February 23, 2005

Crapo Questions U.S. Fish & Wildlife Director onIdaho Wolves, Updates Iraq Situation

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Director Steve Williams discussed future management of Idahoâ??s wolf populations during a Senate subcommittee hearing today. Williams told Crapo that his agency is comfortable with Idahoâ??s wolf management process and, as long as it is consistent with the law, he will support whatever Idaho wants to do with the program. Crapo addressed Williams during a meeting of the Senate subcommittee Crapo chairs, the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water. That subcommittee oversees issues involving the Endangered Species Act, and todayâ??s hearing concerned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service budget.The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced its intent today to downlist many wolf populations from endangered to threatened, but the â??experimentalâ?? nature of reintroduced wolves in Central Idaho means that designation will not apply and will affect only animals in an area north of Interstate 90 in the Idaho panhandle. Still, Crapo won assurances from Williams that the Service will work closely as Idaho attempts to manage the wolves in Central Idaho, even if that control can come before neighboring Montana and Wyoming finish their state management plans. A joint release involving Idahoâ??s Congressional Delegation and Governor Kempthorne will be available later today. Crapoâ??s comments on wolves and Iraq are available:1:45-2:15 p.m. Mountain Time/ 12:45-1:45 p.m. PacificGalaxy 3 (C-Band), Transponder 7 Horizontal, Downlink Frequency 3840, Standard Audio# # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. If you encounter any difficulties with the system, please contact Susan Wheeler at the above number. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://crapo.senate.gov or www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.