Idaho For Wildlife, an anti-predator organization, has organized a wolf and coyote killing contest on December 28 and 29 near Salmon, Idaho. The killing "derby" is scheduled on the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Endangered Species Act, our nation's safety-net for wildlife, that brought wolves back from the brink of extinction. Hunt participants, in teams of two, will pursue wolves and coyotes as part of a competition for prizes, including cash awards, for the largest wolf, most female coyotes, and other categories. Even children, as young as 10 can participate in the kill fest.
The contest hunt will cover public and private (with permission) lands which will include lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Both federal agencies have regulations and policies that prohibit such commercial, competitive events without special recreation or use permits, but both agencies are allowing the Idaho contest participants to hunt on their lands without complying with federal law.
The USFS, which initially admitted that this event would require a special use permit, is now claiming that no permit is required. The BLM, which admits that a special recreation permit is required, is expediting issuance of the permit without complying with federal environmental laws. If these agencies followed their own laws and policies, coyotes and wolves will be spared, and the killing contest will be crippled.
Wildlife killing contest are ethically indefensible events allowing participants to kill wildlife to win prizes. They are biologically and ecologically reckless, not only harming individual animals, but also altering predator-prey dynamics, disrupting the social dynamics of predatory species, and increasing threats to public safety, all for fun and prizes. They have no beneficial management purpose but, rather, promote gratuitous violence against wildlife. They demean the immense ecological and economic value of predators in an ecosystem while teaching children to hate and trivialize the lives of predators.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Your urgent action is essential to pressure the USFS and BLM to reverse course and prohibit contest participants from killing wolves and coyotes on federal lands. Please click on the TAKE ACTION link, fill out the required information, and then click on SUBMIT. When you sign this petition, the petition letter below will be emailed to the USFS and BLM decision makers listed. Demand they stop facilitating these killing contests and, instead, comply with their own rules and policies.
Thank you for your immediate action to help Idaho’s wolves and coyotes from being living targets. Please share this alert with your relatives, friends and associates.
- Chief, Unites States Forest Service
Mr. Tom Tidwell
- Regional Forester, US Forest Service, Northern Region
Ms. Faye Krueger
- Regional Forester, US Forest Service, Intermountain Region
Ms. Nora Rasure
- Principal Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management
Mr. Neil Kornze
- Acting State Director, Idaho, Bureau of Land Management
Mr. Tim Murphy
I am writing with an urgent request that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) immediately inform Idaho For Wildlife (IFW) that those participating in its contest hunt scheduled for December 28 and 29 near Salmon, Idaho cannot hunt on BLM and USFS lands. I am appalled that the USFS, after first admitting that this event would require a special use permit, has reversed course and now claims that no permit is required. This decision is entirely contrary to USFS regulations and policies and must be changed so that, minimally, IFW applies for the required permit. I am equally appalled that the BLM is attempting to expedite the issuance of a special recreation permit to allow contest hunt participants to kill wolves and coyotes on BLM lands in Idaho without complying with federal environmental laws. At a minimum, such killing on BLM and USFS lands must not be allowed until the BLM and USFS fully comply with all laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act by evaluating the environmental impacts of the event and by providing the public, including me, an opportunity to participate in the decision making process.
Teams of two will engage in a competitive hunt targeting coyotes and wolves to win prizes, including cash awards, in categories such as largest wolf, most female coyotes, and others. Even children, as young as 10 years of age, will be able to participate in this kill fest. This clearly qualifies as a “commercial activity” and “recreational event” as defined by the USFS. Given land ownership patterns in the Salmon, Idaho area, most of this hunting will inevitably occur on BLM and United States Forest Service lands.
Contest hunts are ethically indefensible events that have no beneficial management purpose and should not be tolerated in a civilized society. No agency, federal or state, should allow such events where wildlife, including predators are treated as nothing more than targets to be killed for prizes. Such events are ecologically and biologically reckless, altering predator-prey dynamics, disrupting the social dynamics of predatory species, denigrating the immense value of predators in the ecosystem, and promoting an anti-predator mindset among participants and spectators, including children.
I expect more from the BLM and USFS-- agencies funded with my tax dollars, than to ignore their own regulations and policies in order to capitulate to the anti-predator attitudes of hunters and pro-hunting organizations in Idaho. Please reverse course and prohibit contest participants from hunting on BLM an USFS lands until, at least, the BLM and USFS have fully complied with all relevant federal laws.
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