Visit www.wildearthguardians.org to learn more. Below is a portion of their press release.
Pocatello, ID – On December 23 a coalition of conservation organizations sued the U.S. Forest Service for failure to require permits and environmental impacts analysis for the advertised “Coyote and Wolf Derby” in Salmon, Idaho, December 28 and 29. The lawsuit seeks an order requiring the agency inform the killing contest sponsors and participants that shooting wolves and coyotes on public lands as part of the contest is illegal without the required environmental analyses and permits.
“Killing contests that perpetuate false stereotypes about key species like wolves and coyotes that play essential roles in healthy ecosystems have no place on public lands.” Said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians. “The Forest Service is abdicating its responsibilities as steward of our public lands. We are asking the agency to comply with the law: require a permit application and do the necessary environmental analysis, including providing a public comment process, to ensure our public lands and wildlife are protected.”
The killing contest is charging an entry fee, advertising prizes for the largest wolf and the most coyote carcasses, among other award categories, and specifically offering opportunities for children as young as 10 to kill for prizes. Commercial activities like the killing contest are prohibited on public lands without a special use permit. An application for a special use permit triggers application of the National Environmental Policy Act. Highly controversial activities are exempted from fast track permitting. In contrast to the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed the killing contest sponsors that a special use permit is required. To date, BLM has not received an application. Hunting on BLM administered public lands as part of the killing contest is therefore illegal.
Here’s a copy of the brief.