Predator Derby (ID)
A hunting group in Idaho (ironically named “Idaho for Wildlife”) was granted a special use permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to host a five-year, annual wolf- and coyote-killing contest beginning in January 2015 on public BLM-managed land surrounding Salmon, Idaho. The same group applied for a permit to hold the contest on public National Forest Service-managed land; however, the Forest Service informed the group that a special use permit was not required for the event. 2015 was the second year the annual contest was held.
At the first killing contest, in late 2013, two $1,000 prizes were offered: one for the most coyotes killed and the other for the most wolves killed. The flyer encouraged children to enter, announcing special awards for 10-11 year-olds and another for 12-14 year olds. According to organizers, the event was the first wolf-killing contest held in the U.S. since 1974. By the end of the derby, 230 participants killed 21 coyotes but no wolves.
On November 13, 2014, the BLM approved a 5-year permit allowing carnivore-killing contests on public lands surrounding Salmon, Idaho. That same day we filed suit to stop the contests. On November 25, 2014 we celebrated a victory when the BLM revoked its permit allowing the killing contest on BLM lands.
Unfortunately, the killing contest could still be held on National Forest lands, and the event took place in early January 2015 (fortunately, no wolves were killed). Our lawsuit challenges both the BLM and the Forest Service and seeks to stop future carnivore killing contests from occurring on our public lands.
As a result of our legal pressure, Idaho for Wildlife decided to not hold the derby in 2016, and publicly announced it would not occur in 2017. Although this is great news for Idaho wolves and coyotes, the litigation is ongoing and we need your support to ensure long-term protections for wildlife for future killing contests.
UPDATE 2/23/17: As a result of our litigation, BLM must notify the public when it receives applications for permits for these kinds of events. This will allow us to challenge future applications in court, which we plan to do. It's a step in the right direction toward banning killing contests on public lands.
(WELC project 419)