Letter To The Editor: Is National Wildlife Federation Right Agency For Los Alamos?

Los Alamos
On April 23, our county was recognized as New Mexico’s first “Community Wildlife Habitat” (link). A representative from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) was on hand to present the certificate to county officials. 

Some disturbing details emerge upon closer inspection of the NWF. This is an agency that appears to have wildlife in its best interest, unfortunately, they promote trapping of wildlife. http://www.nwf.org/Who-We-Are/Affiliate-Partnership/Resolutions/Resolutions/1996/1996-12.aspx. Los Alamos passed an ordinance in 2014 banning the use of steel-jaw traps and other body-gripping animal traps in our county. Why would we support an agency that supports such a barbaric, inhumane and dangerous practice? 

I too, was unaware that the NWF did this when I donated money to have my yard declared a wildlife habitat. For several years, I proudly displayed my signs until it was pointed out to me that this organization did not always have the well being of wildlife in its best interest.  As an alternative, the Animal Humane Society offers a similar program and has a much more progressive stance on trapping:  http://www.humanesociety.org/about/policy_statements/statement_wild_animals.html?credit=web_id86435304#Trapping_and_fur_ranching. “There is no justification for any form of trapping except live trapping in those rare cases in which such live trapping demonstrably benefits animals or provides necessary benefits to ecological systems. This kind of trapping may be accepted only after less intrusive alternatives have been attempted and exhausted, and it must be done responsibly, efficiently, and by a humane method that captures the animal alive without injury.”

I sincerely doubt most Los Alamos citizens or officials even realize the incongruity of the NWF. I am pleading with people to make the switch to the Animal Humane Society. My own dog was caught in a steel jaw trap in Los Alamos in 2014. Since that time, I have been on a mission to bring awareness that these devices are out on our public lands. I invite supporters of the NWF to look at Trap Free New Mexico: http://www.trapfreenm.org. Please read case after case of animals being injured, killed and tortured in traps. I hope our county will reconsider what agency we are supporting. The Animal Humane Society is the agency for us to support.