Dear Director Bonham & Commissioners:
I am writing to strongly oppose California's sanctioning of wildlife killing contests—in particular the upcoming "Coyote Drive 2013" scheduled for February 8-10 in Adin. Not only are such contest hunts offensive in their wanton waste of wildlife and disregard for the important ecological role coyotes (and other predators) play in maintaining ecosystem health and species diversity, but they also pose a significant threat to the recovery of gray wolves in California. This region is where the wolf OR-7 (aka "Journey") has been known to range. Although CDFW staff have expressed concerns for the safety of OR-7 (and any other un-collared wolves that may roam the area), this contest hunt continues year after year.
It is time that the Department of Fish and Wildlife conduct a top-to-bottom evaluation of its approach to managing predators in California, including a review of current scientific literature and of proven practices that are more likely to yield better outcomes for wildlife, other animals, and people. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed legislation (AB-2402), which requires the agency to use "ecosystem-based management" approaches. It makes good sense to start at the top—with management that recognizes the role of one of the ecosystem's keystone species.
Please make this a priority at your February meeting and please do everything in your power to stop this planned coyote hunting contest.
Thank you for taking my concerns into consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Mary & Chris Pollard, Rich Russom, & Over 2,000 Concerned Animal Folks on Facebook