As a guest writer, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter says it is time for the government to declare its victory in reestablishing the gray wolf and move on.

Whether the standard is biological, social or political, it is time to remove the gray wolf from federal protection in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

The federal government has stated repeatedly over the past decade that 300 wolves in the region would be a recovered, viable population. Today we have a wolf population more than four times that size. There is no reason to delay delisting. The government should declare victory and move on.

The Governor declared Idaho’s track record of being good stewards of the game and wildlife it has and vowed to do the same with the wolf. He said this will be done by the Fish and Game Department’s implementation of the Wolf Management Plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by its “handpicked wolf experts.”

Four factors will assure the wolf’s protection.

1) The sheer number of wolves in the state – we have 72 confirmed packs; 2) Idaho’s rugged landscape; 3) Idaho’s determination to maintain its sovereignty and keep wolves from returning to the endangered species list; 4) The public policy of the state of Idaho to manage gray wolves at recovery levels that will ensure a self-sustaining population.

Tom Remington