In the final installment of the 3-part series, Tom Knudson investigates how the role of USDA Wildlife Services may change in the future. Should the agency be disbanded? Should it be reformed and given different responsibilities like controlling only invasive, non-native species? Should its predator control program be defunded?

There is obviously a problem with the agency and something needs to be changed.

USDA Wildlife Services plane with stickers representing each wolf killed.

Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans
Tom Knudson – The Sacramento Bee.

About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

4 Responses to Part 3 of a 3 part series: Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans

  1. Ralph Maughan says:

    My view in sum is that U.S. Wildlife Services in the Dept. of Agriculture does a little bit of good eliminating or controlling a few of the many invasive species like feral hogs, starlings, and the like; but this is offset by a whole bunch of bad. The latter is the ingrained part of the agency, going back a century or so (the agency has had many names before it took “Wildlife Services” as a form of politically protective camouflage).

    The agency can’t be reformed. Its few good services should be transferred to a new or existing agency and expanded to rid us of even more invasives. The rest of its functions should be abolished.

    Yes, states and localities will start up their own little predator control agencies in some places. Better will be private enterprise pest control which is not likely to undertake projects that cost more than they benefit those who hire them, for example, no $20,000 helicopter flights to kill 5 or 6 coyotes.

  2. Mike says:

    Thank you guys for bringing awareness to this.

  3. aves says:

    The function of Wildlife Services, if made to be more biological sound and rationally motivated, is needed to fight invasive species and reduce predation on endangered species. Perhaps if it was transferred to the USFWS it could be put to such good use.


May 2012


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey