January 28, 2005

Senators Say Idaho Wolf Control Is Imminent

U.S. Fish & Wildlife indicates with calls, letters, that Idaho will take over management

Washington, DC - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig today praised news that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approves of Idahoâ??s state management plan for wolves. The Senators said they appreciated that the USFWS Director Steve Williams, in a letter to the state, has acknowledged the hard work of Idahoâ??s people, its Legislature, and its Governor to advance an effective and agreeable plan.Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, who chairs the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the ESA, said that USFWS Director Steve Williamson notified him by telephone of the decision that federal officials believe Idaho is ready to manage wolves in the state. â??What remains is to be seen now is whether states with approved plans will have meaningful authority to carry out those plans immediately,â?? Crapo said. â??Today's decision by the Department of the Interior is a step in the right direction toward delisting," Senator Larry Craig said. "However, while we continue to deal with the bureaucracy of delisting the population, the wolves in the three states continue to multiply by leaps and bounds. Without state management of the population, balance will not occur between the needs of the wildlife and the needs of the communities affected by this species. I commend the leadership efforts of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in putting our state management plan together and working with the Idaho's legislature to approve it. Idaho has a strong state management plan and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate its strengths."During a Senate subcommittee hearing chaired by Crapo last year, USFWS Director Williams said he was â??comfortableâ?? with Idahoâ??s management program â??as long as itâ??s consistent with the law.â?? # # #