"BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law a measure that could lead to killing 90% of the state’s 1,500 wolves in a move that was backed by hunters and the state’s powerful ranching sector but heavily criticized by environmental advocates.
The Republican governor’s office posted Thursday that he signed the bill Wednesday. It had passed the Senate and House with enough votes to overcome a veto. Lawmakers who sponsored the measure said they want the state’s wolf population reduced to the allowed minimum of 150 to reduce attacks on livestock and to boost deer and elk herds.
The primary change allows the state to hire private contractors to kill wolves and provides more money for state officials to hire the contractors.
The law also expands the way wolves can be hunted and killed. Those methods include hunting, trapping and snaring an unlimited number of wolves on a single hunting tag, using night-vision equipment, chasing down wolves on snowmobiles and ATVs and shooting them from helicopters. Also under the new law, newborn pups can be killed if they are found on private land."