A week into Idaho's first wolf hunt since the species was declared recovered, hunters have shot only three wolves. Wolves in the Lolo and Sawtooth zones were killed on opening morning, Sept. 1, and a second wolf was shot in the northeast Idaho Lolo Zone since then.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game sold almost 14,000 tags as of press time, though fewer than 200 out-of-state tags, which cost $186 each, had been sold. A Fish and Game spokesman theorized that out-of-state hunters will buy wolf tags when they come to hunt elk later in the fall.
Fish and Game has also reserved 100 tags--the first 100 issued--for auction, to help support the wolf management and conservation program.
So Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter, who promised to bid on the first one, may still have a chance to do so when sportsman's groups auction the tags. Otter gubernatorial opponent Rex Rammell criticized the governor for not going out and buying the first tag like he'd promised.
Fish and Game was inundated with press inquiries as the season opened, but the calls quickly faded when it became clear the wolf hunt would not be an overnight slaughter.
Fish and Game has fielded calls from across the country, including one from a woman in Florida interested in using birth control, rather than hunting, to control wolf populations. She asserted in her message that it was not a prank call.
Boise Detox Center under way
The city broke ground on a new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Crisis Center on Sept. 8, as
BWwent to press, a joint project between Boise, Ada County, the state, Eagle and Meridian. It also includes some federal funding. Terry Reilly Health Services will manage the Detox Center, as it is known, once construction is complete.
The facility will provide both substance abuse and mental health treatment, with 20 beds, as well as out-patient care. It is located at 320 N. Allumbaugh St. The building will cost about $2.7 million and operation of the center is estimated at $1.8 million per year.
State Revenues way down
Gov. Otter announced a $173 million shortfall in the state revenues at the beginning of September, meaning state economists fear the 2010 fiscal year, which began July 1, will require adjustments to the current state budget.
The Legislature set the budget assuming a $49.5 million surplus at the end of the fiscal year, but that figure is now projected as a $151.4 million shortfall. The governor could order holdbacks, seek other cost saving methods or use rainy day funds, which were held during the last legislative session in anticipation of further shortfalls.
"We have been here before. We have the experience, the tools and the commitment needed to address this situation while maintaining necessary public services," Otter said in a statement. "We are fortunate to be far better off than most other states, thanks to sound, conservative fiscal management and a strong understanding of government's limited role in people's lives. Our job is not to protect government, but rather to protect the people who pay for government, as well as those who rely on it. These difficult economic times require that we work even more closely together toward those goals."
war in Iraq
U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, 4,341 U.S. service members (including 31 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 3,469 in combat and 872 from non-combat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 31,495. In the last week, one U.S. soldiers died.
Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 112 soldiers have died.
Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense
IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 93,040 and 101,537.
COST OF IRAQ WAR: $907,074,413,508