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WATER SPECIAL SECTION INSIDE THIS EDITION
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2018
VOLUME 91, NUMBER 5
Time hasn’t healed raw nerves created
by predator’s reintroduction in Idaho
By SEAN ELLIS
OISE — Most ranchers and farmers were howling mad when
the federal government announced plans to reintroduce wolves
in Idaho starting in 1995.
During standing-room-only public hearings on bringing the
predators back to the state, “Almost to a person, rural Idaho
said, ‘We don’t want wolves here,’” said Idaho Farm Bureau Federation
spokesman John Thompson. “The federal government completely disre-
garded what those people in rural areas said.”
Twenty-three years later, that bitterness still remains — and so does the
debate — over bringing wolves to Idaho.
The initial 35 gray wolves released during 1995 and 1996 in central
Idaho came from Alberta, Canada. More wolves were also released to the
east in Yellowstone National Park.
At first, Idaho wolf numbers skyrocketed, peaking at an estimated 856
in 2009 before subsiding to the current 700. In the meantime, the number
of wolf depredations of livestock has stabilized.
Turn to WOLVES, Page 12
Wolf population in Idaho
By the second year of the wolf reintroduction
program, which started in 1995, 35 wolves had
been transplanted in Idaho. The total annual
population increased exponentially until
600 about 2009, peaking at 856 wolves.
NOTE: Annual estimates based on best
information available of documented
packs, groups and lone wolves.
Down 8.2% from 2009;
Up 14.9% from 2013
Source: Idaho Department
of Fish and Game
Alan Kenaga/Capital Press
Farm groups back EPA motion to delay manure air rule
By DON JENKINS
Two national farm groups told a fed-
eral court Monday that puzzled produc-
ers need more time to understand how to
calculate the volume of gas released each
day by their livestock.
The National Pork Producers and U.S.
Poultry & Egg Association filed a brief
with the D.C. Circuit Court supporting the
Environmental Protection Agency’s mo-
tion to put off the rule for three months.
“There continues to be significant
confusion throughout the livestock in-
dustry with regard to these reporting
requirements, especially among smaller
producers who have less technical sup-
port,” wrote Pork Producers legal counsel
Michael Formica in a court declaration.
The rule will require producers whose
animals release at least 100 pounds of am-
monia or hydrogen sulfide in a 24-hour
period to register with the EPA and the
Coast Guard’s National Response Center.
There is no generally accepted way
to estimate emissions from decaying ma-
nure, according to the EPA, which said the
rule was unnecessary and impractical.
The D.C. court, however, agreed with
environmental groups that having the in-
formation on file could be useful to emer-
The EPA was waiting this week to see
whether the D.C. court will finalize the re-
porting mandate or grant the agency more
time to prepare producers. The EPA has
released worksheets developed at univer-
sities to help farmers estimate emissions,
but says there are too many climate, geo-
graphic and operational factors to say how
many cows, pigs or chickens it takes to
meet the reporting threshold.
Turn to EPA, Page 12
Beef cattle in a feedlot near Medicine Park, Okla. Two national pro-
ducer groups on Jan. 29 supported the Environmental Protection
Agency’s motion seeking more time to prepare farmers to estimate
and report the amount of gas released in a day by their livestock.
Legal opinion: Gene editing exempt from Europe’s GMO rules
Advisory ruling expected to be persuasive in gene editing policy
By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI
Most gene editing techniques should
not come under the Europe Union’s strict
regulatory regime for genetically modi-
fied organisms, according to a prelimi-
nary legal opinion.
The opinion by an “advocate general” of
the European Court of Justice isn’t a bind-
ing legal decision, but it’s considered highly
persuasive for the panel of judges who will
issue a ruling on the matter this summer.
Advocates of biotechnology see the
opinion as an early step in the right direc-
tion regarding Europe’s gene editing pol-
icy, but critics say it’s unlikely to sway
wary European consumers.
“I think this is an opening volley in
what will be a continuing debate in Eu-
rope,” said Jaydee Hanson, senior policy
analyst with the Center for Food Safety,
a nonprofit that wants stronger biotech
New gene editing techniques gener-
ally involve deleting specific genes or
changing genetic sequences without in-
serting DNA from other organisms.
Turn to GMO, Page 12