and Idaho will lose more revenue than wolf watching will ever bring to this state. I doubt you can disagree with that. Wolves do have there place but I personally believe they must and should be kept at approximately 30 wolf packs in the state. That way there will still be plenty of wildlife for hunting and for wolves.

  15. What Clem did was break the law, went to court, lost in a court of law and was fined. That is what Clem did.

  16. I agree with Wolfen’s comments and the statement attributed to Gov Otter. The last thing Idaho wants is once the wolves are delisted for the numbers to drop below the 10 wolf pack minimum and get the federal government back into the wolf management. It’s a little simplistic to think that just because the governor makes a statement like he did that the wolves are all going to hunted down. They will be managed like all other predators with state laws that govern where, when and how they can be controlled.
    Jeff E.. What Butch Otter did to get into trouble with the Enviro’s is to clean up an area on his property next to the Boise River that had been used as a dump. He dredged the wetland area to remove an old rusty car and misc. garbage that had been dumped there over the years. He returned it to its natural state or as close as possible and then bucked the Enviro’s when they tried to fine him for cleaning it up. This is another example of how federal agencies that were initially started to protect loose all common sense and just become a bureaucracy.

  17. Wolfen
    all Clem Otter is doing is the political two step because he showed his ass to the world with his “first to kill a wolf” comment. As for supporting the federal law I guess that is why he was fined for breaking it when he tried to dredge some river riparian area a few years ago.

  18. Unfortunately, you attack Governor Otter for his stance and backing of the federal government’s endagered species program for wolves in the western states. Otter is standing by the fact that each state is only required to maintain a minimum of 10 wolf packs or a total of 30 in the three states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. In Idaho, that number is estimated anywhere from 70 – 80 wolf packs which is well above the minimum of 10. Otter is only backing the federal government who made this rule and he is now intervening to get the feds to live by their own law. Otter did not make this law. Kudos to Otter for trying to make this happen. The wolf advocates would never do this. If they were truly concerned about all wildlife then they would.

    I wrote a letter months ago about this to the governor and he assured that the wolves would be managed at ‘well above’ the minimum of 10 packs. He gave an example of maintaining them at about 30 packs throughout Idaho. This would ensure that the wolf would never again go back on the endangered species list, accounting for natural deaths, diseases and deaths due to livestock depredation.

  19. Ron, I support wolves and I also can accept a limited hunt and controlling wolves near livestock. You can’t understand why a wolf advocate would be a little nervous about wyoming and idaho officials saying that they want to eliminate a vast majority of wolves from their states? What they are saying goes way beyond simple wolf control, and if they can’t be adults and propose more sane measures as montana has, then they don’t deserve to manage wolves themselves.

  20. Alex, If it were totally your call what would you do with the current wolf program or should I say lack of program. Would there ever come a time when you would allow human intervention to control the numbers? What is wrong with managing wolf numbers the same way other predators are managed so that there can be a health balance? I know there are many factors involved from economics to population growth that negatively impact all wildlife but these issues are very difficult to control although progress has been made. Will there ever come a time when the wolf advocates will concede to allow hunting of wolves to control their numbers? Don’t get all fired up just be kind enough to answer the questions honestly.

  21. Alex Vanagunas

    [Editor’s Note: Although we aim to encourage free speech and spirited dialougue here, we discourage personal attacks. Therefor, I have edited this comment to make it comport with a more civil tone].

    Judging by Rod Smith’s comments it’s easy to see why so many people have no idea about the topic at hand. Why not think outside the box that your Governor has given you? Rod Smith, why don’t you take a note from the previous comment, and do some research about the wolf instead of simply killing it?

  22. This is just one reason we elected Butch Otter as our Governor. He doesn’t back down from controversy and says it like it is. If the Feds and wolf advocates would have kept there word and allowed management of wolves in a timely manner there would not be all the hostility that we are currently hearing expressed. The situation in Idaho is out of control with the wolf numbers just continuing to climb. My hats off to Governor Otter, he has the true heart of Idahoans beating in his chest…..May his aim be true.

  23. Mr Otter sounds like an uneducated, macho arrogant, backwoods creep. His comment regarding killing a wolf is undignified and an insult to the citizens of Idaho who elected him to be their governor. Maybe before he sets out on his very manly killing spree, he might spend a week or so in the wilderness, observing, and learning from, the mighty wolf. They, unlike humans, kill to survive, in the way of nature, not for sport. Or, perhaps he should go and speak with the elders of the Nez Perce tribe and become educated in how the white man, by decimating millions of buffalo for sport and the almighty dollar, took away a source of nurishment and survival for both the wolf and the Indian. Grow up Governor !!.