Sunday, January 14, 2007

Idaho To Drive Wolves To Point Of Extinction

House of Mystery © DC Comics. Art © Bernie Wrightson
Idaho's governor said Thursday he will support public hunts to kill all but 100 of the state's gray wolves after the federal government strips them of protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Gov. C.L. “Butch'' Otter told The Associated Press that he wants hunters to kill about 550 gray wolves. That would leave about 100 wolves, or 10 packs, according to a population estimate by state wildlife officials. The 100 surviving wolves would be the minimum before the animals could again be considered endangered.

“I'm prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself,'' Otter said earlier Thursday during a rally of about 300 hunters. The hunters, many wearing camouflage clothing and blaze-orange caps, applauded wildly during his comments.

Suzanne Stone, a spokeswoman for the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife in Boise, said Otter's proposal would return wolves to the verge of eradication. “Essentially he has confirmed our worst fears for the state of Idaho: That this would be a political rather than a biological management of the wolf population,'' Stone said. “There's no economic or ecological reason for maintaining such low numbers. It's simple persecution.'' link from Live Science.com

Where’s Larry Talbot when you need him…?