Appropriations Letter Shows Widespread Support for USDA Wildlife Services
February 24, 2017
The American Sheep Industry Association, along with 205 additional livestock, aviation, sportsmen, civil, conservation and commodity stakeholders, sent a letter to U.S. House and Senate appropriations committee and subcommittee members urging their continued support for USDA Wildlife Services. ASI President Mike Corn, said this letter shows the broad impact WS has on the U.S. economy.
“For sheep producers, the Wildlife Services predation management program is critically important to our ability to maintain profitability and protect the safety of our flocks,” said Corn. “Wildlife Services’ efforts go far beyond just protecting the livestock industry. Its work keeps Americans safe in the air through their aviation program, protects rural and urban civil infrastructure, protects critical wildlife habitat for recreation and keeps our food supply safe by working with aquaculture, dairy and commodity row crop producers.”
Wildlife causes more than $12.8 billion in damage each year to natural resources, public infrastructure, private property and agriculture. WS works to prevent, minimize or manage this damage and protect human health and safety from conflicts with wildlife.
“Every year, Wildlife Services is called to do more, often with fewer resources available,” said Corn. “In 2016, the agency conducted over 67,000 technical assistance projects to reduce wildlife damage to property across the country; including schools, homes, roads, airports and utility systems. That is a 4 percent increase over 2015. While Wildlife Services has over 3,000 cooperative agreements to help cost-share many of these projects, we will work to ensure this program has the federal resources they need.”
ASI is asking Congress to fully fund USDA Wildlife Services in the fiscal year 2017 and 2018 appropriations process.