County Commissioner for Blaine County, Idaho
Corral Creek, near Ketchum, ID
Larry Shoen is the county commissioner for Blaine County, ID. He visited us at our camp outside of Sunvalley, ID to explain his administration’s partnership with Defenders of Wildlife, a national environmental group that’s working to protect grey wolves in Idaho. Defenders’ current focus is the Wood River Valley, where they have been trying to introduce and implement non-lethal deterrents for wolf predation on the sheep herds that get grazed through the area. Larry is in a unique position as a county official that represents a very liberal, wealthy electorate in an area that is decidedly anti-wolf. He has both the drive and the freedom to represent his constituency and work with wildlife proponents, which is a bit of a redefinition of the wolf issue for us Westies. We’ve spent most of our time in the past two weeks talking about how divisive the reintroduction of wolves has been in the rural West, but Larry showed us that wolves also bring people together to work on long-term solutions to human/wolf conflict.
By Kari Paustian