BLM Reverses Decision, Says No To Idaho Wolf Derby Permit

Nov 25, 2014

Credit Washington Fish and Game

After giving the OK to a wolf hunting competition on Idaho public land, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reversed its decision.

The Times-News reports the BLM approved the five-year permit a few weeks ago. That’s after a BLM report that said there would be no significant environmental impact from the wolf derby, which was to take place on public and private land near Salmon.

The first predator derby attracted international attention, as well as online petitions. Hunters competed for prizes for the biggest wolf or most coyotes. Organizers say that last year more than 230 people entered. Participants killed 21 coyotes but no wolves.

Steve Alder, the head event organizer for Idaho for Wildlife, the group that sponsors the hunting competition, said it would be a “miracle” if anyone shot a wolf, which are notoriously hard to hunt. He says the January derby will go forward on private land.

Alder said that derby participants will be required to sign a waiver saying any animals taken on public land won't qualify for the derby. He said Idaho for Wildlife started the application process early, as BLM advised them to. He blamed the BLM's D.C. office for getting the permit revoked, and said the group would "push for more legislative oversight of this out-of-control agency that is now caving to the radical anti-hunters." -Times News

Seven groups were suing to stop the derby. Defenders of Wildlife says the litigation and public comments likely led to the BLM’s decision to deny the permit.

The BLM received 56,500 comments and all but about 10 of those were opposed to the derby.

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