Forest Service’s proposal means more dead coyotes, wolves, pumas, lynx, bears, foxes, and pets in Wilderness Areas!
In June, the U.S. Forest Service announced that it would give away its authority to regulate the amount of predator-killing activity that occurs in Wilderness Areas and Research Natural Areas on our National Forests, and they will allow for increased motorized activities such as aerial gunning of wildlife in these special areas. (Link to Federal Register.)
Congress passed the Wilderness Act to protect certain special places where the “community of life” is “untrammeled by man” and “where man . . . is a visitor who does not remain.” Wilderness Areas are intended to be “preserved” in their “natural conditions.” Also, under the Wilderness Act, no motorized vehicles—not even bicycles, are allowed in Wilderness Areas.
Yet, the Forest Service proposes to give its authority to review of predator-killing actions to the notorious U.S.D.A.’s Wildlife Services, the agency that killed 2.7 million animals in 2004. (Wildlife Services also has a history of poisoning and trapping pets on public lands, as their methods of predator control are indiscriminate; view story.)
The Forest Service proposal will allow Wildlife Services to travel into Wilderness Areas with aircraft and motorized vehicles to aerial gun and to transport traps and toxicants intended to kill our native wildlife. Ironically, few domestic livestock are killed by predators; see article.
Images: 1. An M-44, a spring-loaded device, complete with smelly bait to lure in canids. When a coyote, dog, or wolf tugs on the bait, the spring shoots a pellet of sodium cyanide into the mouth. When cyanide mixes with moisture, it turns into a deadly gas. (Courtesy Wildlife Damage Review). 2. 3.