Butch Otter’s Wolf Mistake

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Butch Otter’s Wolf Mistake

Leave it to Butch Otter to actually follow through on what should have been an empty threat. Today, Butch Otter decided to end Idaho’s role in wolf management. For the time being, at least. Unless it’s a purely political move, the directive is completely baffling, no matter which side of the debate you’re on.

Even the most vehement anti-wolf partisan needs to ask some serious questions: Now that Idaho is officially not dealing with the wolf problem, what leverage does it have in negotiating terms of future wolf management? What do Idaho ranchers do while the state officially ignores legitimate management needs? Wait for the federal agents to help? Will federal enforcement be less restrictive than the state’s?

Instead, the decision appears to be a cynical political move two weeks before an election. On twitter, at least, the official state announcement and the official Otter campaign announcement appeared to be simultaneous.

This isn’t leadership. It does nothing to resolve the impasse. And it will simply muddle the issue for the foreseeable future. Is this an appeal to the base? A need to close an “enthusiasm gap”? Or is it that the unthinking anti-federal-government vote must be bigger than we thought.


By |2011-12-22T10:45:18+00:00October 18th, 2010|blog, Wildlife|4 Comments


  1. Carson Potter October 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Really? I thought this was a great decision. People that think it is not, just do not know how much wolves actually effect elk, deer, and moose populations. And I believe that people have a right to protect thier cattle sheep etc. the same way they did a century ago. If wolves begin to kill cattle and livestock, they die. If people would like to continue to see wolves in the wild, then they need to understand that the States can manage their own wolf populations. By not allowing them to do so, how can anyone expect them to manage deer and elk populations anymore? Honestly I’m thrilled to hear that someone finally has the backbone to step up to the Federal Government and say that they have had enough. Enough broken promises, enough lies.

  2. Terry J. Harris October 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the comment. I guess we just fail to see how Otter’s decision to kick wolf management back to the federal government advances Idaho’s ability to manage its own wildlife populations. Otter seems to be going in exactly the opposite direction as you’d want him to be going.

  3. […] the best opportunity to reverse his pre-election decision to no longer manage wolves in Idaho. Otter’s nonsensical decision, issued in the heat of his re-election campaign, is almost certain to be reversed. But the question […]

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