Comments are due by midnight tonight, March 9, 2020.
Tell USFWS that this is a terrible proposal and that they should continue issuing individual permits. Comments need to be typed or pasted into the online comment form. See below for sample messaging.Learn More
We have many significant concerns about the way that USFWS permits the killing of Cormorants, but the proposal they are scoping now would make things much, much worse. Oregon State Agencies have already proposed killing of Cormorants that goes far beyond what USFWS has allowed in the past.
The collapse of the entire colony went far beyond what was allowed under the Corps permits and puts the entire western population of Double Crested Cormorants at risk. Yet, the US Army Corps has applied for permits to continue destroying cormorant nests on East Sand Island if the birds return in 2018 and plans to modify their habitat to limit nesting in the future.
The agencies claim that the killing is necessary to protect federally listed salmon. However, killing of cormorants is nothing more than a diversion from the real cause of salmon decline, the federal hydropower system. In fact, US Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Biologists produced a secret report which concluded that killing cormorants at East Sand Island will do nothing to help recover salmon. Five times in the last twenty years, Federal Courts have rejected US Army Corps Columbia River Salmon Plans due to the fact that they have inadequately addressed the impacts from the dams.
It is time to stop scapegoating cormorants on East Sand Island and address the real cause of salmon declines.
Dear US Fish and Wildlife Service,
I am writing to express my strong opposition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to develop depredation orders to allow state fish and wildlife agencies and private aquaculture companies to kill Double-crested Cormorants without a permit. Cormorants are one of the most persecuted wild birds in the United States. I am deeply concerned that the US Fish and Wildlife Service would consider adopting a rule that would delegate its direct responsibility for regulating the lethal control of Double-crested Cormorants to agencies and private companies that lack the expertise, resources and legal responsibility for protecting these birds. It is even more troubling given that Federal Courts found in 2016 that a similar proposal which resulted in the deaths of more than 180,000 Double-crested Cormorants was illegal.
Delegation of this authority would:
- Increase the risk of population level impacts on Double-crested Cormorants;
- Eliminate the ability of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to require non-lethal strategies; to address conflicts before allowing lethal strategies;
- Increase the likelihood of inhumane methods being used to kill cormorants
- Increase the risk to non-target species;
- Increase the risk of illegal poaching of cormorants;
- Perpetuate a historic pattern of persecution of this species;
- Violate the US Fish and Wildlife Services responsibility to protect the public trust in wildlife.
I respectfully urge you to discontinue this process and retain direct responsibility for issuing permits on a case by case basis for the lethal control of Double-crested Cormorants.