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June 18, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States Commends City of Lake Forest Park for Humane Wildlife Management Plan

Humane program promotes peaceful coexistence between people and wildlife

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the city of Lake Forest Park, Wash., for taking a positive step toward humanely addressing conflicts between people and coyotes. The city council recently accepted a wildlife management plan that focuses on humane methods for resolving conflicts with coyotes and other urban wildlife.

In July 2011, the city faced public outcry when a resident hired the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to kill several coyotes in response to coyote depredation of a pet sheep. In response, Lake Forest Park residents and staff from The HSUS worked with the city’s newly-created Wildlife Task Force to develop a plan that focuses on educating residents, creating a no-feeding ordinance for wildlife and using proven nonlethal techniques for scaring away coyotes who have become too bold. The HSUS also conducted an educational seminar about coyotes for the residents of Lake Forest Park in April.

“The Humane Society of the United States is very pleased to see Lake Forest Park develop a humane plan focused on changing human behavior through education and reforming coyote behavior through hazing,” said Dan Paul, Washington state director for The HSUS.  “This is the right approach, rather than relying on an endless cycle of killing–which is both costly to the landowner and has proven to be overwhelmingly ineffective.”

Simply killing habituated coyotes often creates increased conflicts as new coyotes arrive to fill the now-empty territories. Hazing with loud noises, water hoses and other deterrents teaches coyotes to keep their distance. This has a ripple effect as young coyotes learn from their parents what is and what is not acceptable behavior.

Other communities, such as Denver, have achieved remarkable success using non-lethal deterrence programs.

For tips on how you can prevent coyote conflicts and protect your pets, visit http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/solving_problems.html

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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