Local wolf advocates attend D.C. rally

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Local Idaho citizens, a nonprofit organization, Adoptawolfpack.org will be attending the Washington, D.C., Wolf Rally on Sept. 7. From left, Merlyn Nelson, Ceci Nolthenius, Jean Nelson and Della Munnich.

Representatives from four advocacy groups in North Idaho were in Washington, D.C., last weekend for the National Rally to Protect America's Wolves.

Wolf activists from around the country marched at the National Mall to let the Obama Administration know their concerns over management practices in states where wolves have lost federal protection.

The Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, Adopt A Wolf Pack and Friends of the Clearwater co-sponsored the rally.

The hunting/trapping season for wolves on public lands began in Idaho recently. The year-round season on private lands in North Idaho began July 1.

"Americans would be outraged to hear that Idaho permits the year-round killing of gray wolves in certain parts of the state," said Adrienne Cronebaugh, executive director for the Coeur d'Alene-based Kootenai Environmental Alliance. "Demanding scientific management of predators, including gray wolves, has fallen on deaf ears in Idaho and therefore, we are taking this tragedy to the national stage."

Some state officials, hunters and farmers believe the wolf population needs to be managed because they are a threat to other wildlife such as elk and livestock.

Members of the local advocacy groups said they want to be a part of building a grassroots movement.

"Our current management model is broken and wolves are in the cross hairs," said Merlyn Nelson, a Kootenai County resident and executive director for Adopt A Wolf Pack. "We need change."

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