Ron has brought a couple of updates to my attention regarding the proposted Mountain Lion hunt at the Kofa NWR. First was that it was cancelled! Or at least postponed.
The Humane Society of the United States today hailed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to cancel a proposed mountain lion hunt in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona.
The decision came following a letter from The Humane Society of the United States pointing out that the proposed hunt was inconsistent with a recent District of Columbia federal court ruling in The Fund for Animals v. Hall that has called into doubt the manner in which the Fish and Wildlife Service opens wildlife refuges to sport hunting. The decision, issued in August 2006, found that the Fish and Wildlife Service has unlawfully opened and expanded sport hunting at more than three dozen wildlife refuges without adequate environmental review of the cumulative environmental impacts of sport hunting on the broader refuge system, as required by federal law.
So “without adequate environmental review.” It isn’t saying they aren’t allowed, in general. But the mountain lion hunt is cancelled for now, or postponed until a comprehansive review of the environmental impact is done.
Today Ron brought to my attention a document posted on the Kofa NWR website. It is a response to the public comments, which is really more of a promise of a response, to be posted in February. Here’s what it said:
US Fish & Wildlife Service, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Response to Public Review
The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) received public comments on the draft Mountain Lion Hunt Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Compatibility Determination concerning the addition of Kofa NWR to an existing limited mountain lion hunt in southwest Arizona during the 2007/2008 hunt season. Thank you for your interest and ideas on the proposal. All comments will be considered in the preparation of the final documents.
A judge’s recent decision in a lawsuit, Fund for Animals et al. vs. Dale Hall, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation et al., [Civil Action No. 030677 (RMU)] has affected the completion of these documents by requiring the Fish and Wildlife Service to complete a cumulative impacts analysis on all new hunt openings and hunt expansions.
The completion of the Mountain Lion Hunt Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Compatibility Determination has been postponed until the National Wildlife Refuge System prepares guidance on the required analysis of cumulative impacts as ordered by the court. We appreciate your continuing interest in the Kofa NWR and the management of your National Wildlife Refuge System. If you have any questions, please contact our office.
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
356 W. 1 st St
Yuma, AZ 85364; (928) 783-7861; fax 783-8611
We’ll have to keep our eye out. I know several people who wrote in opposing the hunt. Thanks for keeping me updated Ron!