Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Follow science to manage wolves


In the ongoing politically driven undermining of Idaho's wolf population, I feel for those employees of Idaho Fish and Game who began their careers with the hopes of applying science to responsible wildlife management.

Being commanded by the state government to stop all monitoring of wolves and then being told to not cooperate with their federal counterparts could not have been pleasant. Now political forces in Idaho are demanding that wolves be managed at unsustainably low numbers, and they've initiated a slaughter to realize that goal. This must seem incomprehensible to concerned individuals with scientific backgrounds.

Years ago, I showed comments that Butch Otter had made in an anti-wolf publication to a young Fish and Game biologist. When asked how she could expect a fair, balanced approach to wolf management in a state where the governor used such rhetoric, she had no answer. I remember her troubled look.

It's criminal that Fish and Game employees are forced to choose between what they know to be true and the stability of their careers. I have no advice for them other than "be true to yourself." To those seeking a career using science to manage wildlife, I might suggest looking somewhere other than Idaho Fish and Game.

Rick Hobson

Boise




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