Stop the Senseless Slaughter
States across the country have expanded controversial predator control programs in contradiction to federal goals of species protection. States are permitting or encouraging trophy hunting and hunting and trapping of predators, particularly wolves, without regard for sustainable levels. States are authorizing practices like baiting and snaring of bears, “judas” wolf collaring, use of dogs to hunt predators, shooting bears and their cubs in dens, shooting wolves and pups at dens, aerial spotting/land-and-shoot, and nighttime hunting with artificial lights.
State game programs are supported by federal funds collected under the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act — the total amount of funding transferred to states in FY2021 was $678,894,449. Please join us in submitting a rulemaking petition to the Secretary of the Interior demanding that the eligibility of these states be subject to public comment and review as to whether their game programs are consistent with federal conservation policy.
This review will ensure that state wildlife management is consistent with the goals of sound conservation policy and maintaining healthy and naturally diverse wildlife populations, including predators, as required under Pittman-Robertson – requirements not heretofore enforced.
On a wide variety of issues, eligibility for federal funding is used as a way to leverage states to comply with federal policies. For example, federal Highway Trust Funds have been restricted in states that failed to comply with the national drinking age or establish speed limits. Similarly, we are urging that the Secretary of Interior withhold federal funds from states that undermine national wildlife protection policies.
Secretary of the Interior
Dear Secretary Haaland,
I am writing to urge you to adopt regulations disqualifying states from receiving grants under the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act if they allow hunting or trapping at levels that compromise healthy populations of wildlife, including predators, particularly grey wolves.
Pittman-Robertson currently requires states to maintain healthy populations of all species of native wildlife, but those requirements should be enforced. Federal dollars should not subsidize states that pursue practices such as baiting and snaring of bears, “judas” wolf collaring, use of dogs to hunt predators, shooting bears and their cubs in dens, shooting wolves and pups at dens, aerial spotting/land-and-shoot, and nighttime hunting with artificial lights.
Again, I urge you to take action that does not reward any state whose management practices are inconsistent with the national goal of naturally diverse wildlife populations and healthy predator-prey dynamics.