Wolf population controls shifted to states, landowners

Wolves in Idaho and Montana will soon be easier to kill, thanks to new regulations requiring them to run more slowly through livestock areas. Ah, we kid. In fact, new federal rules will give landowners in the two states the OK to fire on wolves they reasonably believe are threatening livestock, though they will have to show evidence of a possible attack. The rules, expected to take effect in about a month, are part of an effort to give ranchers and state officials more direct control over the wolves, whose recovering numbers may soon lead to the rescinding of their threatened status under the Endangered Species Act. Officials estimate that under the new regs about 10 percent of the wolf population will be legally taken out by humans each year. Enviros like Nina Fascione of Defenders of Wildlife worry that the changes will have a much bigger impact: “The new rule potentially jeopardizes wolf recovery efforts just as they were beginning to show some success.”