Last minute bargaining at the end of each legislative session produces a so-called "Christmas Tree Bill" to fund various pet projects - often in exchange for favors during the session. This year the bill is House Bill 5050 and it includes an additional $400,000 - split evenly between the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Agriculture - for "predator control." We understand the money will be used to pay Wildlife Services, a misleadingly named federal agency, to kill Oregon wildlife including bears, cougars and coyotes, primarily at the request of the ranching industry.
That's the bad news. The good news is there's still a chance to remove this funding from the state budget. Governor Kate Brown has a few days left to veto the funding with a so-called "line-item" veto. Please encourage her to do that (no later than Thursday, August 8). You can submit a comment to her office here. It's always best to use your own words, but you can say something like:
"Please use your line-item veto authority to remove the additional funding for "predator control" from House Bill 5050. This money will be used to kill Oregon wildlife including bears, cougars and coyotes, often using inhumane methods such as poisoning, trapping and shooting from airplanes, even though conflicts with these animals is minor and is better managed through education and other non-lethal measures."
To see our letter to Governor Brown, with additional information, go here.
Update (9/13/19): we regret to report that Governor Brown did not veto this funding.