Protecting Bears from the Federal Exterminators
January 1, 2004
Every year from about April to mid-July, the federal Wildlife Services agency assists private timber companies in killing large numbers of black bears in western Oregon. A lawsuit filed by the Club in mid-November challenges the bear extermination program. The bears are killed because they feed on the bark of trees (primarily Douglas fir) and thus diminish timber industry profits. Wildlife Services uses snares, traps, and dogs to track and kill the bears. On average, Wildlife Services kills approximately 122 bears annually. (222 bears were killed in 1998.) It is estimated that 60% of the bear population in two counties have been exterminated as a result of the program, whereas a study conducted by the Oregon Department of Forestry determined that less than .00001% of tree mortality was attributable to black bears.
Details and Documents:
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.