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Idaho Fish and Game wants your wolf comments

There is never any shortage of opinions when it comes to wolves in Idaho, but now there's a place to channel those viewpoints.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking comments on its proposed 2011-2012 wolf hunt season via a new online survey. The survey will be given to 1,000 randomly selected hunters and another 2,000 members of the public. Results from the survey will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at its meetings on Wednesday, July 27, and Thursday, July 28. The deadline for commenting is Sunday, July 24.

Written comments can also be sent to IDFG via good, old-fashioned mail addressed to: Wolf Comments, Idaho Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707.

The proposed hunting season would run from Aug. 30 to March 31, 2012, and only includes limits in the five hunting areas where hunters were most successful last year. There would be no limits in the other areas--due in part to the difficulty of access, as well as high elk mortality rates and the high possibility of conflict between wolves and domestic livestock. But in hunting areas near Yellowstone National Park, the proposed season would end on Saturday, Dec. 31.

Big changes from the last hunt include allowing hunters to use electronic calls and increasing the bag limit to two wolves per hunter. Hunters would still be required to report any kills within 72 hours and bring any wolves to Fish and Game officials to confirm the kills.

Visit fishandgame.idaho.gov to see the full proposal and to take the survey.

If you like to show your support in a different way, the Idaho Trails Association is looking for a few strong backs to help construct a new two-mile section of the Wewukiye Trail near Warm Lake.

The construction project will run July 23-30, with workers needed daily. Once the trail is completed, it will go from Warm Lake through Tule Lake, over to Stolle Meadows, past a chinook salmon viewing platform, a historic cabin and Vulcan Hot Springs.

Volunteers need to be prepared for hard work in the elements, bring their own camping gear and get themselves to the Stolle Meadows Guard Station. Food, water, tools and hard hats will be provided.

Volunteers need to preregister by emailing Joe Pickett at jpickett@thesca.org. Call 208-369-3782 for more information.

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