Idaho wins delay on destroying wilderness wolf, elk data

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal court says Idaho officials don't have to destroy information from tracking collars placed on wolves and elk by illegally landing a helicopter in a central Idaho wilderness area where engines are prohibited.

U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill earlier this week agreed to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game request to delay his previous order to destroy information from four wolves and 57 elk collared in the Frank Church Fire of No Return Wilderness in January 2016.

After the collaring, Western Watersheds Project sued and Winmill ruled the U.S. Forest Service broke environmental laws by authorizing Idaho Fish and Game to land helicopters in the wilderness to collar elk.

Idaho also collared four wolves in an action the Forest Service didn't authorize.