Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dear Gov. Otter

Can you be more proactive in taking decisive action to control the unprecedented wildlife disaster being caused by the non-native Canadian gray wolf? In your election campaign you received a lot of positive public support with your comment that you wanted to obtain the first license to shoot a wolf. Now it's time for you to follow through with this commitment.

Your indecisiveness is allowing depredation of our deer and elk herds at an alarming rate. Ten years ago these non-native Canadian gray wolves were introduced into our fairly balanced ecosystem. They have no natural predators and have reproduced at alarming rates. These larger non-native Canadian gray wolves are rapidly depredating our deer and elk herds.

As a native Idahoan and avid outdoorsman, I've witnessed first-hand the gruesome agonizing eating alive of elk by these killers. I can't imagine a more hideous way to die. Besides causing dramatic reductions in our wildlife population, they are forcing changes in migratory patterns, which will eventually lead to the total extinction of our most prized wildlife species, the rocky mountain elk.

They run in packs and often kill for sport leaving carcasses strewn throughout. Wolves' main prey includes the young and defenseless. First, they go for calves, then mothers, and then the rest of the adults. Idaho's calf-cow elk counts should be at or above 30 per hundred to sustain the species. In many areas in Idaho, calf-cow counts have plummeted below five per hundred.

The Canadian gray wolf is causing a wildlife disaster of epidemic proportions, by far the worst in our state's history. Idaho citizens are counting on you to follow through with your promise to do something, and our patience is waning. An anti-wolf ballot initiative is currently being circulated throughout the state. The goal is to obtain 100,000 signatures. The vast majority of Idahoans favor this initiative, which calls for the removal of all wolves introduced from Canada.

It further directs all state agencies to discontinue all wolf recovery efforts and repeals all authority for them to continue such efforts. It further classifies these Canadian wolves as predators along with coyotes, weasels and skunks. The success of this ballot initiative would allow the initiative on next year's ballot. Citizens of Idaho will decide whether this non-native Canadian gray wolf should stay or go. I am sorry to say we, the citizens, are losing confidence in our governor's office, in our state Legislature and our U.S. representatives to address this wildlife disaster.

We are questioning your commitment to be good stewards of our wildlife and to protect our wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

Tony Mayer

Twin Falls

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