Wildlife Service’s aerial predator control is grounded

At least in South Dakota. Hopefully more generally-

With all the budget problems, finally here is a good one — USDA Wildlife Services is running out of funding for aerial predator control.

Aerial predator control is grounded. AP

Write to U.S. Senator Herb Kohl to cut USDA Wildlife Services Funding

American Sheep Industry Association asks key U.S. Senator not to cut funding for notorious wildlife killing agency-

The President has proposed cutting the budget of USDA Wildlife Services by 10-million dollars. President Obama said there needs to be shared sacrifice although so far it seems to be teachers, police, sick people, students, science, reproductive health, food inspection, and pollution control that is doing all the sacrifice under GOP pressure.

The sheep and cattle industry certainly doesn’t want to be cut, and they are working their classic strategy of contacting a key U.S. Senator asking for a quiet restoration of funds. In this case they are contacting U.S. Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. He heads the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies on the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. Senate.

If you want to fight back effectively for once, contact Senator Kohl, asking for deeper cuts, especially for aerial gunning of wildlife. bigger cuts for so-called “livestock protection,” and no funding for the use of poisons like the poison 1080. Kohl’s web site only accepts Wisconsin email contacts, but here are the telephone and fax numbers for his Washington office (202) 224-5653; Fax: (202) 224-9787

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Obama’s budget would deeply cut farm subsidies, inc. Wildlife Services

Cuts include Wildlife Services-

Obama’s budget would deeply cut farm subsidies. By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times

I kind of thought Obama might not figure this out, but his budget proposal seems to take a whack at this nasty agency as well as the heretofore unstoppable subsidy payments to rich and corporate farmers.  If you want to help wildlife, please write to the President and your members of Congress urging an axe be taken to the Department of Agriculture agency Wildlife Services. Make it clear you are not asking for cuts in the Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service. These can be confused because the anti-wildlife cattle and sheep operations deliberately got the federal agency that kills wildlife, Animal Damage Control renamed “Wildlife Services.”

This is not all good news because the Department of Agriculture does have some conservation programs that protect the land, although perhaps at too high a monetary cost.

It is possible that the explanation of Governor Schweitzer’s behavior on both bison and wolves are the cuts to wasteful USDA programs, including the federal wolf killing agency.  I personally think that cutting Wildlife Services budget is one of the best things we can do to protect our native wildlife from government directed killing.

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Cuts to Wildlife Service’s proposed by Obama’s budget.  Note that FY 2012 begins on October 1, 2011

http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY12budsum.pdf
page 84
Wildlife Services:
Wildlife Damage Management

2010 enacted $79 million
2011 Estimate $79 million
2012 Budget $69 million.  Ask for zero, RM

Niemeyer: Wolves didn’t kill cow near Eagle last week

It died of birthing problems

Last week there was a big story about how wolves had killed a cow in the foothills above Eagle, Idaho, which most of you probably know is just west of Boise. Well, Carter Niemeyer, – the Montana western supervisor for Wildlife Services from 1975-1990 and the Wildlife Services Montana wolf specialist for the following 10 years until he took a post in Idaho as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s wolf recovery coordinator – did his own investigation and says that wolves didn’t kill the cow.

Here are the comments that I received today from Carter about the findings of his own investigation: Read the rest of this entry »

An Excerpt from “Wolfer: A Memoir”

Here is an excerpt from Carter Niemeyer’s “Wolfer,” a book that is generating a lot of thought and discussion-

From New West. An Excerpt from “Wolfer: A Memoir.” By Carter Niemeyer.

Wildlife Services revises Idaho Wolf Environmental Assessment

Drops gassing of pups in their dens and sterilization but continues heavy handed killing of wolves.

Public Comments accepted until January 3, 2011

Basin Butte Wolf Spring 2006 © Ken Cole

Basin Butte Wolf Spring 2006 © Ken Cole

In anticipation of Monday’s federal court hearing of a case brought by Western Watersheds Project, Wildlife Services has revised its Idaho Wolf Environmental Assessment. While the new EA drops gassing of wolf pups in their dens and use of sterilization, the preferred alternative does not consider exhaustive use of non-lethal methods to prevent wolf conflicts by intimating that it would be too expensive for ranchers to use proper animal husbandry techniques to avoid such conflicts.

Wildlife Services [sic], formerly Animal Damage Control, is an agency under the Department of Agriculture which responds to wildlife threats to agriculture. They are not related to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is under the Department of Interior and who manages endangered species, enforces the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and manages National Wildlife Refuges.

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Carter Niemeyer strongly questions Wildlife Services report.

Calls recent Montana report “misleading”.

Carter Niemeyer’s recent book “Wolfer” described, in great detail, the inner workings of Wildlife Services for whom he worked as their Montana western supervisor from 1975-1990 and as their Montana wolf specialist for the following 10 years until he took a post in Idaho as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s wolf recovery coordinator. In the book he describes how the incestuous relationship between the livestock industry and Wildlife Services works to maintain hegemony over how predators are blamed for livestock deaths so that they can be managed and killed and so that the taxpayer funds flow freely. He goes on to describe how the reporting of livestock depredations is routinely influenced by the higher ups in the department so that blame could be squarely placed on any number of predators instead of what usually boils down to poor animal husbandry practices.

Often times he was called to the scene of a “wolf depredation” only to find out, upon investigation, that the animal had died from other causes or that dogs had been behind the incident. When he would write up his report he would skin the animal out to look for hemorrhaging caused by the bites of a wolf or other predator, he would take pictures, he would look for tracks. This was frowned upon by his superiors and he was told to use only the small space on the investigation report form to describe whether the livestock had been killed by predators or not. Read the rest of this entry »