For Immediate Release, May 3, 2021

Contact:

Andrea Zaccardi, (303) 854-7748, azaccardi@biologicaldiversity.org

Federal Officials Urged to End Idaho’s Wildlife Management Funding in Response to Extreme Wolf-Killing Legislation

Idaho Risks Losing $18 Million in Annual Federal Funds

BOISE, Idaho— In response to legislation recently approved by Idaho lawmakers that could lead to the slaughter of up to 90% of the state’s wolves, the Center for Biological Diversity today asked the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to disqualify Idaho from receiving federal funding under the Pittman-Robertson Act.

“We won’t stand idly by while federal taxpayers are forced to fund Idaho’s wolf-slaughter program,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center. “Idaho is entrusted with protecting its wildlife for all Americans, and its failure to do so should be met with serious repercussions, including the loss of federal funding.”

Under the Pittman-Robertson Act, a state may receive federal funding to support critical conservation and outdoor recreation projects but may be deemed ineligible if it passes legislation contrary to the Act. The purpose of the Act is to ensure sound conservation policies for the benefit of a diverse array of wildlife.

In 2020 Idaho received more than $18 million in wildlife management funding authorized by the Act; it has received more than $75 million combined over the past five years.

Idaho’s Senate Bill 1211 aims to kill up to 1,300 wolves — 90% of the state’s wolf population. It will permit hunters and trappers to kill wolves in unlimited numbers using a variety of cruel methods, which may include poisoning the animals, gassing them in their dens, or running them over with all-terrain vehicles or snowmobiles. Idaho will also use taxpayer dollars to hire private contractors to kill wolves across the state.

The Idaho House of Representatives approved the bill April 27 with a 58-11 vote. Gov. Brad Little must now decide whether to sign the bill into law or veto it.

Notably, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game does not support this bill, which usurps its management authority over wolves.

“Idaho’s wolf bill is completely contrary of the purposes of the Pittman-Robertson Act, which aims to conserve wildlife,” said Zaccardi. “If Gov. Little signs off on this wolf-extermination program, the federal government should disqualify Idaho from receiving any future wildlife management funds. I urge Gov. Little to immediately veto this horrific bill.”

GrayWolf_USFWS_FPWC_2_HIGHRES-hpr.jpg
Gray wolf (Canis lupus). Photo courtesy of Gary Kramer, USFWS. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.