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Otter, Wolves ... Running

Governor declares, Fish and Game sets seasons

Wolf Hunt is On

Tags for Idaho's first official wolf hunt go on sale this week with hunters allowed to take up to 220 animals across the state this fall and winter.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission set take limits for the hunt at its Aug. 18 meeting in Idaho Falls. Tags go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24, at all state license vendors.

Resident tags cost $11.75, while out-of-state hunters will pay $186.

Just minutes after Fish and Game made the announcement, Defenders of Wildlife issued its own press release promising that it would join other groups to file an emergency motion to have the hunt suspended and wolves returned to federal protection.

According to Idaho Fish and Game, the state is now home to at least 1,000 wolves, with an estimated population increase of 20 percent per year if hunting is not allowed.

Hunting limits were set in 12 wolf management zones within the state, and officials stated that when limits in each area are met, the season will close. Take limits will be adjusted each year depending on population and circumstances.

The Boise area is in the South Idaho Zone, which reaches from the Oregon border to the Wyoming state line. A total of five wolves may be taken from the South Idaho Zone. All wolf kills must be reported to Fish and Game within 24 hours.

According to commission policy, the population will eventually be managed to 2005 levels of roughly 520 wolves, which is more than required by Fish and Game to keep them off the Endangered Species List.


Deanna Darr

Otter Intends to Run Again

Idaho Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter told Pocatello NBC affiliate KPVI News 6 that he "intends" to run again and that he'll make the announcement on his own time. It's the first almost-solidly affirmative response the cagey governor has given to that question.

Otter has several opponents in the GOP primary, including Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman, large animal veterinarian Rex Rammell, who is already calling himself Idaho's 33rd governor, anti-abortionist Pro-Life and comedian Pete Peterson. Former state legislator Jana Kemp is running as an independent and Lee Chaney intends to run as a Democrat, though the Idaho Democratic Party is seeking another candidate.

Boise Bike Recommendations Released

Boise has released preliminary recommendations for improving bike safety in town, including accelerating some of the Ada County Highway District's future plans for cyclists, implementing a local 3-feet-to-pass law and passing complementary cyclist harassment and dumb-cyclist ordinances.

The committee, which included city, police, ACHD and Idaho Transportation Department reps, formed in late June. A large citizen committee, including bike people, reviewed the detailed report. Two public forums are planned to review the 24 recommendations.

The forums are scheduled for: Tuesday, Aug. 25, 6-8 p.m. at Boise City Hall Council Chambers and Thursday, Aug. 27, 6 -8 p.m., at City Hall West's Sawtooth Room.

--Nathaniel Hoffman

war in Iraq

U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, 4,335 U.S. service members (including 31 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 3,465 in combat and 870 from non-combat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 31,469. In the last week, no U.S. soldiers died.

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 106 soldiers have died.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 92,841-101,326.


COST OF WARS SINCE 2001: $899,398,417,478