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Environment and Planning

BLM Reverses Decision To Permit Wolf And Coyote Hunting Derby

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Gray wolf

Federal land managers are rescinding a permit that would have allowed a competition to hunt wolves and coyotes in Idaho.

The head of the Bureau of Land Management district office in Idaho Falls said changes to participant fees and competition prizes indicated the details of the derby still hadn’t been ironed out.

It’s a reversal of his decision this month to issue a five-year permit that would have allowed the predator derby on 3.1 million acres of public land. In a pair of lawsuits, environmentalists argued neither the BLM nor the Forest Service had adequately considered the ecological impact of a competition to hunt coyotes and wolves.

The BLM’s decision doesn’t prevent the derby from being held on private land -- as it was last winter. The organizer, Idaho for Wildlife, said the derby is intended to be an educational event for youth hunters.

The event has attracted international attention online. During a 15-day period this fall the BLM received more than 56,000 comments. All but about 10 were against the derby.