26 Feb 2009, 12:33am
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Report estimates revenue loss from Idaho wolves

Idaho Statesman, 02/20/09 [here]

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho could be losing as much as $24 million annually in hunting-related revenue due to wolves killing deer and elk, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says.

The report relies heavily on a 1994 environmental impact statement related to the introduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, and then extrapolates those numbers.

“This is a projection,” said Lance Hebdon, intergovernmental policy coordinator with Fish and Game. “Is it realistic to think we would have more elk hunters if we had more elk in some units? I think that is a reasonable assumption.”

The report released earlier this week was requested by Sen. Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow, who earlier this month sponsored a bill - approved 31-1 in the Senate - to give the state’s wolves to the rest of the country.

“I think this at least gives us some data with some science behind it,” Schroeder, chairman of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee, told the Lewiston Tribune about the report. “The question is, as wolf numbers increase, are we going to have to curtail hunting opportunities? Overall, I like seeing economic activity, because it drives tax revenue. Anytime I see something that drives business away, that’s important to me.” … [more]



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