COEUR d'ALENE - A rally honoring the 379 wolves killed in Idaho during the 2011-2012 wolf hunt is set for 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Fort Sherman at Coeur d'Alene City Park.
It will feature live music, guest speakers, refreshments and a trap-release workshop by Footloose Montana aimed at educating citizens how to identify traps/snares, and if necessary, how to release a pet.
The 2012-2013 wolf hunt on public lands in Idaho begins the same day of the rally.
According to event organizers, more than 500 wolves have been killed in Idaho and Montana by hunting and trapping methods since the species was delisted from the endangered species list in 2011.
"This figure does not reflect the total number of wolves killed additionally by aerial gunning methods or livestock depredation removal," said a press release.
Hunting on private lands in certain areas of the Panhandle region of Idaho has been occurring since July 1, making it legal to kill wolves 12 months a year, organizers say.
"It's time to end fairy tale fantasies. Science clearly shows that healthy populations of wolves and other predator species are critical for a healthy environment," said Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense. "The shooting, trapping, snaring and torture of wolves must stop. The slaughter of wolves in Idaho is being driven by a fanatical blood lust that has no place in modern wildlife management."
According to the 2011 Idaho Wolf Monitoring Progress Report issued by Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the Nez Perce Tribe, there were 746 wolves in the state of Idaho.
"Of the 379 wolves killed in last year's hunt, 40 were puppies, 56 suffered in leg-hold traps before being killed, and another 67 choked to death in snares," said Ann Sydow with the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance. "Special interest groups refuse to share their hunting grounds and their grazing allotments, even on publicly owned National Forests."
Predator Defense, Friends of the Clearwater, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Footloose Montana and Center for Biological Diversity are co-sponsoring the event.