BLM Sifting Through Thousands of Comments Before Deciding Fate of Wolf-Kill Derby

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A controversial wolf-killing "derby," held in December 2013, which didn't kill any wolves but saw 21 coyotes killed near Salmon, prompted organizers to seek a five-year permit to keep holding the predator-killing contest.

You may remember that the derby attracted quite a bit of international attention:

"Wolf and Coyote Derby Turns Small Idaho Town Into a Battleground," wrote Guardian Liberty Voice.

"Two-Day Holiday Killing 'Derby' in Idaho Targets Wolves and Coyotes," wrote the Huffington Post.

The derby was unsuccessfully challenged in federal court, and one of the organizers of the hunting contest claimed that a hunter's tire had been slashed. But in the end, no wolves were killed in the two-day event.

And now, KIDK-TV is reporting that the Bureau of Land Management is sifting through more than 38,000 public comments regarding the special permit request for future derbies. BLM officials have indicated that they should decide the fate of the derby in early November. 

"A lot of the comments we're receiving, it's an emotional issue," BLM spokeswoman Sarah Wheeler told KIDK-TV. "They're saying, 'How can you allow these animals to be killed,' and I think people need to step back and realize we are a land management agency, so we're not looking at the actual action. What we're looking at is, is it going to impact the environment."