IN THIS ISSUE:
- Idaho Wolf-Baiting Action Alert
- Montebello Adopts Coyote Friendly Communities Program
- John Maguranis in Massachusetts
- KILLING GAMES Film Update
- Lawsuit Filed Against Killing Program
- Arcadia Halts Plan to Trap and Kill
- Petition to Ban the Use of M-44s
- Predator-Friendly Rancher Becky Weed
- Tribute to Hope Ryden
- Other News…
As I head to Buena Vista Colorado to give a presentation about why North America’s apex predators matter and how we can better coexist with them, I am reminded that just last year Colorado enacted an arcane, ethically indefensible and ecologically reckless policy against bears and mountain lions. This program, adopted and implemented by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is designed to reduce bear and mountain lion numbers in order to increase mule deer populations for hunters. “Outrageous” is how members of our Science Advisory Board referred to this insanity.
Colorado is not alone in its mismanagement of predators. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has proposed a rule that would allow hunters to legally bait and shoot wolves. No other state in the lower 48 allows this heinous practice (see more below to voice your opposition to this proposal—today is the last day to submit your comments!).
I’m also reminded of just how critically important it is that we provide viable and humane alternatives to this killing by suggesting ways we can cohabitate with our wild neighbors. I’m excited to share some of the ways that Project Coyote is accomplishing this objective in both rural and urban areas, and some of the strategies we’ve implemented to press for reform of predator management at the local, state and federal levels.
We could not do this important work without your support. Thank you. And if you’re not already a Project Coyote supporter, please consider joining our pack. If you feel inspired after reading this issue of Coyote Chronicles, I hope you will share it with others to spread our message and expand our circle.
For Compassionate Coexistence
Camilla H. Fox
Founder & Executive Director
Idaho: Wolf-Baiting Action Alert
Right now, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) is considering passing a rule that would allow hunters to legally bait and shoot wolves. No other state in the lower 48 allows this heinous practice. The vote on this rule is scheduled for Wednesday, July 26—please take action now to help us block its passage! If you haven’t seen our Action Alert about this issue, click here to read it; and click here to go directly to the IDFG’s comment form to voice your opposition to this indefensible and ecologically reckless rule. Please encourage friends and family to do the same as numbers matter.
California: Montebello Adopts Coyote Friendly Communities Program
We are pleased to announce that another California community has joined our Coyote Friendly Communities pack! In Montebello, a recent spate of coyote sightings caused some agitation in the community and resulted in a demand by some residents for the city to hire a trapper to trap and kill coyotes. Montebello Recreation and Community Services reached out to Project Coyote for assistance in developing a Coyote Coexistence Plan. The plan, which emphasizes proactive public education and consistency in response protocols and messaging, was formally adopted by the Montebello City Council on July 12. Read the plan here.
John Maguranis ~ Fostering Coexistence & Understanding of Coyotes to ACO Community in Massachusetts
In addition to presenting numerous community forums on how to coexist with coyotes, including this one in May, Project Coyote Massachusetts Representative John Maguranis has been designated as a trainer for all Animal Control Officers (ACOs) in Massachusetts! John will teach a course entitled “The Eastern Coyote & ACOs.” ACOs who complete the course will gain two continuing credit hours. No other state offers training specific to coyote ecology, behavior and response protocols, and we are grateful to Massachusetts for providing a model for the rest of the country. Read more about John’s work for coyotes here and here.
KILLING GAMES ~ Wildlife In The Crosshairs Entered in Film Festivals
KILLING GAMES ~ Wildlife In The Crosshairs, Project Coyote’s film exposing wildlife killing contests, is now an official entrant in several film festivals across the country. The film got a shout-out from Jeffrey St. Clair in the June 30 issue of CounterPunch,
and continues to gain endorsements from prominent figures in conservation, film and entertainment. In the works are several local events promoting the film—stay tuned for further details! Read more about the film project here.
California: Lawsuit Filed Against Federal Wildlife-Killing Program
On June 21, Project Coyote and other conservation groups filed a lawsuit in San Francisco federal court seeking an updated environmental analysis of the USDA’s Wildlife Services’ outdated wildlife killing plan for California’s North District. “NEPA requires that federal agencies use the best available science in analyzing the impacts of their programs, and we believe Wildlife Services has failed to do this and has in fact cherry-picked their science to meet their goals,” stated Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “Moreover, they must consider alternatives to indiscriminate killing and analyze the site-specific and cumulative impacts that killing large numbers of wild animals has on the diversity and integrity of healthy ecosystems.” Read the Complaint here.
California: Arcadia Halts Plan to Trap and Kill Coyotes
In February, Project Coyote helped spearhead an effort to stop Arcadia from trapping and killing coyotes. Project Coyote Southern California Representative Randi Feilich and more than one hundred wildlife advocates testified before the Arcadia City Council to oppose the city’s use of tax-dollars to trap and kill coyotes. “Trapping with indiscriminate snares is not only cruel, but can also kill non-target animals such as family pets and other local wildlife,” Feilich testified. “Animals caught in snares slowly suffocate or endure painful injuries, often leaving orphans to starve.”
Project Coyote – along with the Pasadena Humane Society and other allies- offered nonlethal alternatives to killing. Wildlife advocates used a multi-pronged approach to stop the killing and in July, PETA settled a lawsuit against the city that included Arcadia’s agreement to halt the trapping and killing and to explore nonlethal methods of dealing with coyotes. “We are grateful that PETA spearheaded legal action to stop this unnecessary and unjustified killing,” said Feilich. “This sends a strong message to other communities that they can’t justify indiscriminate coyote control under the California Environmental Quality Act.” Following Calabasas and Montebello’s lead, the Arcadia City Council then voted to adopt a Coyote Management Plan that emphasizes public education, hazing and non-lethal approaches to mitigate negative encounters with coyotes. Read more here and here.
Wyoming: Petition to Ban the Use of M-44s
On June 13, Project Coyote and other conservation groups jointly petitioned the USDA seeking a ban on the use of M-44 devices in Wyoming in the wake of several incidents involving non-targets being killed or harmed by the devices. This follows on the heels of a similar petition filed in Idaho in March that resulted in Wildlife Services agreeing to remove M-44s on all lands in Idaho. As Project Coyote’s Camilla Fox stated, “Many effective nonlethal alternatives exist to eliminate or reduce conflicts between livestock and predators . . . . It’s time our federal government followed the lead of Washington, California and other states in banning these deadly poisons once and for all.” Read more here and in Outside Magazine here.
Predator-Friendly Rancher Becky Weed
Project Coyote Advisory Board member and sheep rancher Becky Weed was the focus of our recent Notes from the Field blog. Becky and her husband share their Belgrade, Montana ranch with an assortment of wildlife, including coyotes, bears, mountain lions, foxes, eagles, and wolves. Becky has long believed in following a predator-friendly approach to ranching; she and her husband use a variety of nonlethal methods to keep her flock safe, including livestock guard dogs and Foxlights. In her NFTF interview, she stated, “The bottom line in predator management is adaptation. Conditions change, predators change, so we must learn and adapt. A sense of commitment is the most essential tool to achieving coexistence.” Becky is featured in David Quammen’s new book Yellowstone: A Journey Through America’s Wild Heart, published by National Geographic. Read more here and watch our interviews with Becky here.
Tribute to Hope Ryden
Project Coyote was sad to learn that our friend, naturalist and conservationist Hope Ryden, passed away on June 18th. In addition to producing documentary films in the cinema vérité style, Hope wrote more than 20 books on North American wildlife that featured her own photographs. Hope’s books have been translated into eight languages and many of her photographs are part of National Geographic’s permanent collection. Her wildlife studies have appeared in National Geographic, Smithsonian and Audubon magazines. You can read more about Hope in this New York Times piece, and in this thoughtful memorial biography by Merritt Clifton.
Hope was one of Project Coyote’s longest-serving science advisory board members, and her deep love for coyotes led to her profound and influential book, God’s Dog: The North American Coyote. Hope’s impassioned defense of predators was exhibited in many ways, which included testifying before Congress against the federal government’s lethal system of predator management. In the 70s, Hope studied coyotes in the Grand Tetons, where she worked alongside Project Coyote Science Advisory Board Member Franz Camenzind. You can read Franz’s moving tribute to Hope here.
The Wild West of Predator Control Is Hurting Humans and Pets
Idaho is the first Western state to take some action on dangerous cyanide traps, but it’s not enough. Read More
CDFW Confirms Presence of Wolf Pack in Lassen County, Collars Adult Wolf
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) biologists have captured and fitted a tracking collar to a female gray wolf in Lassen County, and confirmed that the wolf and her mate have produced at least three pups this year. Read more
OR-7 Is Grandpa To California Wolf Pack
It’s official: Rogue Pack alpha wolf OR-7 is a grandfather. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed Wednesday that the son of the famous wandering OR-7 has paired with a female, and they produced three pups this year. Read More
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Conservation Groups Sue Over Wildlife-Killing Program in California
Advocates push federal agency to consider best science and non-lethal management policies.
On the value of coyotes and other non-human life
Over a chilly weekend last month in Pennsylvania, residents got out their guns and their kids to kill wildlife in the Mosquito Creek Coyote Hunt, a “killing contest” now in its 26th year. Read more
Why are coyotes so polarizing?
First things first: Coyote. When you read the word, how many syllables do you hear? Your answer, according to Dan Flores, author of Coyote America, may be “immediately diagnostic of a whole range of belief systems and values.” Read More