A 10-member committee of varied interests will develop a wolf re-introduction and management plan for Idaho and Yellowstone National Park, Sen. James McClure says.
A House-Senate committee agreed late Friday on creation of the "wolf management committee" within 30 days after McClure's wolf re-introduction legislation is enacted.The Idaho Republican proposes placing a total of three breeding pairs of wolves in recovery zones in the central Idaho wilderness and Yellowstone. If any wolves strayed from those zones, those animals would lose their status on the Endangered Species list and would fall under the management of state game officers.
The panel would have until May 15, 1991, to submit its plan and a recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior.
The committee will consist of: one representative from the fish and game departments from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming; one from the National Park Service; one from the Forest Service; one U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service person; two from conservation groups; and two from the livestock-sportsmen community.
"Each of these groups has an interest and a role to play in the debate over the wolf," McClure said Friday.
The retiring senator anticipates the committee would determine which agency is best suited to manage the wolves within and around the core recovery areas. He predicts other topics would include what constitutes unacceptable predation rates on big game herds, and at what point in the process "delisting" of the wolf can take place.
Once the committee makes its recommendations, Congress will evaluate the plan and either approve or reject it. If it is accepted, legislation would be drafted to protect the agreement before the wolves would be brought in.