BOISE, IDAHO | By KEITH RIDLER (AP) — The Idaho House on Tuesday approved legislation allowing the state to hire private contractors and expand methods to kill wolves roaming Idaho — a measure that could cut the wolf population by 90%.
Lawmakers voted 58-11 to send the agriculture industry-backed bill to Republican Gov. Brad Little.
Environmental groups immediately called on Little to veto the measure. Backers say changes to Idaho law could help cut the wolf population from about 1,500 to 150. Backers say there are too many wolves and they are attacking cattle, sheep and wildlife. Opponents say the legislation threatens a 2002 wolf management plan involving the federal government that could ultimately lead to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service taking back control of managing the state’s wolves.