Wildlife Services in Idaho
Feb 11, 2015
Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, and Project Coyote v. Todd Grimm, USDA Aphis Wildlife Services, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
After Advocates for the West filed suit challenging Wildlife Services’s failure to analyze and disclose to the public the impacts of its activities in Idaho, Wildlife Services issued a draft environmental analysis that discusses some of the impacts of its activities at an Idaho-wide scale. Advocates for the West worked with our clients to draft comments on the analysis document, identifying opportunities for improvement. After submitting these comments, we agreed to dismiss our case in return for a commitment from Wildlife Services to complete its environmental analysis by early 2016. When the new analysis issues, Advocates for the West and our client organizations will evaluate whether Wildlife Services has fully complied with the law.
USDA APHIS WILDLIFE SERVICES (“Wildlife Services”) spends millions of dollars and thousands of person-hours to kill thousands of wolves, coyotes, foxes, beavers, cougars, birds, and other wildlife species across Idaho each year, using aerial and ground shooting, poisons, traps, explosives, and other methods. Yet, Wildlife Services has never prepared an Environmental Impact Statement for its Idaho program, relying instead on a nationwide Programmatic EIS issued two decades ago, which does not analyze Idaho-specific activities or impacts in any detail, is badly outdated and contrary to modern science concerning the impacts of killing wildlife. Over the years, Wildlife Services has attempted to bolster this document with a piecemealed array of Environmental Assessments that don’t provide the “hard look” or meaningful alternatives required by NEPA.
The American Society of Mammalogists has repeatedly expressed its strong opposition to these activities, noting that current science does not support much of the agency’s lethal control of native mammals, and that its activities are wasteful, often counterproductive and at cross-purposes with agencies trying to protect and restore wildlife.
In this case, Advocates for the West is representing Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater and Project Coyote, and is asking the court to send Wildlife Services back to the drawing board to do their homework before more harm is done to wildlife, hikers, pets and people across Idaho.
2013 Wildlife Services Idaho Kill Data
2014 Wildlife Services Idaho Kill Data