- Wyoming spent $4,254,043, and taxpayers paid 36 percent
- Washington spent $3,832,996, and taxpayers paid 57 percent
- Oregon spent $3,628,846, and taxpayers paid 37 percent
- Montana spent $3,077,910, and taxpayers paid 52 percent
- Idaho spent $2,066,106, and taxpayers paid 75 percent
While Wildlife Services reports the amount paid for their deadly work, they do not reveal the reasons for removal or exactly what they did. That secrecy is one of critics' biggest complaints. "Wildlife Services is one of the most opaque and obstinate departments I've dealt with," said US Representative Peter Defazio. "We're really not sure what they're doing." Defazio, then the ranking member of the US House Committee on Natural Resources, questioned the agency about its lethal methods and poisons. He's still waiting for an answer.
Defazio is not alone in his wondering. In late 2013, the US Department of Agriculture's Office of Inspector General announced that it would audit Wildlife Services. Tom Knudson, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, reported recently that the audit still hasn't been released. When it will come out and what it will find is anyone's guess, he says.
Knudson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning environment reporter, once asked to observe Wildlife Services' lethal predator control in action on public land in Nevada. Their answer: no. Knudson says he was shocked because, "Even the military allows reporters into the field on its missions overseas. Here at home, on land owned by all Americans, Wildlife Services does not."