Wildlife management

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1999:

U.S. Representatives Peter
DeFazio (D-Oregon) and Charles Bass ( R –
New Hampshire) announced in late May that
they plan to offer an amendment to the $61 billion
USDA appropriations bill to cut $7 million
from USDA Wildlife Services– – about
what the agency spent in 1997 to kill 82,000
coyotes on behalf of ranchers. DeFazio and
Bass contend the coyote-killing unfairly subsidizes
ranchers who don’t adequately protect
their livestock. A similar DeFazio amendment
cutting $10 million from the Wildlife Services
budget won House approval on first reading in
1998, but was rescinded a day later. Leading
the opposition to the proposed amendment is
House Appropriations agriculture subcommittee
chair Joe Skeen (R-New Mexico), whose
15,000-acre ranch Wildlife Services visited 99
times between October 1991 and July 1996.

“It’s self-preservation,” Skeen told
Washington Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin.
“If we didn’t do it, I’d be out of business.”
But all the Wildlife Services visits killed just
three coyotes. Evading a threatened veto by
governor Gary Johnson, New Mexico state
legislators meanwhile tucked a no-title
$275,000 allocation to hire 15 Wildlife
Services trappers to kill coyotes for ranchers
into the New Mexico State University budget.
Rural representatives have been hiding the
allocation from Johnson since 1997.
Margaret Pettis, founder and organizer
of the Cache Valley Sandhill Crane
F e s t i v a l, held each September in Hyrum,
Utah, since 1994, has informed the U t a h
Wildlife Board that she will cancel the festival
if the board ratifies a Utah Division of
Wildlife Resources recommendation that the
cranes be hunted because farmers accuse them
of stealing grain. The festival raises funds for
DWR “non-consumptive” wildlife programs.
“We really thought we had a great tradition
going with viewing the cranes in our valley,”
Pettis told Associated Press. “It really makes
me angry how phony the DWR people are
when they say they are trying to work with
non-consumptive users.” DWR official D i c k
D i a m o n d expressed bewilderment that Pettis
should object to hunters shooting cranes after
each year’s festival is over.
The Virginia Department of Game
and Inland Fisheries on May 6 dropped an
attempt to allow fox shooting and trapping in
Loudoun and Fauquier counties––because the
Masters of Foxhounds Association objected.
Husky Injection Molding Inc.
owner Robert Schad, of Toronto, who
reportedly spent $2 million to convince the
Ontario government to ban spring bear hunting,
in mid-May placed ads in 40 northern
Ontario newspapers seeking three lodge operators
to participate in non-lethal ecotourism
development as a means of replacing lost hunting
revenue. Trying to bring back the spring
bear hunt, Thomas Pigeon of Oakville,
Ontario meanwhile formed a new organization,
the Canadian Outdoor Heritage
Alliance, and offered prizes for home videos
depicting nuisance bears. “Both natural
resources ministry officials and conservationists
fear someone could be injured trying to
capture bears on video,” wrote Toronto Star
environment reporter Brian McAndrew.
While the National Park Service
considers moving or killing protected golden
eagles to protect fast vanishing state-protected
Channel Island grey foxes within Channel
Islands National Park (“Losing foxes,” ANIMAL
PEOPLE, May 1999), the U.S. Navy
killed 15 of the foxes on nearby San Clemente
Island this spring to protect the endangered
San Clemente loggerhead shrike––and in midMay
announced plans to kill up to 50 foxes a
year, if shock collars fail to keep them away
from the nests of the last 13 known San
Clemente shrikes.
Colorado Wild, Snapu, Rocky
Mountain Animal Defense, Wildlife
Damage Review, and the Biodiversity Legal
F o u n d a t i o n on May 27 asked the C o l o r a d o
Division of Wildlife to suspend lynx reintroduction
efforts, after at least four of the first
13 lynx released starved to death. The organizations
said the lynx were being reintroduced
with inadequate habitat assessment, giving
many no chance of survival. C-DoW said it
expected 50% mortality among the 50-55 lynx
it hopes to buy from Canadian trappers and
release around Colorado this year, trying to
keep lynx off the U.S. endangered species list.

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