Back when Jim Risch was Lt. Governor, he ordered that elk escaped from Rex Rammell's elk pen be shot. Risch was concerned about the elk spreading disease or genetic inferiority into the local wild elk herds. The decision spurred Rammel to run against Risch for the senate. This is all old news, of course.
In February of this year, Rammell sued Risch and the State of Idaho in Fremont County district court for the value of his elk that were killed. Not a lot of substantive action so far, but lots of wrangling over changing venue and getting a different judge.
I recently spoke to an attorney who is in the know, and he thinks that Rammell is going to win.
Reason: the elk were private property, destroyed by state action. If mad cow disease or brucellocis was found in a cattle herd, or bird flu in a flock of chickens, or whatever, the state can have the animals destroyed as a matter of public health. But, like any state taking of property, the owner must be compensated. If the state takes some land from you for a road it pays market value for it. Same deal with Rammell's elk.
Some of the elk can be valued at as much as $10,000. Given the procedural struggles, I doubt that the case will resolve before the election. Mitchell Brown of the Pocatello firm Racine, Olson, Nye, Budge & Bailey has been appointed as a special attorney general to represent the state. Not sure why one of Wasden's Deputies isn't handling the case, but using private counsel will be expensive, in addition to the value of the elk.