BOISE, Idaho – Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said talks over lifting federal protections from Northern Rockies gray wolves stalled last Monday on several points, in particular a mandate for Idaho to maintain 500 to 700 of the predators.
Idaho’s management plan now calls for only 15 breeding pairs.
Otter says that inconsistency was one of several provisions that left him unwilling to support the proposal being crafted by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Idaho, Wyoming and Montana governors.
He was also concerned the emerging plan could have afforded wolves even stricter Endangered Species Act protections in the event of a relisting than have covered the animals since their 1990s reintroduction.
Otter believes Montana’s two Democratic U.S. senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, would be key if any delisting push is to be revived in Congress this year.
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