Mendocino County Suspends Contract with USDA Wildlife Services

Mendocino County supervisors have agreed to suspend a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, which allowed for the killing of predatory animals such as bobcats and coyotes.

Monday’s decision is the result of a lawsuit filed by wildlife protection activists in November. The plaintiffs claimed that the county had violated the California Environmental Quality Act by contracting with the controversial agency.

Under the terms of the lawsuit settlement, the county must hold a public information session regarding the wildlife management program before May 5 and will shoulder $5,000 of the plaintiff’s legal fees. The decision is pending an environmental review which will consider nonlethal alternatives for predator control.

Mendocino County began contracting with the agency in 2004 and typically renews the contract every five years. The counties of Sonoma and Marin have already ceased their work with Wildlife Services.

Read more about the lawsuit settlement here.