Ketchum Says Idaho's Wolf Management Policies Hurting Tourism

Sep 17, 2014

The resort town of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to back off on killing wolves. They say it’s bad for business.

Credit visitsunvalley.com

The Ketchum City Council passed a resolution Monday night urging wildlife managers to use non-lethal tactics to control the wolf population.

Tourists like wolves -- or at least they like the opportunity to catch a glimpse of them. That’s the message from the Ketchum City Council. Councilors take issue with a new state Wolf Depredation Control Board in Idaho. It’s been given a $500,000 budget to kill wolves that clash with ranchers and sportsmen -- because wolves eat cattle and sheep, as well as deer and elk.

But Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas wants the governor to keep those efforts out of her county.

“The initial attraction and the real core of our community is the value and the quality and the quantity of our outdoor experience,” she said.

Jonas said there’s also an image issue. Some pro-wolf groups have organized boycotts of Idaho.

Ketchum is asking the state to collaborate on a project that helps ranchers use alternative measures against wolves like strobe lights, electric fences and guard dogs.

A spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter said decisions about how to manage wildlife are up to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.