Defenders of Wildlife Launches Ad Campaign Against Governor Otter’s War on Wolves

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 2013

Contact:

Suzanne Stone: sstone@defenders.org, 208-861-4655

Melanie Gade: mgade@defenders.org; 202-772-0288

WASHINGTON – A new advertising campaign pressuring Idaho’s Governor Butch Otter to end his statewide war on gray wolves was launched today by Defenders of Wildlife.

Since Idaho took over management of its wolves in 2009, the state has killed over 1,400 animals and reduced the number of breeding pairs by 59 percent, using increasingly aggressive wolf killing programs to do so. Since December, Idaho’s Wildlife Services gunned-down wolves from helicopters, state wildlife agencies hired a professional gunman to kill entire packs in the wilderness, and the state officials passed increasingly aggressive wolf hunting and trapping regulations throughout Idaho.

Governor Otter also recently signed a bill green-lighting the use of $400,000 in taxpayer funds annually for five years to drive Idaho’s wolf population down as low 150 animals, according to the bill’s sponsors. In addition, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Commission recently announced a new predation management plan which would authorize the agency to kill up to 60 percent of the wolves in the Middle Fork Zone, the core of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. 

Suzanne Stone, Idaho resident and Defenders of Wildlife senior representative for Rockies and Plains, issued the following statement:

"Less than five years after the state of Idaho received full responsibility for wolves statewide, an ugly part of our regional history appears to be repeating itself. Governor Otter has demonstrated his clear intention to reduce the state's wolf populations below ecologically sustainable levels using trapping, shooting, snaring and even targeting the young of the year.

“This wasteful and costly war on wolves is not only disturbing from a scientific perspective, it is an embarrassment to Idahoans and should be stopped immediately. Governor Otter is so obsessed with killing wolves that he is willing to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to ramp up killing even more when those funds should instead be spent on important things like education for our children. What a deeply disturbing misuse of Idaho’s tax dollars to appease anti-wolf fanatics in the state.

“We hope that by exposing what residents of Idaho really think of this war on wolves, Governor Otter might change course and start treating wolves like other wildlife.”

Listen to what Idaho’s residents are saying about Governor Otter’s war on wolves here.

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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

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