MENDOCINO Co, CA, 1/31/23 – Mendocino County is collecting data on the issues and needs of local wildlife–from small garden pests to large predators–to help shape a new exclusion program based on non-lethal measures and a “no-fault” door policy. .
Acting Agricultural Commissioner Andrew Smith said in a presentation to the Board of Supervisors last week, “This provides us with an opportunity to get this message across to the public that they can count on us, that there is no wrong door to receiving support from your county government in dealing with wildlife issues in a non-lethal manner.” “.
Currently, county employees are working to let the public know that they can reach out to any of the many entities and direct them to someone who can help them with their wildlife needs. Smith’s department, Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM), is responsible for helping with troublesome small wildlife problems. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) deals with large wildlife, from animal exclusion measures to ongoing issues; The Department of Animal Welfare Services handles pets, but is available to direct residents to either AWM or CDFW; UCLA Cooperative Extension assists with information based on wildlife management education and research.
“I think the position of this council is to try to coexist with nature rather than to rule it,” said Chairman Glenn McGourty. “I think this is an important program.”
Superintendent John Haschak worked with staff to lay the groundwork for a new wildlife exclusion program last year, following uproar in 2014 over wildlife management in Mendocino County through the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which often relied on lethal methods. Mendocino County suspended its contract with FWS, but renewed it in 2020 with an annual review option. In 2021, moderators He terminated the contract by a vote of three to two.
“Clearly the right thing to do is for the province to move away from this barbaric system of slaughtering wildlife to one that respects the inherent right to life of wild animals, while at the same time protecting people’s property,” the Steering Committee of the Killer Wildlife Alliance wrote in a statement. Letter to the editor in 2019.
With an emphasis on non-lethal methods, the new program is being developed for Mendocino County through wildlife exclusion initiatives through Neighbors, including Sonoma and Marin counties. Wildlife exclusion aims to reduce negative interactions between animals and humans, rather than penalizing animals for living in or being attracted to habitats we have outgrown. Furthermore, the use of non-lethal methods is also seen as being more environmentally friendly, recognizing the importance of animals including raccoons, wolves, skunks, and bears in contributing to pest control and regulating our ecosystems.
But the county still has resources to deal with ongoing issues or dangers from large predators, including eventually resorting to lethal methods. This is where CDFW comes in.
Smith explained that “non-lethal methods are their primary goal when it comes to the advice, education and awareness they provide to consumers and property owners,” but added: The only agency allowed to issue looting permits And do it only when it is ultimately necessary. There are a number of policies that the CDFW uses these days to deal with the depredations of large predators on livestock, and that includes the three-stroke model.”
The program is still in the data collection phase. AWM has an employee assigned each day to man the phone lines and collect metrics for the types of wildlife problems most common in Mendocino County. Of the 53 calls so far, only one has involved a wildlife nuisance, but Smith hopes this will change as the public becomes aware of the county’s resources.
“The program we’re doing now is really just information gathering,” Haschak explained. “It won’t cost you anything.”
Partner departments will check monthly and plan to report back to the Board with an update within six months.
Supporting documents about the Wildlife Exclusion Program are available on the January 24, 2023 agenda.
NB: Kate Fishman Covers the environment and natural resources for The Mendocino Voice in partnership with a Report to America. Her position is funded by Mendocino Community FoundationAnd Report on America, and our readers. You can support Fishman’s work with a tax-deductible donation here or by e-mail [email protected]. Contact her at KFishman@mendovoice.com or at (707) 234-7735. The Voice retains editorial control and independence.