FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2014
Contact: Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife; firstname.lastname@example.org ; (208) 861-4655
BOISE, Idaho – This evening, wildlife and wilderness advocates from around the region will provide testimony to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Commission in response to their new predation management plan  which would enable the agency to kill up to 60 percent of the wolves living in the Middle Fork Zone, the core of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. Tonight before  the 7:00pm hearing  in Boise, students from Timberline High School’s TREE Club will stage a rally outside of Idaho Fish and Game Headquarters opposing the predation management plan.
At this evening’s hearing, IDFG Commissioners will hear from citizen activists, conservation non-profits, student activists, and even hunters and farmers who oppose IDFG’s plan to kill more wolves in the wilderness area. Several spokespeople who plan to speak at tonight’s hearing, provided statements summarizing their planned testimony:
Suzanne Stone, Idaho resident and Defenders of Wildlife Senior Representative for Rockies and Plains:
“Killing 60 percent of the wolves across the vast Frank Church Wilderness is a decision based solely on Idaho’s extreme anti-wolf politics and not sound science, nor is it in compliance with the requirements of federal Wilderness Act. Elk and wolves evolved together without human oversight for most of their existence and there is no scientific basis for artificially disturbing this natural process now, especially in a wilderness area."
“Idaho Fish and Game’s plan to kill most of the wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness is a grossly irresponsible wildlife management decision. The Frank Church Wilderness is an area set aside by Congress 'where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.’ This is meant to be a place where wolves can thrive in healthy numbers.”
Sean Gould, Idaho Resident and Hunter:
“When it comes to managing wildlife in areas like the Middle Fork Zone that are protected under the Wilderness Act, the proposed Idaho Department of Fish and Game plan fails to demonstrate restraint and prudence with sportsman dollars. If wildlife officials are willing to go to any length and expense to appease anti-wolf extremists in this wilderness area, how can we trust Idaho Department of Fish and Game management in the rest of the state?”
Judith Ouderkirk, Great Old Broads Broadband Leader, Idaho:
“Killing predators for the benefit of hunters, professional hunting guides ranchers and farmers seriously undermines the whole concept of “wilderness” and demonstrates just how "political" the state’s management of wolves has become. Idaho Department of Fish and Game is not managing wolves as a resource for the future. They are not using the scientific studies on elk and wolves from their own agency to manage the ecosystem. As mothers and grandmothers, we focus on wilderness and wildlife because we believe in their value not only for ourselves but also for our children, grandchildren and future generations. The Frank Church Wilderness was set aside by Congress as wilderness, and as such, there is no excuse that can justify the current persecution of wolves in this wilderness area. The killing of wolves in the Lolo area also cannot be tolerated.”
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 .