Do Wolves Need To Be Reinstated On The Endangered Species List?
The Gray Wolf has been a very controversial subject in Idaho for the past few years. In 1995, thirty-one wolves were brought to Idaho from Canada as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Rocky Mountain wolf recovery plan in order to prevent the extinction of Idaho wolves. Now ranchers and farmers claim that the increased wolf populations have been contributing to significant cattle losses that hurt their business, but environmental groups claim that the Gray Wolf still needs to be protected by the Endangered Species List to prevent over-hunting.
We examined both sides of the issue and gathered hard data in order to fully analyze what kind of impact the Gray wolf has had in our region as well as the current population status of the species. Our research found that the original population objectives set for the wolf reintroduction program were met back in 2002 and have been exceeded greatly. In addition to this, the current population growth rate of Idaho’s wolves is nearly equal to the hunting rate witnessed in previous years. Finally, the economic impact of allowing controlled hunts is very beneficial to Idaho’s economy. All these factors lead us to believe that there is very little reason to re-enlist wolves to the Endangered Species List.