02:00 PM

Gov. Otter abandons wolf management in Idaho

Defenders continues working toward sustainable wolf populations in the Northern Rockies


  • Idaho Gov. “Butch” Otter announces decision to bar state agencies from wolf management activities
  • Defenders committed to finding lasting solution for wolf recovery
WASHINGTON, DC (10/18/2010) -

Idaho Gov. “Butch” Otter notified the Department of the  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today that Idaho will no longer manage wolves as the designated agent of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

“Gov. Otter’s action today is unnecessarily and irresponsibly escalating tensions over wolf management at a time when we are trying to bring level heads together to find a lasting solution. Refusing to allow state agencies to participate in wolf management or to investigate, or enforce against, illegal killings of wolves is political showmanship, not the statesmanship that one expects from a governor. Gov. Otter’s move will only delay attempts to move past the polarizing rhetoric to meet the needs of Idaho’s citizens.  

“Regardless, Defenders remains committed to finding a path forward that’s based on the best available science. We firmly believe that, with proper safeguards in place, wolves can once again be managed by the states.”


The announcement comes on the heels of an ultimatum made by Gov. Otter last month to pressure Secretary Salazar to allow Idaho to manage wolves on its own terms. According to Otter’s letter to Salazar, “…Idaho Department of Fish and Game will not perform statewide monitoring for wolves, conduct investigations into illegal killings, provide state law enforcement in response to illegal takings or implement the livestock depredation response program.”


Learn more about Defenders' wolf recovery efforts in the Northern Rockies

Read about Gov. Otter’s ultimatum in the Idaho Statesman

Read Gov. Otter’s letter to Secretary Salazar


John Motsinger, 202-772-0288