IDFG Gets Wrist Slapped by Feds Over Wolf Collar Debacle 

click to enlarge U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has been warned—officially—for violating federal rules in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area.

Earlier this month, IDFG apologized that its crews had landed helicopters in the Frank, collared four wolves in the wilderness area and put trafficking collars on the animals. IDFG is limited to collaring elk in the region, and agency officials insisted the act was a result of "miscommunication." 

On Wednesday, the United States Forest Service issued a formal notice of noncompliance, telling IDFG that if it ever wants to use helicopters again in the 2.3-million acre wilderness, it better get it right—especially when it comes to collaring animals.

"Given that the effects of the unapproved landings cannot be reversed, the remedy is to understand why and how this incident happened, and to take appropriate measures to prevent unapproved landings in the future," the U.S. Forest Service wrote in a statement, adding it may take further steps in the future.

“As more information becomes available, we may identify additional measures that need to be taken,” said Salmon-Challis National Forest Supervisor Chuck Mark. “We need to demonstrate that IDFG and the Forest Service are both able to redeem their respective responsibilities to manage and protect the State's wildlife populations, and to administer and protect wilderness in accordance with the requirements of Federal law.
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