By Kate Good
The rationale behind wildlife killing contests just seems to escape us. Giving hunters free reign to kill as many wild animals as they please, for “fun” cash prizes, just seems plain ridiculous – if we’re being honest … actually it’s way more than ridiculous, but we’ll refrain. Luckily, we have been saved from having to rant about the insanity that is the Idaho Predator-Killing Contest, thanks to an amazing collaboration between a several animal protection and conservation groups.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) granted a permit for a group called “Idaho for Wildlife” (the name is incredibly misleading) to hunt and kill as many predatory species as they wanted on an expanse of three million acres of public lands in Idaho. Oh, and they would also be able to do so every year for the next five years … Given the BLM’s affinity for offing native species and selling out public lands for profit (just look at what they’ve done to the wild horse population for cattle ranching), we are none too surprised about their willingness to let Idaho for Wildlife do the dirty work for them.
However, in response to this heinous proposal, attorneys for the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Project Coyote, and Defenders of Wildlife teamed up to file an injunction against the BLM. In collaboration with this action, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) set to work asking the public to submit comments to the BLM, expressing their disapproval of this decision. Over 90,000 comments were submitted to the BLM. Coupled with the science collected by ALDF’s conservation partners, the case against the approval of this decision was enough to dissuade the BLM from going through with the permit!
The contest was set to begin in January of 2015, but since the BLM has withdrawn their approval, it is officially off! Sorry, we are anything but close to being sorry, Idaho for Wildlife.
A huge thank you on behalf of the millions of predatory species who were ultimately saved in this action. These species play a vital role in the ecosystem of our public lands and we must remember that without them, these wonderful protected places would be left to degrade. Protecting animals means protecting the wild places we love and pride ourselves on.
The executive director of ALDF has pointed out, “building coalitions between animal protection and conservation movements is vital to the success of each.”
Go team work!