Action Alert: Stop Washington Cougar Hound Hunting Legislation

Thanks to Exposing the Big Game and the Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF) for the info listed below. Check out their websites for more info.

Washington state Senators Brian Dansel and Don Benton have coauthored a bill that would force the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to allow trophy hunters to use hounds to kill cougars for fun.

Senate Bill 6287 states special “dangerous cougarwildlife task teams must be developed in each county [...] and a kill season with the aid of dogs must be established,” ultimately claiming they will hunt lions to protect the public and increase research on the species. WDFW and the findings of numerous research projects have shown these hunting programs don’t work, and they can actually increase cougar-human conflicts.

WDFW already has the authority to initiate special public safety hunts with the use of hounds, if needed (WAC 232-12-243). But the agency has found that teaching the public about coexistence and only killing the cats who cause problems has proven to be a more successful policy.

Allowing groups of hound hunters to kill random cougars in rural areas has not yielded any positive results and is just an excuse for hunters who want to chase cougars with a pack of dogs.

Washington sport hunters (without dogs) already shoot more than 100 lions each year. As a result, the cougar population is declining and the mean age of the cats is lower. Young cats are more likely to come into conflict with people, pets, and livestock.

How to help:

Please contact your Senator NOW (before February 18th) and urge him or her to vote against this bill!

Write a short letter or email stating why you oppose Senate Bill 6287. Even a phone call will help. You can use this contact form if you’re short on time (but personal letters are best). If possible, please also send MLF a copy of your letter and cc emails to info@mountainlion.org.

Talking points:

  • Senate Bill 6287 is a redundant authorization of public safety hound hunts — WDFW already has this tool at its discretion if they think it’s necessary to use hounds to help kill cougars.
  • Senate Bill 6287 would force the Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement a wildlife killing program that they know is unsuccessful and potentially dangerous.  The legislation is not backed by the Department, scientific research, or the majority of citizens in Washington.
  • Washington residents have repeatedly shown we do not support the use of hounds to track, tree, and kill wildlife for fun. It’s a cruel and outdated unsportsmanlike hobby that needs to remain illegal.
  • This bill would allow hound hunters to kill cougars that have posed no threat to people, which may actually increase the percentage of problem cougars in our state.

Thank for taking the time to help protect Washington’s cougars!

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Help stop wolves and coyotes from being killed

Stop the December 28-29 Salmod, Idaho Coyote and Wolf “Derby”

Please join Project Coyote in protest of an indefensible coyote and wolf killing “derby,” ironically scheduled on the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Endangered Species Act, our nation’s safety-net for wildlife, that brought wolves back from the brink of extinction. It is imperative that everyone speak out against this atrocity scheduled in less than two weeks. Time is critical.

Sign the petition here

Predator derbies are a shame to this great nation. We made a mistake with wolves before and now we are doing it again. Have we learned nothing from our past? Don’t let a small minority decide the fate of America’s wild predators.

Please contact the following individuals to voice your opposition:

Idaho Department of Fish & Game
Virgil Moore, Director
600 S. Walnut, Boise, ID 83720
(208) 334-2920
Email: virgil.moore@idfg.idaho.gov
http://gov.idaho.gov/ourgov/contact.html

Idaho Department of Fish & Game
Will Naillon, Salmon Region IDFG Commissioner
Email: willnaillon@gmail.com

Idaho Fish and Game Commission
Bob Barowsky, Chairman
Email: bbarowsky@fmtc.com

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter
P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720
(208) 334-2100
Email: governor@gov.idaho.gov

Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce
Charleane Hermosillo, Executive Director
Phone: (800) 727-2540 or (208) 756-2100
Email: svcc1@centurytel.net

Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association, Boise
John May, Executive Director
Phone: (208) 342-1438
Email: john@koga.org

IOGA represents all outfitters in the state of Idaho. If you use Idaho outfitters for white water rafting, camping, backcountry skiing – please mention this and urge IOGA to speak out against having their members participate in a predator killing contest.

Shane McAfee
Idaho For Wildlife
Salmon Idaho Chapter Chairman
shane@castlecreekoutfitters.com
phone (208) 756-2548

Visit the Idaho For Wildlife website

poster c/o All Creatures
click to enlarge to read all the horrifying details...

Information/Talking points

Specific details about the contest hunt:

What: “1st Annual 2-Day Coyote & Wolf Derby” brough to you by Idaho for Wildlife, Salmon Chapter, Sportsman Group
Where: Salmon, Idaho
When: Dec. 28th & 29th, 2013

Wolf Coyote Derby Salmon Idaho Dec.2013

A wolf tag can be purchased for as little as $11.75, permitting each hunter to shoot 4 to 10 wolves (depending on region). 154 wolves have been killed in Idaho since hunting season opened on August 30th. Idaho is showing the nation what happens to wolves following the removal of federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.

This is not hunting but a gratuitous massacre that is legal in Idaho and across the country. Prizes will be offered to contestants who kill the largest wolf and the most female coyotes. Children as young as 10 are encouraged to compete, with prizes being offered to youth from the ages of 10-14.

These competitions are ethically indefensible and ecologically reckless, as well as a public safety risk, as shooters fan out across the landscape, trying to shoot large numbers of coyotes and wolves.

Action Alert from All-Creatures.org
Press release info from Alan Brown, Change.org and Dave Parsons, Project Coyote

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