February 6, 2023

My How The Stories Change

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It amazes me as it should readers, how “facts” change from story to story. It’s also important to remind readers that not everything you read is 100% accurate. It reminds me of the childhood game called telephone. A line of kids and one kid on the end whispers into the ear of another something. It gets passed on from kid to kid until finally the last one has to repeat what they heard. My how the story changes.

I got giggling this morning because on Friday I told you about Idaho Governor Butch Otter addressing hunters outside the capital saying he would involve hunters in the wolf management program if and when the gray wolf is de-listed from endangered species protection.

In one article I read that day, they said the state of Idaho had:

The Idaho Office of Species Conservation estimates the state’s current wolf population at about 650, in roughly 60 packs.

The same article stated that it was Otter’s intention to reduce the number of packs to 10. That same day, the Idaho Mountain Express stated that there are more than 60 packs of wolves in Idaho.

There are now an estimated 650 wolves in 70 verified packs throughout Idaho, and more than 1,200 in the region, which includes Wyoming and Montana.

According to the Idaho Wolf Management Plan, it calls for a minimum of 15 packs.

The state wolf plan requires that a minimum of 15 packs of wolves be maintained in Idaho. In December 2005, Idaho had at least 36 verified breeding pairs and 61 packs well distributed across the state.

I have also read in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service information that they had agreed with the wolf management plan and that 15 packs minimum was an acceptable number.

Today, Elizabeth Shogren of NPR (National Public Radio) seems to get her information from two sources – Idaho Mountain Express and KTVB TV in Idaho, mixing the two together to achieve a better story.

And he (Otter) advocates using hunting to cut the number of wolf packs in the state from 70 to 10.

What begins as a verified 60 wolf packs, 61 according to the state, has now grown to 70. What is written in the Idaho Wolf Management Plan and accepted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a minimum number of wolf packs to maintain, has shrunk from 15 to 10. By this time next week, the prospering wolves will be up to 80 confirmed packs and Governor Otter will be wanting to explain to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service how he intends on re-introducing the wolf to Idaho because he has successfully eradicated the state of wolves.

Tom Remington