Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Predator derby is bad for wildlife

At the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Wildlife Summit in August, conservationist Shane Mahoney reminded Idahoans how lucky we are to live in a state with the wealth and diversity of wildlife that we have. But I really fear that there are way too many who live in Idaho but are not aware of this gift and the lack of wildlife in so many other places in the country. I fear that the Twin Falls group that is planning the coyote and fox derby this week don’t understand this at all.

I understand hunting for food (deer, elk, ducks and geese). The numbers of the herds and flocks are great. But at the top of the pyramid are the predators that keep the herds and flocks healthy. Biologists now recognize that predators are the most important cog in the ecosystem wheel. So I am deeply troubled by plans for this coyote and fox hunt.

Fish and Game’s website reminds us that “Idaho’s wildlife belongs to you and we all share responsibility in preserving, protecting and managing Idaho’s wildlife.” I do not accept the deaths of these animals for the sake of these people’s “fun” and feel much the same about trophy hunts.

Raising money in this way for any cause does not make ethical sense. I have written to ask Fish and Game to look into this practice and see if there is anything that can be done about this sad event and those of the future. If you feel the same, would you let Idaho Fish and Game know about it?

Christine Gertschen

Sun Valley

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