Date of this Version
Published in Proceedings of Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop, December 10, 11, and 12, 1973, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. Edited by F. Robert Henderson.
The tragic fiasco of federal predator control as we have known it is finished. The American people will no longer tolerate it. In this age of environmental concern, the people will not allow their tax dollars to be diverted for such a destructive and wasteful war against living wild creatures for the exclusive benefit of the sheep industry. There is now no turning back to old ways.
Indiscriminate trapping, shooting and poisoning have reduced some of the rarest, most beautiful and superbly adapted species of our wildlife heritage to the brink of extinction, although they consitutue a resource that could be enjoyed by all and harvested by sportsmen under sound management principles. The war on predators has been waged with little scientific knowledge of their beneficial role in the biotic community, and without moral or ethical consideration for man's responsibility in preserving natural life as an integral part of the environment.
As I wrote in the January, 1971, issue of Field and Stream, the Division of Wildlife Services, an agency of the Interior Department, has had one prime goal at the root of its existence: to kill wildlife. It has for years gotten away with murder -- the murder of wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, badgers -- as well as anything else that might be handy.