#14: AERIAL GUNNING OF PREDATORS IN WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS
|The Division of Wildlife
Services in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (formerly the Animal
Damage Control unit) has been obtaining permits from the Bureau of Land
Management to conduct aerial gunning of predators in Wilderness Study
Areas in several western states, including Nevada. These permits
are limited to the periods when domestic sheep are grazing in the
Wilderness Study Areas. According to the documentation, only
offending animals (coyotes) which have destroyed sheep are to be killed.
|There are no public
records that show how many sheep have been killed by predators, how
many coyotes have been killed, and/or how the offending animals have
been identified from the air. This procedure is extremely costly
to the taxpayer, is contrary to the wilderness ethic, and is not
defensible on any grounds. It would be far less costly to
reimburse a rancher for any sheep that is shown to have been killed by
a predator. In this way, the spirit of of the Wilderness Act
would be honored.
|The Federation of Western
Outdoor Clubs opposes the use of aerial gunning of predators in any
Wilderness Study Area and opposes funding of the Division of Wildlife
Services for such activity.
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