Lawsuit Targets Nevada Wildlife Services | State and regional


A lawsuit filed Dec. 9 by the WildEarth Guardians and the Western Watersheds Project seeks to rule over wildlife slaughter programs run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Nevada.

“As society has evolved to understand the importance of native species as a key component of ecosystems and the need for coexistence with wildlife, Wildlife Services continues to rely on archaic practices in the name of ‘management.’ conflict with wildlife, ”said Lindsay Larris, director of the wildlife program at WildEarth Guardians. “Wildlife Services continually ignores the science of the effectiveness of lethal management as well as the severe environmental impacts of its logging program. We demand better from the federal government.

A USDA spokesperson said he was unable to comment on the pending litigation.

In 2012, WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit against Wildlife Services in Nevada “on the grounds that it failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Wilderness Act based on an impact statement. woefully obsolete 1994 programmatic environmental … “according to the current lawsuit. That 2012 lawsuit ended up in court, and in 2016, Wildlife Services agreed to suspend operations and stop killing wildlife on six million acres of public land in Nevada while they were updating the analysis of his program.

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WildEarth Guardians said in a press release that its retrial “comes in response to a July 2020 ruling that Wildlife Services'” Predator Damage Management “program, involving aerial gunfire, trapping and The poisoning of native fauna had “no significant impact” on the environment.

“The lawsuit alleges that the agency’s analysis is flawed in several respects and that the indiscriminate killing of native carnivores and other wildlife actually causes a host of negative impacts that warrant much more severe scrutiny of the part of the government, “the press release said. .

The lawsuit says that in 2020, wildlife killed by wildlife services in Nevada included 29 mountain lions, a bobcat, two black bears, five foxes and 3,662 adult coyotes. Between 2015 and 2020, according to the lawsuit, Nevada Wildlife Services killed 14,855 coyotes on Bureau of Land Management lands. Of these, 10,897 were in White Pine, Eureka, Elko and Humboldt counties.

“The lawsuit also accuses Wildlife Services of failing to recognize the futility of lethal ‘control’ of wildlife for the apparent purpose of protecting domestic livestock that the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service – also named accused in the deal – authorize the federal government to graze public lands, including wilderness areas, “the WildEarth Guardians press release said.” The groups argue that these federal agencies need to revise their analyzes of the program ” predator damage management ”to also carefully assess non-lethal science-based approaches to avoid conflict between livestock and wildlife.”

Lawsuits similar to the WildEarth Guardians new lawsuit against Wildlife Services in Nevada have resulted in settlements in New Mexico and Montana over the past two years, according to the WildEarth Guardians website. The settlements included a list of ways Wildlife Services will limit its wildlife management program in the state.

For example, in New Mexico the list does not include any wildlife kill / damage controls in wilderness areas, areas of critical environmental concern, wild and scenic river corridors, National Park lands. Service, national wildlife refuges, national monuments and several wilderness study areas; no more compound 1080 or gas cartridges to kill wildlife such as coyotes, foxes and prairie dogs on all federal lands; and no more need to use snares to target coyotes; with increased public transparency.

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