Target: California Fish and Game Commission President Michael Sutton
Goal: Support a win for animals that will end wildlife-killing competitions in California
California has just spoken in favor of its wildlife, in a precedent-setting decision to ban contests where people compete to win prizes for killing the most or largest predators. California’s Fish and Game Commission is the first such organization in the nation to make this decision, but with a vote of 4 to 1 it was certainly not a close call. This decision comes at an especially important time for gray wolves, who conservationists are hoping will soon recolonize the state thanks in part to the Commission’s June decision to classify the wolves as protected. “‘Awarding prizes for wildlife killing contests is both unethical and inconsistent with our current understanding [of] natural systems,'” commented the Commission’s president, Michael Sutton, according to Project Coyote.
Project Coyote began petitioning the Commission to end this practice when it became known that a controversial coyote-killing competition might put the life of California’s only known gray wolf, Journey, in danger. Journey, also known as “OR-7,” was known to be in the area of Modoc County, where the contest was held. The Project’s founder and Executive Director, Camilla Fox, testified before the Commission prior to the recent decision. Fox stressed the necessity of banning such killing contests, which would threaten wolves as they begin to return to California. Following the decision, Fox commented in the Project’s press release, “Wildlife prevailed at this historic meeting and the public made it clear through thousands of letters and thoughtful testimonies that they want to see predators protected in California.”
The time to pursue peaceful relations with the wildlife in our environment is now. Thank the Fish and Game Commission for ending the inhumane practice of killing animals for fun or prizes in the state of California. Call on the Commission to continue enacting measures that prioritize the lives of wild animals over the entertainment of humans.
Dear Michael Sutton,
I am heartened by the Fish and Game Commission’s recent decision to ban wildlife-killing contests, and by your comments on the issue. With too many species fighting to preserve their place in the environment, it is up to humanity to take more care in its interactions with wildlife. By declaring this prohibition of killing animals for prizes, you are sending the message that California will no longer allow this form of human entertainment to take priority over the lives of wild animals.
Thank you for standing up for gray wolves, and for all of California’s wildlife, in declaring a ban on wildlife-killing contests. However, California (and the rest of the country) still has a long way to go when it comes to protecting animals from abuse related to human industry and entertainment. I urge you to work toward more protections for California’s predators and other animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons