Proposed changes to the 2008 big game seasons will be the focus of several upcoming open-house public meetings hosted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Public comments and suggestions will be forwarded to the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners for their consideration in setting seasons at their meeting March 5-7 in Boise. Commissioners are expected to adopt a proposed Mule Deer Management Plan and a proposed Wolf Population Management Plan, and they will set big game seasons for the 2008 hunting seasons.
Details of proposed changes are available for review and comment on the Fish and Game Website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/public. A detailed agenda for the March commission meeting will be available on the Website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/about/commission/schedule.cfm.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to publish a final rule, removing wolves in Idaho from the federal endangered species list, in the Federal Register February 28, and Idaho would assume full management March 28. Litigation over delisting, however, is expected to affect timelines - perhaps delaying the process for years.
If the commission adopts the wolf management plan, proposed 2008 wolf hunting rules would be available for public review and comment in April and May. The commission would set 2008 wolf hunting seasons in May. Wolf hunting rules brochures also would become available in July.
Details on draft wolf hunting seasons would available in April. General considerations would include statewide population goals, season structure and methods of take.
Interested individuals can discuss the proposed changes, the wolf plan, and the mule deer plan and provide written comment at the meetings listed here:
Clearwater Region, all meetings from 5 to 7 p.m. - 208-799-5010
- Tuesday, February 19: Idaho Fish and Game, 3316 16th Street, Lewiston
- Wednesday, February 20: Fairground Exhibit Building, 1021 Harold, Moscow.
- Thursday, February 21: Senior Citizens Center, County Road, Grangeville.
Upper Snake Region, all meetings start at 7 p.m. - 208-525-7290.
- Tuesday, February 19: Mackay High School Library, Mackay.
- Wednesday, February 20: Idaho Fish and Game, Idaho Falls.
- Thursday, February 21: Madison Middle School Media Center, Rexburg.
Southeast Region, all meetings will begin at 7 p.m. - 208-232-4703.
- Monday, February 18: Malad Senior Center, Main Street, Malad.
- Tuesday, February 19: Oregon Trail Center, Montpelier.
- Wednesday, February 20: Wood River Room, ISU Student Union, Pocatello.
- Thursday, February 21: Larson Sand Library, Preston.
Salmon Region, both meetings from 4 to 7 p.m. - 208-756-2271.
- Wednesday, February 20, Idaho Fish and Game, 99 U.S. Highway 93 N., Salmon.
- Thursday, February 21, U.S. Forest Service Challis-Yankee Fork Ranger District, U.S. Highway 93, Challis.
Southwest Region, all meetings from 4 to 7 p.m. - 208-465-8465 in Nampa or
208-634- 8137 in McCall.
- Tuesday, February 19: U.S. Forest Service, 2092 U.S. Highway 95, Council.
- Tuesday, February 26: Weiser High School Library, 690 Indianhead Road, Weiser.
- Wednesday, February 27: Idaho Fish and Game, 555 Deinhard Lane, McCall.
- Wednesday, February 27: Idaho Fish and Game, 3101 S. Powerline, Nampa.
Panhandle Region - 208-769-1414.
- Saturday, February 23: 8 a.m., St. Maries Elks, St. Maries.
- Wednesday, February 27: (location TBD in Sandpoint or Bonners Ferry).
- Thursday, February 28: 7 p.m. at Idaho Fish and Game, Coeur d'Alene.
Magic Valley Region, meetings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. - 208-324-4359.
- Wednesday, February 27: Idaho Fish and Game, 319 South 417 East, Jerome.
- Thursday, February 28; Burley City Hall at 1401 Overland Ave., Burley.
The open house format allows participants to come and go during the meeting and to visit with Fish and Game personnel about the proposals.
Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529 (TDD).