Frustrations about the way the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is managing the state’s wolf population ran high Monday in Coeur d’Alene.
Many turned out to testify at a public hearing the state’s Fish and Game Commission held during its meeting taking place Monday and today in the Lake City.
Some of the loudest complaints were from people upset about the use of taxpayer dollars to fund the commission’s Wolf Depredation Control Board. They claimed Fish and Game’s focus is on pleasing hunters and sportsmen instead of doing what is best for wildlife habitat.
Last year and again this year, the Legislature allocated $400,000 from the general fund to the Wolf Depredation Control Board. and up to $110,000 from Fish and Game that is matched by Idaho’s livestock industry. In total, the control board can receive up to $620,000 each year to use for “control actions against wolves when there is a depredation conflict between wolves and wildlife or between wolves and livestock” according to section 22-5301 of the Idaho Code.
Almost all who testified at the hearing urged the commission to suggest the Wolf Depredation Control Board return taxpayer dollars to be used in a better way or to stop killing wolves completely.