Killing coyotes- or any wild animal- as part of a ‘contest’ ‘tournament’ or ‘drive' is ethically indefensible, ecologically reckless, and contravenes new legislation (AB 2402) that Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law requiring the Fish & Game Commission to use “ecosystem based management” and the best available science in the stewardship of California's wildlife.
Director Charlton H. Bonham, California Department of Fish & Wildlife
Commissioners, California Fish & Game Commission
I strongly oppose California’s sanctioning of wildlife killing contests – in particular the upcoming “Coyote Drive 2013” scheduled for Feb. 8-10 in Adin. Not only are such contest hunts offensive in their wanton waste of wildlife and disregard for the important ecological role coyotes (and other predators) play in maintaining ecosystem health and species diversity but they also pose a significant threat to the recovery of gray wolves in California. This region is where the wolf OR-7 (aka “Journey”) has been known to range. Although Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have expressed their concerns for the safety of OR-7 (and any other un-collared wolves who may roam the area), this contest hunt continues year after year.
It is time that the Department conduct a top-to-bottom evaluation of its approach to managing predators in California, including a review of current scientific literature and of proven practices that are more likely to yield better outcomes for wildlife, other animals and people. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed legislation (AB 2402), which requires the agency to use “ecosystem based management” and the best science in its stewardship of California's wildlife. It makes good sense to start at the top—with the species upon whose viability our entire ecosystem depends.
Please do everything in your power to stop this coyote hunting contest and use this as an opportunity to move California toward more responsible and ethical wildlife management.
Thank you for taking my concerns into consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.