Online Messenger #291
Western Watersheds Project and our allies took the first step in challenging the legal basis that U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services uses to kill thousands of Idaho’s native wildlife each year. With our attorneys at Advocates for the West, WWP filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) to sue the agency for failing to properly analyze its use of traps and poison and the impacts of those activities on Endangered Species like the grizzly bear, lynx, and bull trout.
In Idaho, no analysis of the federal killing program has been conducted in over a decade, and recently-added beaver dam destruction activities have never gotten a thorough review. Though contemporary science has shown the importance of predators and beavers in ecosystem restoration, Wildlife Services continues to kill black bears, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, and foxes. In 2013, Wildlife Services killed over 3,000 mammals in Idaho using methods such as aerial gunning, neck snares, foothold traps, and toxic poisons.
The gruesome war on native wildlife is done primarily to benefit private livestock and agricultural interests and is just another public subsidy to support those industries. Western Watersheds Project thinks, at the very least, those impacts should be disclosed and Wildlife Services should be accountable for the damage it is doing to Idaho’s ecological community.