Stephen Capra, Bold Visions Conservation
Over the past few months, as we started Bold Visions Conservation, many people have asked if I would consider working in Idaho. The reason is that we need to stop wolf slaughter from occurring in a state that views wildlife as something to torture and destroy. Working in such an environment is no easy task, yet if you care about wolves, being on the front lines is the only place to be.
Idaho continues to be controlled by radicals, radicalized trappers, and a government that wants to destroy wildlife and supports trappers as though they are the symbol of the state. But Idaho, like any state, is also filled with good people, people who respect wildlife and some who love wolves. It is also a landscape of wild beauty and stunning rivers.
Our style of working is not to try and get conservatives and others in the government and Game and Fish to come to their senses with species like wolves and grizzlies. But instead, it is time to take them on, educate them, and make clear that trapping has no place in modern society. We want to make clear the sickness that is trapping and trappers.
We also want to create a 1.3 million-acre National Monument free of traps, encompassing large areas in both states. We also want to partner with groups across the state because we cannot work separately to have success; we must work together!
Like Montana today, Idaho is controlled by trophy-hunting national groups working aggressively to create elk and deer farms. Anti-government sentiment is strong, but for many, Idaho is a place to allow nature to consume their senses and reinvigorate their souls.
Our work in Montana continues, but we cannot leave wolves to be sacrificed at the altar of ignorance, nor can we set the stage for grizzlies and lions to be decimated. While some talked of Governor Little as a man of sense in a field of legislators that see wildlife as the enemy, it is Little who has led the slaughter, and his actions have become a mantra for Governor Gianforte in Montana and Mark Gordon in Wyoming.
Idaho needs a cleansing as it pertains to predators; it needs hope. One woman who put her love into wolves would not meet with me. Why? The fight has destroyed her heart. She cannot bear it anymore. The time has come to make trappers the enemy, to stop this nonsense of "It's part of our culture." In the modern world, there is no place for such violence against wildlife, and the public must begin to shift its view of the people who call themselves trappers, those who carry out this genocide. But several hunters have called me full of rage, telling me of their investments in guns and long-range scopes, of calling devices and night vision goggles. Where is this a fair hunt? Their killing of wolves is equally immoral. The destruction of the Leopold ideal of hunting and sportsmanship is occurring in the West. It is being replaced with savagery, ignorance, and a macho bravado that borders on the juvenile. We must also remember that Idaho is the home to the Foundation for Wildlife Management, the group that started the wolf bounties and lives to trap and kill predators. They must be exposed to the merchants of death they are. This group has led hunters and trappers to the point of depravity. Today in Idaho, hunters and trappers are killing pregnant wolves for bounties. They are cutting out the wolf pups from the mother to collect a $1,000 bounty on each. These are not hunters and trappers; they are sadists! This is why we have come to Idaho; this barbaric practice must stop! The state of Idaho must stop this practice; what was started by the Foundation is now funded by the state and paid for by its citizens. We want to be on the front lines to stop this madness! So, we leave in the morning, Idaho: here we come. We are coming because wildlife is calling for help, and we are coming to defend their innocence and work to change ideals with Boldness!