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Delegation Says Wolf Decision Means Idaho Controls Own Destiny On Management

Washington, DC - Idahoâ??s Congressional Delegation says todayâ??s announcement by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that it will turn more control of Idahoâ??s reintroduced wolf population over to the state is a victory for the ranchers, hunters, and other conservationists who have pushed a path forward on the wolf issue. Senator Mike Crapo, who chairs the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the ESA, said, â??This is one of many Idaho solutions on-the-ground that will provide direction in renewing the Endangered Species Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service is beginning an orderly transition of management back to Idaho by amending the 10-J rule that currently governs wolf management.â?? "I appreciate the leadership President Bush and Secretary Norton have shown on the issue of wolves in Idaho,â?? said Craig. â??They recognize that the State of Idaho is better equipped to manage the wolves and that the wolves have grown to a level that will lead to delisting from the Endangered Species Act. This proposal will bring us back to a balance here in Idaho between the wolves and our livelihood.""The changes by the Department of the Interior are a clear message the state of Idaho's wolf management plan is working and progress is being made towards the ultimate goal of delisting the gray wolf," said Simpson. "These rule changes are no doubt a step in the right direction with regards to the ability of the state to eventually manage and administer the wolf population without the help of the Federal government.""It's good news that Idaho will be getting some additional flexibility in dealing with these non-native predators, and that we're moving closer to the goal of full state management,â?? Otter said. â??Not a day goes by that I don't hear from folks who are dealing with wolves and the carnage they're inflicting on livestock and big game herds. This is a problem, imposed by the federal government that never should have happened. It's shown us the folly of cooking up 'solutions' in Washington without local input. I'm glad the bureaucrats, with the state's prodding, finally are recognizing they have to make the situation less onerous on ranchers, sportsmen and outfitters."â??The path ahead for the wolf is a path forward for the ESA,â?? Crapo added. â??We can no longer retreat to the old ideas and entrenched thinking that have made this issue so contentious. Professional management is the only way to reconcile the people who want no wolves in Idaho with the people who have always wanted wolves here. Todayâ??s news is the result of cooperative and collaborative thinking and means we are moving forward to protect both endangered species and property rights. Wolves are just the latest success on a growing list that demonstrates just how far we have come with smart, effective, cooperative efforts.â??# # #