ACTION ALERT UPDATE Unfortunately, Governor Herbert signed SB 245 S1 into law on March 17, 2012. Read more here
UTAH POISED TO OFFER BOUNTY FOR KILLING COYOTES
HELP US URGE VETO OF SB 245 S1 NOW!
There is reckless bill that could result in the wanton killing of tens of thousands of coyotes before Utah Governor Herbert that we need your help to defeat!
S.B. 245 S1 - euphemistically titled the "Mule Deer Protection Act" (and more appropriately called the "Coyote Scapegoat Act") purports to help boost mule deer numbers by allocating $750,000 Utah taxpayer dollars, every year in perpetuity to provide a de facto bounty on coyotes. Supporters hope that the lure of a $50 bounty per coyote will attract more people to the hobby of trapping and shooting coyotes. They contend that killing more coyotes will increase deer herd size. As acknowledged by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists, deer population declines in Northern Utah are largely attributable to harsh winters and habitat loss.
Not only is S.B. 245 S1 ecologically unsound and ethically indefensible, it is also a flagrant waste of limited taxpayer monies at a time when social services are being cut (read our sign-on letter here).
Please take a moment NOW (time is of the essence) to submit a brief comment to Governor Herbert to let him know that you strongly oppose this bill and urge him to veto it. Governor Herbert has until March 28th to sign this bill into law (and if he takes no action, the bill will automatically become law on March 28th). Thus he must VETO the bill to stop its provisions from becoming law.
Submit your comments to Governor Herbert here:
Below is a sample letter but please use your own words to personalize your letter.
RE: Opposition to SB 245 S1 - the "Mule Deer Protection Act"
Dear Governor Herbert,
I urge you to veto SB 245 S1 - the "Mule Deer Protection Act" on economic, ecological and ethical grounds.
The bill is economically unsound. At a time when state budgets are being cut and Utah taxpayers are feeling an economic crunch, spending limited taxpayer money ($7.5 million in 10 years) on a wasteful and ineffective coyote-killing program is unjust to Utah citizens. This money would be far better spent to improve our public education system or any number of other worthy programs.
The bill is ecologically misguided. Sponsors of SB 245 S1 maintain that the bill is necessary to boost mule deer populations. However, research has shown that indiscriminate coyote killing does not boost the size of deer herds or prevent livestock depredation. As stated by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists, deer declines in Northern Utah are largely attributable to harsh winters and habitat loss.
The bill is ethically indefensible. Coyotes can already be killed year round in unlimited numbers in Utah. Offering a reward for scalped ears or other body parts is reprehensible. Moreover, by sanctioning coyote bounties, S.B. 245 S1 would be impossible to police as many state wildlife management agencies acknowledge that it is impossible to know where the animal body parts (required for the bounty reward money) actually came from. They might have been killed out of state.
Please ensure that sound economics and science guide wildlife management in Utah by vetoing SB 245 S1. This will best serve the citizens of Utah.
Thank you for your consideration of my comments.
THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING UP FOR WILDLIFE! PLEASE SHARE THIS ACTION ALERT WITH OTHERS!
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