25
November
2014
|
08:09 PM
America/New_York

Federal Agency Rescinds Approval for Idaho Predator Derby after Mounting Opposition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 25, 2014

Contact:

Shawn Cantrell: scantrell@defenders.org ; (206) 508-5475

Bryan Hurlbutt:  bhurlbutt@advocateswest.org; (208) 342-7024 ext. 206

Federal Agency Rescinds Approval for Idaho Predator Derby after Mounting Opposition

BOISE, Idaho – After significant public opposition and in the face of legal challenges from Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation organizations, today the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) withdrew its permit to allow an annual commercial “predator derby” to take place on millions of acres of public lands in Idaho, beginning this January.

BLM’s decision comes after Defenders of Wildlife and Advocates for the West sued the agency two weeks ago. Furthermore, BLM received over 100,000 comments from Defenders of Wildlife members and other conservationists, strongly opposing the proposed predator derby. The derby targeted a wide range of predators from wolves and coyotes, down to weasels and skunks, and would have awarded prizes to people who killed the most predators and the most highly rated predators.

Sponsored by a hunters’ rights organization, the derby was to be an annual competitive predator killing contest involving up to five hundred participants. The BLM permit would have authorized the annual derby for five years.

Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife senior representative for Rockies and Plains and an Idaho resident issued the following statement:

“The public spoke loud and clear against this wildlife killing competition and we are glad to see senior officials at the Department of the Interior ultimately respond to the public’s opposition by directing that the permit be withdrawn. By denying the permit, BLM is supporting sound wildlife management practices as opposed to endorsing archaic killing competitions on our public lands that Americans so clearly oppose.”

Laird Lucas, Director of Litigation at Advocates for the West, issued the following statement:

“BLMs first-ever approval of a wolf killing derby on public lands undermines wolf recovery in the Northern Rockies and was not in the public interest.  So it's good BLM lawyers realized they needed to yank the permit after we sued.”

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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.