Letters From the West

Fish and Game Commissioner says he wishes Idaho had no wolves

Brad Corkill, owner of Whiteman Lumber Co. in Cataldo testies before the Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee.

Brad Corkill, owner of Whiteman Lumber Co. in Cataldo testifies before the Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee in his confirmation hearing for Fish and Game Commission.

Two business men got a light questioning by the Senate Resources and Environment during their confirmation hearing Wednesday for the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

That’s a stark contrast to the grilling that Buhl fitness center owner Joan Hurlock got in 2012 because she didn’t hate wolves and didn’t hunt enough to meet the senators’ high bar.

Brad Corkill, owner of Whiteman Lumber Co. in Cataldo and Mark Doerr of Kimberly, owner of Precision Aviation Inc. in Twin Falls both said they were avid hunters. And Corkill addressed the wolf issue frankly.

“If every wolf in Idaho disappeared I wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Corkill said.

Sen. Michelle Stennett asked whether his position was philosophically in conflict with the department’s mission to manage wolves as a trophy species.

Corkill said his personal preference would not get in his way of ensuring a viable wolf population of at least 150 animals was maintained.

Doerr said it was in the state’s interest to ensure that all endangered species’ populations remain high enough to prevent listing. He said we should manage wolves with hunting ans trapping.

“As far as wolves they’re here to stay,” Doerr said.

The committee is expected to vote next week on their confirmation.

“Being on the Fish and Game Commission was on my bucket list,” Corkill said.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West