Target: Bureau of Land Management Idaho State Director Tim Murphy
Goal: Tell the Bureau of Land Management to deny approval for a multi-year predator killing derby
An organization calling itself “Idaho for Wildlife” has requested permission from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to host a multi-year predator slaughter derby on American public lands. The event would take place every winter for five consecutive years, targeting wild animals during their most vulnerable time of the year and awarding cash prizes for the most lives taken. Although the primary targets of this killing spree are the keystone-predator wolves who have only recently been reintroduced to the lower 48 states, hunters would also be allowed to take almost any “predatory” species, such as coyotes, weasels, or skunks.
A derby-style hunt is one in which all participants will be, in the group’s own words, “hunting for as many predators as they are able to harvest in three days”. This is tantamount to mass murder, as there are no take limits to help maintain minimum population levels or allowances for age, size, or fertility of each animal. Holding the event in winter is as additional affront, since wild animals are already weaker due to food scarcity and the harsh cold. They can also be more easily tracked and trapped in deep snow, practices which violate both sanctity of life and “fair chase” ethics. This type of unmitigated, free-for-all killing spree is exactly the kind of extermination tactic that drove wolves in the U.S. to the brink of extinction in the first place.
Besides being ethically outrageous, an unregulated event like this would be a gross misuse of public lands and is incompatible with accepted wildlife management doctrine. Additionally, condoning the mass murder of innocent creatures for fun and spectacle sets a dangerous and malignant precedent for human behavior. Defenders of Wildlife has called this proposal “an inappropriate and unethical commercial contest, set apart from sport hunting or hunting for subsistence”. Let the BLM know that this archaic and inhumane “sport” is morally unacceptable and should not be tolerated, especially on our shared public lands.
Dear Mr. Murphy,
The proposed Predator Derby wolf killing competition is antithetical to scientific wildlife management and would be a gross misuse of public land. Millions of federal dollars have been spent to reintroduce this important apex predator to its former habitat – money that this event would wilfully waste for the sake of morbid entertainment and misdirected anger.
Having already driven wolves to the brink of extinction once, it is our moral obligation to ensure a future for what remains of this iconic American species. Allowing the taking of wolf lives to become a commercial spectacle is a dire threat to the ethic of conservation that preserves the wild lands legitimate hunters depend on. I hope you will stand with us against this archaic and ecologically devastating practice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: www.bowhunting.net