President Obama wants to freeze the tiny part of the federal budget that applies to programs in the environment, parks, education and transportation. I’ve seen this movie before and know this political gimmick doesn’t have a happy ending for wildlife. But here are four easy way to cut the federal budget by $280 million a year and help the environment, wildlife and animal watchers.
Discount Grazing on Public Lands: $121 million
Wild Horse-Roundups and Permanent Holding: $85 million a year
Killing Coyotes, Starlings and other “Bad” Animals: $71 million a year
Rounding up Yellowstone Bison $3 million
(Photo courtesy of Sharat Ganapati)
2) Stop rounding up wild horses : $85 million a year
3) Stop Killing Coyotes and Starlings: $71 million a year
The federal government spent a stunning $71 million in FY2010 on the widely discredited science of killing 2.4 million predators and “nuisance” animals. The predators taken are quickly replaced by other animals moving into the territory. Wyoming spent $2.2 million federal tax dollars in 2007 to kill 11,000 coyotes, 300 foxes, 1,000 pigeons, 600 ravens and 55 wolves (among other animals they decided were bad).
Whether you think these animals should survive or not, you have to question whether federal tax dollars should be spent removing them.
The federal government also paid to dispatch (partial list)
13,000 mourning doves
500 stray dogs
1,100 prairie dogs
1,110 feral cats
876 robins (including 776 shot on purpose in Mississippi)
344 wolves (including four critically endangered Mexican gray wolves that you are also paying the Fish and Wildlife Service to bring back)
52 pelicans (including one brown pelican, then classified as endangered, intentionally shot in Florida)
43 Sandhill cranes
4) Stop Rounding up Yellowstone Bison $3 million
Again, lay this one on the cattlemen. The various government agencies (parks, forest service, USDA) say they needs to limit bison because they might give a disease to 200 neighboring cattle.
“The U.S. government spends about $3 million a year to manage wild buffalo like livestock inside Yellowstone Park through its capture, quarantine, and vaccination program, all intended to prevent buffalo’s natural migration to adjacent National Forest lands and on private lands where people want and respect them as wildlife,” says Buffalo Field Campaign habitat coordinator Darrell Geist. He also points out that doesn’t even count crop and livestock subsidies, giveaways to mining companies and gifts to
oil and gas interests.
They could just stop giving out the money-losing grazing rights to the land in the valley. Remember, it’s a money losing proposition anyway. But on top of that, we’re paying to round them up and ship them off. Even though seeing bison is one of the reasons Americans like going to Yellowstone. BFC’s. Habitat Coordinator Darrell Geist says they could probably buy out the cattle for about $1 million.