Rec News, May 13, 2009 

Pay and Splash

Now that Idaho has a brand new wilderness area in the Owyhee canyonlands, crisscrossed by wild and scenic rivers, it's time to explore.

Idaho Rivers United has joined with ROW Adventures for two fund-raising jaunts down the Bruneau River. Trips will launch on May 29 and June 4 and cost $1,295 per person, a price that includes a $250 donation to IRU.

IRU is also sponsoring a trip on the Lochsa on June 14. The one-day trip costs $124 and includes a $25 donation to IRU. For information check out idahorivers.org, and for reservations, call ROW at 800-451-6034.

Home (Wolf) Rule

In a relationship with more on-and-offs than a Hollywood "It" couple, gray wolves have once again been removed from the Federal Endangered Species List, effective May 4.

The ruling from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service affects wolf populations in Idaho and Montana, as well as parts of Oregon, Washington and Utah. But due to Wyoming's contentious fight over that state's wolf plan, the species remains on the endangered list there.

Wolves were first removed from the list last year, but were put back on after a collection of conservation groups sued, claiming the state plans didn't do enough to protect wolves. After some tweaks, federal courts signed off and cleared the way for delisting--again.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is now managing the species under virtually the same plan as before, which allows limited hunting as early as this fall.

At the end of 2008, Fish and Game officials estimated there were 846 wolves and 88 packs in Idaho. According to the state plan, Idaho must maintain at least 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs although managers say the numbers will be higher than that.

--Deanna Darr

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