The Senate on Wednesday approved the bill by a 26–7 vote. The measure now goes to the State House of Representatives.
Supporters of the bill said that wolves also reduce the number of deer and elk available to hunters, imposing an additional economic toll on the state.
State Senator Michelle Stennett, a Democrat who voted against the bill, said on the Senate floor that contractors are difficult to manage. “There is very little control over what they will do,” she said, adding that at least some money can be spent far better. “I wished we had 1 percent to offer tourism or entertainment or something else,” he said.
According to Maggie Howell, executive director of the Voda Conservation Center, federal protection for Idaho’s wolves was lifted in 2011. Since then, she said, Idaho has adopted a number of wolf policies she has described as hostile and extremist, and she said she has failed to consider the ecological value of animals.
“Beyond this cruelty and destruction, the passage of this bill will be for wolves, this law is a threat to wolves,” the email states. “With the decision by the Trump administration to move the wolf management authority from the federal government to the states, Idaho’s policies can affect expectations about wildlife management beyond its limits.”