In September, federal officials killed a male wolf pup in Idaho to protect a private business – the Flat Top Sheep Company. What’s especially disconcerting is that that the private company grazes its sheep on public lands, and protocols that call for minimum measures to prevent conflict were ignored.
Instead, Idaho officials used tax-payer dollars to hire Wildlife Services, the strategically misnamed federal agency within the USDA, to kill the young wolf.
The public lands of the United States harbor some of the greatest resources of our nation and are owned by all Americans, not this private enterprise.
This begs the question, should we allow the killing of wildlife on our public lands to benefit the profit margins of a private business?
George Wuerthner, a former ecologist botanist with the Idaho Bureau of Land Management, discusses in The Wildlife News the ecological costs of grazing on public lands and why killing public wildlife for private profit is wrong.