Yesterday (December 18, 2013) I received a very disturbing message from the co-founder of the International Wolf Center, Nancy Gibson. On December 28-29 (2013) Salmon, Idaho, intends on hosting a two-day coyote- and wolf-killing derby replete with trophies and cash prizes up to $1,000 for massacring these extraordinary canine predators.
The barbaric bloodlust of this event has not taken place since 1974. Apparently the unconscious people behind this latest madness have regressed almost 40 years in time, rather than recognizing the importance of these magnificent predators, celebrating their existence on the landscape and protecting their wellbeing.
I have only one regret about reporting this kind of atrocity in "The War Against Nature." For all those who incorrectly call themselves "sportsman," I doubt very seriously that they would so brazenly with gall and effrontery partake in this one-sided affair if both the coyotes and wolves could shoot back.
The Idaho Fish & Game Department is aware of this ludicrous and archaic derby yet the agency will not stop this bloody free-for-all.
Let me remind you those wolves and coyotes are important predators that evolved on the North American continent and elsewhere; and their role in keeping ungulate populations from overgrazing vegetation, stripping streamside of plants, which causes mega erosion, destroying fish habitat and degrading water across the West is priceless -- particularly in the drought-prone West in the midst of an unprecedented warming time.
Ranchers and bloody-thirsty backwood hunters may be bullies, but why should they be allowed to focus their wrath on these majestic beasts not dissimilar to you or I? They are simply trying to make a daily living and survive.
Please help the coyotes and wolves by signing this petition.
And this Christmas while you are in the giving mood -- please consider learning more about the International Wolf Center and Wolf Song of Alaska -- they need your help to protect these most worthy and admirable critters!
Earth Dr Reese Halter is a broadcaster, biologist, educator and co-author of Life, The Wonder of It All.