Currently the Nevada Wildlife Services Program is under a public comment period for the “Predator Damage Management in Nevada” plan. But time is short, as the comment period ends January 18, 2011.
Predator control management under this plan allows for the use of ALL types of legal methods. Aerial hazing with helicopters, traps and snares, denning, even M-44s. An M-44 consists of sodium cyanide, an indiscriminate killer. USDA reports indicate that in a five year period thousands of foxes and raccoons, even two bald eagles, have died as a result of M-44s.
The reason? Predators are a risk to private livestock interests. Over 19 million acres of public land have been set aside in Nevada for livestock grazing, much of it the same land used by other wildlife species, including wild horses and burros. We pay taxes to maintain the public land that privately owned livestock use while also paying state taxes to kill predators that belong to all citizens of the U.S.
Predator species including mountain lion, bear and coyotes are hunted or trapped and killed to protect livestock. Additionally, the plan strives to increase big game numbers. Populations of mule deer and other big game species are considered low, despite no evidence of knowing the carrying capacity of these animals. Their answer? Reduce predator numbers to increase deer populations ... not for the health of the herd, but for the benefit of hunters.
Decision makers in Nevada need to develop a sound predator management plan based on scientific research, not dictated by special interest groups. It’s our tax dollars, we should have a say in how it is used.