Idaho House Approves $2 Million Plan To Kill Wolves

Feb 21, 2014

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Lawmakers voted 49-16 to direct $2 million to help kill problem wolves, over objections from Democrats who say it's a poor use of the money.

Friday's vote sends the measure, backed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and livestock producers, to the Senate.

Idaho has 118 packs and 680 wolves, according to 2012 figures.

This wolf control fund's proponents argue existing measures by federal trappers and hunters aren't enough to tackle wolves that prey on sheep, cattle and elk herds coveted by hunters.

This fund will help pick up the slack.

Foes including Democratic Rep. Ilana Rubel of Boise told lawmakers the bill disproportionately directs precious taxpayer resources toward killing wolves, what she called an irresponsible approach regardless of whether lawmakers viewed wolves as "beautiful furry creatures or relentless killing machines."