STATE GOVERNMENT AND STATE AFFAIRS
PROTECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
67-5805. legislative findings and intent. (1) Section 1, article I, of the constitution of the state of Idaho provides: "All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property; pursuing happiness and securing safety." It is the duty and right of the legislature and the governor to protect the state, its citizens and property. Section 36-103(a), Idaho Code, provides: "All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho." The state of Idaho therefore has the responsibility to manage the big game animals of the state.
(2) The Idaho legislature finds and declares that the state’s citizens, businesses, hunting, tourism and agricultural industries, private property and wildlife, are immediately and continuously threatened and harmed by the sustained presence and growing population of Canadian gray wolves in the state of Idaho. The Idaho legislature, therefore, finds the population of gray wolves in Idaho, having been introduced into the state in 1995, over the united objection of the Idaho congressional delegation, Idaho legislature, Idaho governor, Idaho counties and numerous Idaho agricultural groups who were gravely concerned with the negative effects this action would impose on Idaho and Idahoans, is now many times exceeding the target number originally set by the federal government and the number set in Idaho’s federally approved 2002 wolf management plan. The U.S. fish and wildlife service (USFWS) has delisted the gray wolf in Idaho in 2008 and 2009 returning management to the state, only to be sued both times by environmental groups forcing the wolf to be relisted as endangered. As a result of all the above, the legislature finds that public safety has been compromised, economic activity has been disrupted and private and public property continue to be imperiled. The uncontrolled proliferation of imported wolves on private land has produced a clear and present danger to humans, their pets and livestock, and has altered and hindered historical uses of private and public land, dramatically inhibiting previously safe activities such as walking, picnicking, biking, berry picking, hunting and fishing. The continued uncontrolled presence of gray wolves represents an unfunded mandate, a federal commandeering of both state and private citizen resources and a government taking that makes private property unusable for the quiet enjoyment of property owners. An emergency existing therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to regulate the presence of Canadian gray wolves in Idaho in order to safeguard the public, wildlife, economy and private property against additional devastation to Idaho’s social culture, economy and natural resources, and to preserve the ability to benefit from private and public property within the state and experience the quiet enjoyment of such property.
[67-5805, added 2011, ch. 334, sec. 1, p. 976.]