Federal regulators must face an environmental challenge to its predator control practices in Nevada, including the killing coyotes and poisoning of ravens, a federal appeals court has ruled.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a lawsuit this week by WildEarth Guardians and other conservation groups that challenged the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program in Nevada. The groups allege the agency’s 2011 environmental impact statement relied on outdated information.
WildEarth Guardians asked the trial judge to enjoin the killing of predatory animals in Nevada, saying the agency’s reliance on decades-old data and outdated science allowed it to continue the program and interfere with public enjoyment of the outdoors.
The lawsuit challenged the adequacy of the information used to justify the activities under the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Wildlife Service and Nevada Department of Wildlife share responsibility for predator damage control in the state. The state has been conducting predator damage management for 80 years, according to the court.
Judge Michelle Friedland wrote the opinion, joined by Judges Margaret McKeown and Mary Murguia.
Case: WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, No. 13-16071