Denver, Colo. -- The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) spearheaded a letter strongly supporting sufficient funding for the critical programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Wildlife Services (WS). The letter, delivered to leaders of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, boasted signatures from 169 organizations representing a broad range of food producers, wildlife organizations, sportsmen, aviation, local governments and resource interests.
"The letter is a powerful and unified message to Congress on the importance of federal wildlife management," stated Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. "An incredible cross section and share of America's food production is represented in this letter, a fact not lost on federal policy makers particularly when combined with the strong support of sportsmen, wildlife groups, aviation and state and county government."
Wildlife causes more than $12.8 billion in damage each year to natural resources, public infrastructures, private property and agriculture. WS works to prevent, minimize or manage this damage and to protect human health and safety from conflicts with wildlife. WS has a track record of nearly 20 years of successful National Environmental Protection Agency implementation to support its operations.
"It's WS's cooperative nature that allows the agency to accomplish so many programs and make it the most cost effective and efficient program in the federal government," continued Orwick. "It's more than 2,000 cooperative agreements and nearly 91,000 monitoring and managing access agreements attribute to its success in the areas of wildlife damage management and public health and safety."
The signators of the letter are committed to working to strengthen WS' resources and to ensure a continued federal partnership in the responsible management of our nation's wildlife. Orwick encourages everyone to share these letters with their respective U.S. Representatives and Senators.
The letters in their entirety are available at www.sheepusa.org/In_Support_