“RMEF strongly supports wolf management in the form of hunting and trapping, especially in undermanaged predator populations that have a significant impact on elk and other wildlife,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “This grant allows Idaho wildlife managers greater flexibility in managing wolf populations.”
“The Foundation for Wildlife Management is honored to partner with RMEF in support of elk and other wildlife recovery in areas negatively impacted by wolf predation,” said Justin Webb, F4WM mission advancement director. “RMEF's generous contribution will enable F4WM to provide enhanced support to trappers and hunters in areas where elk populations have been most heavily impacted by wolves. Through partnerships with RMEF, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, our members and supporters, F4WM will continue to promote elk and other big game recovery through the most efficient methods of predator management available.”
The funding is specifically directed toward the trapping of wolves in Idaho which is supported by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). F4WM provides support for trappers who work to address problem population areas as identified by IDFG.
IDFG reported a minimum of 770 wolves in Idaho at the end of 2014. That estimate is more than 600 percent above original agreed upon minimum recovery goals. Biologists documented 104 wolf packs in the state along with 23 packs in Montana, Wyoming and Washington that also roam into Idaho.
The growing wolf population coupled with habitat decline due to a lack of forest management, wildfires, noxious weeds and other factors has taken a tremendous toll on Idaho’s elk population. Eight of Idaho’s 22 elk hunting zones are below bull population objectives while six are below cow population objectives. The Lolo zone’s elk population peaked at 16,000 elk in 1989 but is now less than 1,000.
RMEF is committed to supporting wolf management and has done so by funding specific grants as well as elk survival and recruitment research related to wolves and other predators. In Idaho alone, RMEF directed $121,000 toward a series of studies dating back to 1999 and $100,000 specifically for wolf management and monitoring in Idaho.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 220,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.7 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.