Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter feels so bad about an Oregon gray wolf killed in Idaho that he has offered to repay his neighbors 150-fold.
In a tongue-in-cheek letter this week to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, Mr. Otter “apologized” for the loss of the wolf and said he would happily replace it with 150 wolves from Idaho, just to make things right.
“In an effort to be a good neighbor and help Oregon maintain and increase its wolf population for the preservation of the species in your state, I am offering to send you 150 wolves from Idaho,” said Mr. Otter, a Republican. “Idaho has more than a sufficient number, in fact many more than the federal government originally required we have, and can spare a few.”
Mr. Kitzhaber, a Democrat, hasn’t taken him up on his offer. Asked whether the Oregon governor had a response, spokesman Tim Raphael said, “No, we don’t.”
Mr. Otter’s offer was facetious, but the episode does highlight the lingering tension and resentment 17 years after the reintroduction the Canadian gray wolf in a program that has the support of the Obama administration but remains a challenge at best and a headache at worst for Western lawmakers and officials.
The Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced wolves into Idaho, Montana and Wyoming in 1995, but the animals have since spread to Oregon, Washington and, in the case of at least one wolf, California. Where wolves go, livestock killings are sure to follow, as well as thinning elk herds, environmental lawsuits and fights over land-use management plans.
Read more via: The Washington Times