Reforming Wildlife Management Practices

photo by Wally Nussbaumer for ProjectCoyote.org

Overview

Project Coyote promotes compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy. When necessary, Project Coyote pursues judicial remedies to obtain wildlife management reforms within government agencies. This includes, among other things, requiring adequate environmental analysis of wildlife management practices and strong enforcement of the Endangered Species Act for imperiled predators.

Significant Developments

Shasta County Wildlife Services Contracts

Every year, Shasta County contracts with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services program for the lethal control of predators and other wildlife it considers to be a nuisance. These contracts result in the killing of thousands of animals annually. On June 6, 2018, Project Coyote joined several other organizations in submitting a letter to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors that details how these contracts are a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act, the California Endangered Species Act, the public trust doctrine, and other laws. As a result of this notice letter, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors terminated its contract with Wildlife Services. Christina Stella of Animal Legal Defense Fund represented Project Coyote in this matter.

“Wildlife Damage Management” in California's North District

On June 21, 2017, Project Coyote joined several organizations in a lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture over its failure to update its National Environmental Policy Act analysis for the “Wildlife Damage Management” program in California's North District. Despite killing millions of animals annually, Wildlife Services continued to support its program with wildlife management science from the 1980s and earlier. As a result of this lawsuit, Wildlife Services entered into a settlement agreement that, among other things, created an enforceable timeline for completion of a Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision and required the implementation of various best practices for wildlife management in the North District. Collette Adkins and Jennifer Loda of the Center for Biological Diversity represented Project Coyote in this matter.

Monterey County Wildlife Services Contracts

Monterey County enters into annual contracts with wildlife trappers employed by United States Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program for the lethal control of predators and other wildlife it considers to be a nuisance. Despite the fact that these contracts result in the killing of thousands of animals annually, the County enters into these contracts without any environmental review. On June 1, 2016, Project Coyote joined several other organizations in a lawsuit against Monterey County for violations of the California Environmental Quality Act as a resultof the exectution of the lethal predator control program. On August 9, 2017, the Court found in favor of the plaintiffs and held that Monterey County violated the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to analyze environmental and ecological impacts prior to renewal of the contract with Wildlife Services. Attorneys from Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati represented Project Coyote in this matter.

In The News - Court rules against Monterey County over predator control program

Project

Project Coyote

Focus Area

Wildlife Protection