Lawmakers: $2 million aimed to kill more than 500 wolves

Lawmakers: $2 million aimed to kill more than 500 wolves
This Sept. 1, 2009 file photo provided by Robert Millage shows his rifle with a wolf he shot on the first day of wolf hunting season along the Lochsa River in Northern Idaho. A temporary court order in Oregon has barred wildlife authorities from killing wolves that attack livestock for the past year. While Oregon has seen wolf attacks on livestock remain static while wolf numbers has risen to 46, Idaho last year saw the numbers of livestock attacks rise dramatically as hunters and wildlife agents killed 422 wolves. Wolf advocates hope tha ccidental experiment will lead other states to reconsider lethal controls as wolves spread through the West. (AP Photo/Robert Millage)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Republicans promoting Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's proposed $2 million fund to kill wolves say they hope the cash helps reduce Idaho's population of the canine predators by more than 500 animals, to just 150 wolves in 15 packs.

Rep. Marc Gibbs of Grace and Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson on Monday told the House Resources and Conservation Committee money set aside with Otter's proposal will bolster Idaho's predator arsenal.

Idaho now has about 680 wolves, according to Department of Fish and Game estimates.

Brackett says the priority is to keep wolves delisted, even with these proposed killings.

He said provided Idaho still has 150 wolves - the minimum required in a 2002 plan approved by the Idaho Legislature - "we'll have a defensible line of defense" against renewed federal protections.