Letters From the West

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation give Idaho money to manage wolves

A wolf in Montana. (Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)

A wolf in Montana. (Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation gave the Idaho Department of Fish and Game a $50,000 grant from to assist with its wolf management plan.

The funds will expand the radio collar program to help managers gain a better understanding of pack and territory size, home range, and other biological traits and actions of the wolf in order to better implement effective management techniques.

“To properly and effectively carry out science-based management practices, it is critical that state agencies recognize and understand predator-prey relationships and wolf populations,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
“This grant will help IDFG gain a more thorough knowledge of wolves and wolf behavior so it can better implement its approved predator management plan.”

Brad Compton, IDFG assistant chief of wildlife, said the grant is particularly important because it comes at a time when federal funding is being incrementally eliminated and it allows the state to continue to maintain our active wolf monitoring and management program.”

“Idaho’s program is designed to reduce conflict, including addressing unacceptable levels of predation on elk populations.” Compton said.

Since 1989, the foundation invested nearly $664,000 in research grants to advance scientific understanding of wolves, wolf interactions with other species, and overall wolf management. The total includes more than $200,000 in science grants in just the past five years, including grants this year to Montana and Wyoming.

“A key part of RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk and other wildlife,” said Allen. “This grant helps Idaho managers do that by helping them determine how many wolves are out there, where they travel and what effect they have on elk, deer and other ungulates.”

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