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Wolf management efforts in Idaho focus on more targeted areas

A female gray wolf walks towards the right of the frame, followed by two small pups. Evergreen trees fill the background behind them.
U.S. Forest Service
This June 29, 2017, file remote camera image released by the U.S. Forest Service shows a female gray wolf and two of the three pups born this year in the wilds of Lassen National Forest in Northern California.

The Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board says its new approach to culling wolves is more targeted to areas with high risk to livestock and wildlife.

Last year, Senate Bill 1211 became law in Idaho, allowing hunters and private contractors to kill up to 90% of wolves in the state. It also increased how much the Board can spend on exterminating wolves causing problems to animals like sheep, deer and elk.

Director of the Board, Ed Shriever, says they have geographically focused their efforts.

"There's fewer wolves being harvested in places where we're not having conflict and more wolves being harvested where we are having conflict, " he said. "We hope that that is a reduction in the wolf density and will result in a reduction of wolf-livestock conflict."

But Shriever says the plan hasn’t increased the number of wolves killed by state agencies.

The areas targeted this year include the region above the Snake River plain from Cambridge to Idaho Falls.

Since last summer, twelve wolves were collared as part of a new program to respond to livestock killings. Of those, six were removed.

The wolf population in Idaho fluctuates between 900 and 1600 animals.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.