For the price of a tank of gas, Idaho hunters may soon be able to kill a wolf legally. Idaho plans to charge 26 dollars and 50 cents per tag for residents who want to bag one of the predators in a public hunt - once federal Endangered Species Act protections are lifted. The cost would be 256 dollars for out-of-state hunters. The commission approved the plan Thursday at a special meeting on a package of changes that now must be approved by the Legislature.
Wolves were reintroduced to the northern Rocky Mountains a decade ago after being hunted to near-extinction. More than 1,200 now live in the region, including about 650 in Idaho. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced plans to begin delisting the animals from federal protections in Idaho and Montana as soon as this month. Public wolf hunting is allowed in Alaska, but is outlawed in the lower 48 states.