FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 21, 2012
Group outraged at Idaho SB 1305—Using “Live-Bait” to kill Grey Wolves
BOISE–Friends of the Clearwater traveled to the state capitol yesterday and attended the Senate Resources and Environment Committee hearing for Senate Bill 1305. More wolves will die if sheep grower and Idaho State Senator Jeff Siddoway’s bill is approved. According to Siddoway, as quoted in the Idaho Statesman, “You can basically go after them [wolves] by any means possible. And when I say get ’em, I mean kill ’em.” Over 280 wolves have been shot, trapped or snared in Idaho since the state’s wolf hunt commenced in August 2011.
The bill would allow ranchers to use ultralight aircraft for tracking and killing wolves, as well as the use of “live-bait” to lure in wolves. Although Siddoway claimed that it was not his intent, the broad language in the bill does not require a livestock owner with a kill-permit to protect the “live-bait”, nor does it outline what the “live-bait” could be. “Some might use dogs as bait,” Siddoway exclaimed.
Wolves are a rare and imperiled species in the lower 48, regardless of federal delisting by Congress and President Obama in a 2011 budget rider. “Despite anti-wolf rhetoric and deliberate distortion of the facts, wolves and other top predators strengthen elk and deer herds and allow damaged riparian systems to recover,” Education & Outreach Director Brett Haverstick explained. “Protections are already in place for livestock owners experiencing depredation problems. No one wants to talk about the fact that less than 1% of livestock depredation in the Northern Rockies is due to wolves though. Nor the fact that domestic sheep herds are wiping out wild bighorn sheep. This bill is also cruel and barbaric.”
According to the Environmental Working Group, the Siddoway Sheep Company received over $900,000.00 in wool and sheep meat subsidies between 1995-2010. Siddoway is an Idaho landowner who grazes his livestock on public lands and holds public grazing permits. He is a past president of the Idaho Woolgrowers, a former Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner, and a current state senator. “Siddoway is no friend to wildlife or public lands,” concluded Haverstick.