USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack's Wildlife Services Agency, in coordination with the state of Idaho, intends to kill up to 80 percent of the wolves in the central part of the state. The plan they've put forward would decimate entire packs of wolves, gunning them down from helicopters and killing defenseless wolf pups in their dens through the use of poisonous gas.
Ask USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to intervene to stop this outrageous proposal.
Wildlife Service claims that such drastic action is needed to address livestock predation as well as elk herd declines. Yet, according to a recent report by Idaho Fish and Game, elk are within or above management objective in 23 of 29 elk management areas. Additionally, there are many nonlethal steps ranchers can take to effectively prevent livestock loss to wolves.
Wolves are a valuable and historic part of the Western landscape. The fear of wolves keeps deer and elk from lingering too long in one place and over-grazing the vegetation. Also, wolf-watching contributes $35 million annually to communities in the region, according to a 2008 University of Montana study.
Please use your authority as Secretary to stop this extreme wolf-killing plan, and instead provide funding and resources for nonlethal depredation-prevention measures to livestock owners in wolf country.