News and Commentary
Voice of Idaho Agriculture
Wolf recovery in the Northern Rocky Mountains is one of the greatest success stories in the history of the Endangered Species Act – that is unless you live here. In a period of time spanning less than 20 years, our federal government led by then Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt and President Bill Clinton, transplanted, recovered, and recently pulled nearly a million dollars in funding for wolf management activities.
In their wake, Idaho residents get to pick up the tab for damages caused by a growing population of the most cunning predators in the forest.
We’re betting Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter would like to deliver a bill and a solid boot to the rear ends of those responsible for this federal government “gift” that has manifested itself into an unfunded mandate. However, being the pragmatic leader he is, Gov. Otter formed a task force made up of state wildlife managers, livestock operators and sportsmen’s representatives to find a solution. Later this winter our state legislators will have the dubious pleasure of deliberating over a bill that will generate money from both state and private sources to fill in the void left for us by federal officials who think they know what’s best for Idaho.
The recent government shutdown has demonstrated an astonishing lack of understanding of basic economic principles by the media and the general public. The old adage is apparently still true, if you repeat a lie enough times most people will believe it.
To illustrate: If a business or a family spent far more money than it earned annually, borrowed heavily on credit cards each year to make up the short-fall and maxed out their cards, in what universe would anyone think that it would remedy the situation to seek additional credit cards? That is exactly what the federal government has done.
Businesses or families in that self-inflicted situation would have to make some tough choices to avoid bankruptcy. It would not be painless. Spending would have to be slashed so expenses did not exceed income, assets would be sold off and every dime of available money used to pay down their debt to return to solvency.
According to one of the nation’s leading natural food retailers, consumers have a right to know what’s in their food and labeling of genetically altered food is good public policy.
Citing the potential for recreational conflicts with sheep, the Ketchum Ranger District is making plans to cut more grazing on the Sawtooth National Forest.
An unknown number of unfortunate Idaho farm and ranch families are about to learn the meaning of the phrase “Step back and let the big dogs eat.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual wolf population report released in mid-April, shows “at least” 321 confirmed packs and 1,674 individuals in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The 2008 Farm Bill was recently extended until September 2013. In spite of urging Congress to act on this important legislation last year, they kicked the can down the road, which is becoming an all too regular occurrence in our nation’s capital.
Idaho Farm Bureau’s position on new legislation currently under consideration by the Idaho Legislature that would strengthen the voter initiative process is being misunderstood and misrepresented by the media.