To the editor:
Two bills that will result in increased killing of Utah’s mountain lions, bobcats, bears, and coyotes are currently being considered in the 2020 Utah legislative session. Both run contrary to the best available science. Both will adversely impact Utah ecosystems, resulting in many negative consequences for other species and overall ecosystem health. Both bills are irresponsible and unethical.
House bill 125 will require the UDWR to immediately take action by increasing the number of bears, cougars, bobcats and coyotes that are killed whenever a deer or elk herd is not as large as hunters desire. Predators are a critical part of a healthy ecosystem. This legislation strips management of wildlife from the UDWR and puts it in the hands of hunting organizations.
House bill 228 will allow ranchers to kill predators on public land grazing allotments when numerous livestock have been allegedly killed by predators. The fact is, there is no enforcement or investigation into the killing of predators by ranchers. Further, it is public land and the wildlife belong to all Americans. Taxpayers already heavily subsidize the domestic livestock grazing on public lands. Allowing them free reign to kill predators on public lands just adds insult to injury.