Idaho’s wolves need protection based on sound science and humane policy | Opinion

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.


As a native Idahoan, I hiked the Owyhee Mountains and camped in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. I skied in McCall and traveled for pleasure to Sandpoint and Coeur d’ Alene. I love my state and its natural beauty and wildlife. I am sickened and saddened at the brutality of people slaughtering wolves. I understand it’s a complex issue, but with fewer restrictions in place, people are taking matters into their own hands and slaughtering these valuable creatures in the name of prevention of cattle and other senseless and non-scientific findings. We need our wolf to be a part of a healthy ecosystem, and they need protection based on science and humane policy. I urge Secretary Haaland and President Biden to do the right thing and protect the Endangered Species Act and our beloved wolves. We must act with courage and do right by our children and protect the wolf. We will be judged by our actions, and our land and creatures deserve to be treated with respect. Our people see the wolf as we see ourselves. People and wolves hunt, gather, defend and even educate their tribe or pack.

Christina Marie Veloz, Boise

Reactor technology

S-PRISM, a fourth-generation liquid sodium cooled reactor studied at Idaho National Lab, should be deployed. It’s small and modular and can be manufactured in factories.

Because the fuel is metallic, reactor overheating expands the fuel dampening the reaction. Without cooling pumps, natural convection of the sodium keeps coolant operational. Consequently, S-PRISM cannot melt down. It is a direct descendant of ERB-2 successful reactor studied at INL. The coolant pumps of ERB-2 were deliberately shut down; it shut itself down.

The fast-neutron reactor recycles the long-lived radioactive waste and destroys it producing shorter lived waste. This waste is dangerous for 500 years, not eons. Storing this safely is simpler than storing present waste. S+PRISM can use present waste as fuel for over 500 years transforming it into smaller volumes of shorter-lived waste, solving a problem. These modular fourth-generation reactors must be deployed to replace fossil fuel plants while producing essential baseload power unlike the intermittent wind and solar power. S_PRISM produces over 90% of their rated power while Sun and Wind produce only 25% to 30%.

S_PRISM is placeable in closed coal power plants using its infrastructure. It does not need extensive new transmission lines nor extensive land by wind and solar.

Allan M. Salzberg, Boise

Preserving rights

When I moved to Idaho in 2008, I did not agree with the politics in the state but I never thought I would live in a state where the First and 14th Amendments to the Constitution were null and void. Free speech means the free and public expression of opinions without censorship by the government. Also included is the right to receive information. Banning books restricts the rights of everyone.

The 14th amendment states, ”nor shall any State ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Idaho no longer protects those most vulnerable. The Idaho Legislature has banned abortions but makes no provisions for the unwanted children born because of this law. A woman suffering a miscarriage can no longer get care in this state. When a man is able to carry a child, give birth, then raise that child single-handedly, he will have the right to talk about banning abortions.

Likewise, laws targeting LGBTQ citizens have been passed. Everyone in this country is allowed to live life as he chooses. Is fear of difference driving these laws? With these recent laws, Idaho is no longer a democratic state.

Joan Ehrnstein, Meridian

Tracking wildlife

Bipartisan work benefits big game.

Today’s culture is often portrayed as us versus them; right against left.

But luckily for those who enjoy wild places and creatures, wildlife management doesn’t fit that mold. Take deer, elk, and pronghorn migration.

During the Trump administration, the Department of the Interior issued Secretarial Order 3362, a call to beef up information on how big game animals moved across the landscape to survive. This order funded the collection of migration data and standardized that information to advise land managers on how best to conserve wildlife corridors.

The Biden administration has continued to complete and fund migration work for the past two years, and now the U.S. Geologic Survey and state wildlife agencies have produced three migration atlases that map migration routes across the West, including 53 in Idaho.

This data, made possible with bipartisan support, will benefit Idaho’s sportsmen and sportswomen for decades to come by informing land management decisions for the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

It’s always good to remember that great things can be accomplished when we work together.

Rob Thornberry, Idaho Falls


Various political leaders tell us we need an independent mayor of Boise. These same leaders are perfectly happy with extremist politicians in other offices, especially the Legislature. The Legislature has recently passed inane laws that have forced medical professionals to leave the state and created a mishmash of confusion concerning who gets a felony when Idahoans go to the emergency room and are simply trying to survive. Where were these politicians who want independent thinking when these laws were passed?

The Legislature has been on a mission to eliminate citizen initiatives for several years. The Legislature has schemed to divert public funds to religious schools usually tied in with wealthy donors. Local districts have been forced to fund schools, jails and other facilities with property taxes only because the Legislature has refused to do proper funding. These same politicians who have made a mess of the Legislature are now worried about Boise City Hall? Whatever is going on at City Hall is minuscule compared to the nightmare of the state Legislature.

Sidney Asker, Boise

Debt ceiling

I read that the government is trying to decide what bills to stop paying first if Congress doesn’t agree to raise the debt ceiling. The answer is simple: start with Congress.

Rick Simon, Boise