IDAHO FALLS - Wildlife management in Idaho covers a broad range of issues. At their next meeting in late August in Boise, the Idaho Fish & Game Commission will be addressing such diverse topics as setting waterfowl seasons, outfitting for turkeys, and adoption of a predator policy. In order to provide the Commission with a sense of public opinion, the Upper Snake Region of IDFG will be hosting two open houses on August 14, 2000, to solicit public input. These opportunities for public comment will run simultaneously from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the IDFG Regional Office (1515 Lincoln Road) and Ross' Coin and Gun Shop (390 N. Eastern Ave.) in Idaho Falls.
Input from these meetings and similar meetings across the state will help the Commission make final decisions regarding: 2000-2001 waterfowl seasons, outfitting for turkeys, and possible adoption of the IDFG Predator Policy. Additionally, the Commission is seeking input on a proposal to split the Big Desert elk hunting zone (Units 52A, 53, 63, 63A, 68, 68A) into 2 smaller zones: a new Big Desert Zone (53, 63, 63A, 68A) and a new Snake River Zone (52A, 68).
The public is being asked whether they prefer an early waterfowl season opener (9/30/00) or a later season opener (10/07/00). Bag limit restrictions would remain the same as last year. Similar to the past, a youth waterfowl hunt for the weekend of 09/23/00 is being planned. States have the option of expanding from the current one day hunt to a second day, but this would result in the additional loss of one day from the general hunting season.
Wild turkey hunting in Idaho has grown dramatically since its inception in 1989, when only about 200 birds were harvested. In 1999, over 5,000 birds were taken and now the Commission has been approached by the Idaho Guides and Outfitters Association (IGOA) to consider a variety of options related to commercial turkey outfitting. Sportsmen attending open houses can learn more about options being considered.
Because of public concerns about predation on game animals, IDFG has been asked by the Commission to prepare a draft policy on predator management. The intent of the policy is to provide the Department direction in managing predator populations. Copies of the draft are available on the WEB at http://www2.state.id.us/fishgame/predraft.htm.
Individuals wishing to make comments or persons with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting Brad Compton at 525-7290, by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529(TDD). The deadline for comments is 5:00 P.M. on Aug. 18, 2000.