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Idaho Resort Town Says Killing Wolves Is Bad For Its Bottom Line

The city of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to consider  alternatives to killing wolf populations.
The city of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to consider alternatives to killing wolf populations.

The resort town of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to back off on killing wolves. They say it’s bad for business.

The city of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to consider  alternatives to killing wolf populations.
Credit visitsunvalley.com
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The city of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to consider alternatives to killing wolf populations.

The Ketchum City Council passed a resolution Monday night urging wildlife managers to use non-lethal tactics to control the wolf population.

Tourists like wolves -- or at least they like the opportunity to catch a glimpse of them. That’s the message from the Ketchum City Council. Councilors take issue with a new state Wolf Depredation Control Board in Idaho. It’s been given a $500,000 budget to kill wolves that clash with ranchers and sportsmen -- because wolves eat cattle and sheep, as well as deer and elk.

But Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas wants the governor to keep those efforts out of her county.

“The initial attraction and the real core of our community is the value and the quality and the quantity of our outdoor experience,” she said.

Jonas said there’s also an image issue. Some pro-wolf groups have organized boycotts of Idaho.

Ketchum is asking the state to collaborate on a project that helps ranchers use alternative measures against wolves like strobe lights, electric fences and guard dogs.

A spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter said decisions about how to manage wildlife are up to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson reported for four years from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as the network's Inland Northwest Correspondent. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covered the economic, demographic and environmental trends that have shaped places east of the Cascades. Jessica left the Northwest News Network in 2015 for a move to Norway.