By Cameron Rasmusson
Five environmental groups are joining forces to seek a halt to federally managed wolf killings.
Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project, along with four allies, is asking a federal judge to halt the U.S. Department of Agricultural Wildlife Services from conducting any more wolf killings until a new environmental impact statement is drafted. According to organization officials, the last environmental study, conducted in 2011, is badly outdated.
“Killing these iconic animals is senseless, cruel, and impoverishes our wild country.,” Western Watersheds Project officials said in a statement. “Killing wolves for private livestock interests is wrong, especially on public lands, where wildlife deserves to come first.”
The lawsuit alleges that the USDA killed 72 wolves last year through “foothold traps, wire snares that strangle wolves, and aerial gunning from helicopters.”
A controversial issue in Idaho, wolf conservation critics claim the animals kill rancher livestock and menace populated areas. Supporters allege that wolf populations are still vulnerable and require more careful management. [CR]