On Friday, Ed Bangs reported the following.

On the 17th, ID WS confirmed that wolves from the Buffalo Ridge pack killed 2 calves and injured another on private land near Clayton. On the 18th, ID WS confirmed that the wolves killed another calf on the same ranch. There were four or five sets of wolf tracks at the scene and the telemetry signal of one of the collared wolves from the Buffalo Ridge pack showed that he was still in the immediate area. WS has already removed 3 members from this pack in the last 3 months after previous depredations on the same property. Further control efforts are being planned.

They never name the ranch where these events transpire. Federal regulations prevent that, but everyone knows it’s the Broken Wing Ranch near the confluence of the East Fork and the Main Fork of the Salmon River a few miles downstream from the hamlet of Clayton.

Over the years, probably more wolves have been killed due to “depredations” on the Broken Wing Ranch than any in Idaho. Does this mean that the owners are heartless wolf haters? Not at all. That’s the story, and that’s why Idaho state wolf management is so faulty.

The owners of the Broken Wing are not ranchers. They do not manage the ranch. Most likely they have no idea their property is a wolf-killing hot spot in the state. The ranch is for sale. Meanwhile is it rented for pasturage, and on it is pastured a cow/calf operation, which has its cows begin to calf in December!! a month that is very cold in the bottom of this deep canyon. This year has been colder than usual. This means natural mortality of calves will be higher, often much higher than during a reasonable calving time for this country — March or April.

So why does the person who rents the pasture calf in December leaving tiny carcasses about that attract scavengers who then sometimes turn into predators? I can’t read his mind, but this is usually done so that the calves will be much bigger and fetch more money when they are sold at the end of the year. This is a business decision that ignores wolves completely, and this is where state management fails. Good state management would discourage a person from calving like this or using such a pasture to calve at all when everyone in the area knows the place’s history and that wolves are always nearby.

Wolf conservationists, Defenders of Wildlife, the Wolf Recovery Foundation, and private individuals have put a lot of money and untold hours into conserving the Buffalo Ridge Pack, long one of Idaho’s most visible wolf packs. They have done so by monitoring the wolves and keeping them away from livestock, and Buffalo Ridge has had a pretty good track record because of this, but no amount of human effort can overcome livestock operations like this.

Idaho says they are so happy that they can manage the wolves now because they have more management tools. That is true in a technical sense that is not relevant. Let’s suppose a plumber has vast tool chest, but only elects to use a crescent wrench. If the plumber was given more tools, which she would then fail to use, are the new tools of any importance?

Idaho can now kill wolves with impunity. Non-lethal methods that save both livestock and wolves and reduce rather than fuel social conflict have been dropped. The only tool Idaho wants to use (I am overstating slightly) is lethal control of wolves after the damage is done. No one benefits from this except those who want any excuse to kill wolves. This method of wolf mangement is the most expensive method in the ways I listed above, plus it often directly costs more money as well.

Well, what can be done given the state’s one way of wolf management. Someone could buy the Broken Wing and turn it into something other than a cattle operation, especially an early calving operation. Ideally they would manage it for wildlife. That would be a great benefit to wintering elk, deer and wolves. The truth is, however, that as things are now and have been since about 1999, in my mind, this ranch would be better off as a subdivision.

This is a great opportunity for a conservation buyer. Here is the ad for the Broken Wing. The ad shows they are already marketing it for its wildlife and other amenities. I hope I help them sell it.

broken-wing-ranch1.jpg
This is the Broken Wing Ranch. It doesn’t look like a death pit for wolves, and it doesn’t need to be. All it needs is a change in management methods, something Idaho Fish and Game, with “all their new management tools,” could have effected in the past, but didn’t, and won’t in the future.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

88 Responses to Buffalo Ridge Pack to be wiped out, classic example of what's wrong with Idaho state wolf management

  1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

    That’s the way the game is played. The Wolves crossed the line and they paid for it with their lives. That’s how the rules of this game have been layed out and this is the end result.

  2. That is indeed the way they play the game, but the rules give them every opportunity to foresee and make it unlikely wolves cross the line.

    In the past they were willing to work things out, and now they don’t have but they surely could.

    The end result is higher cost and social unpleasantness. So thanks for the post, asshole (just my example, to make a point).

  3. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    This is going to get very ugly, isn’t it? There are many wolves out there, and the numbers are too far above what the states desire. With no real restrictions upon them, it is plain that the states are going to go to brutal lengths to reduce the numbers of packs.

    I imagine that wolves will soon be killed indiscriminately across the states. This will slowly develop into a national story due to the wolf’s popularity being very high. It is going to be difficult for the states to begin slaughtering wolves by the pack and not receive bad publicity.

    I think we are in for a very hard time, and this will increase the friction, distrust, and war of words and actions on both sides of the wolf issue.

    This could have been done the proper way but since we are now going down the road of mass wolf slaughter slowly and surely, I expect both sides will be at full battle status soon. Like I said, this is going to get ugly and costly as the states increase the killing of wolves.

    One step forward, three steps back.

  4. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Jeremy – So, when public land ranchers’ livestock “cross the line” and trespass, abuse/overuse, and/or harm wildlife and fish on public land grazing allotments in violation of BLM/USFS standards, what’s the “price” then?

    The person leasing the Broken Wing Ranch is East Fork rancher Wayne Baker. He runs cattle in the summer on the Lower East Fork Salmon River allotment in the White Cloud Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA). I have a file drawer of allotment mgt plans, monitoring reports, photos and letters regarding the problems on the Lower EFK Allotment. This is steep, dry, high rugged country. His cattle graze on streams where there are listed or sensitive fish species inc. chinook salmon, steelhead, bulltrout and westslope cutthroat.

    The SNRA has tried to improve streams, cow-battered riparian areas and lake shores, and resolve conflicts between livestock abuse and thousand of Idahoans who would prefer the White Cloud Mountains to be something other than a cattle feedlot. As far as I know, no cow has ever been executed for spending several weeks at Frog Lake when she wasn’t supposed to be there. Or, trampling salmon redds in the EFK Salmon River. Or, stomping the heck out of springs and rare endemic plants on Railroad Ridge, 10,000 feet high.

    It was in the East Fork Salmon River area, where several Baker families ranch, that five of the White Cloud Pack were killed in 2000, and all ten of the Whitehawk Pack in 2002. The loss of these packs was a bitter pill for me to swallow because I had documented over and over the cattle abuse that was taking place on Bakers’ allotments. Yet, their messy calving operations attracted wolves and to date, 15 wolves have been shot in the EFK Salmon River drainage.

    Nearby, the Broken Wing Ranch winter calving operation has been responsible for 10 dead wolves (5 Twin Peaks, 2000) and 5 so far in Buffalo Ridge.

    The owners of the Broken Wing (770 acres, over 3 miles river front, and selling price of $4.1 million) are the Gerald Herrick heirs who live in Boise. Herrick was a CEO of Ore-Ida Corp. I spoke to one of the family members yesterday. I related similar details to what Ralph stated above.

    Will anything change on the Broken Wing under the current owners? It seems doubtful. It has become a death trap for the Buffalo Ridge wolves, a pack that’s lived five years among cows and calves in nearby Squaw Creek w/o a single depredation.

    Want to help and don’t have $4 million to buy a ranch? Stop eating beef. Support groups like Western Watersheds Project that’s working to end public lands grazing. And say one for the five remaining Buffalo Ridge wolves including alpha female B95, her mate B196 and youngster B323. I will miss these wolves dearly.

  5. avatar kt says:

    When some sanity and daylight shines in 2009 on what is occurring/to occur in the last year or so of the Bush admin. – it will expose a blood bath. And irreponsibility of the state and federal officials. I hope we can figure, in the end, how to put some of these “wildlife” folks in jail. Crimes against Nature.

    We need Congressional hearings – now – over what ali is going on, to expose the wolf killing that is rumored to be quietly amped up and underway before de-listing.

    Why can’t the Congressional Reps. that wrote the letter of concern about de-listing hold hearings, subpoena APHIS Wildlife Services and others, including in Interior, and get to the bottom of what really is going on with de-listing, the gloating WS fellows with the wolf kill pictures in the Danskins that Ralph posted a few weeks, ago, the rumored ongoing WS pre-delisting slaughter in Wyoming …

  6. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    if this is the same ranch that i am thinking of, I know one of the trustees ~

  7. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Brian – The information that I’ve been able to dig up is that there are two daughters and one son of Gerald Herrick, heirs to the Broken Wing Ranch.

    Daughter Tracy is married to Terry Walther. The other daughter’s name is apparently Stephanie (Stefanie?) Ball. I spoke to Terry yesterday. Buffalo Ridge isn’t going to get any help from him. Good luck.

  8. avatar Jeremy S. says:

    “That is indeed the way they play the game, but the rules give them every opportunity to foresee and make it unlikely wolves cross the line.

    In the past they were willing to work things out, and now they don’t have but they surely could.

    The end result is higher cost and social unpleasantness. So thanks for the post, asshole (just my example, to make a point).”

    It doesn’t suprise me to see a comment like this for you. It just shows your lack of class.

    Get used to this. While you support the upcoming lawsuits WS will just keep killing them.

  9. Jeremy,

    Dear friend. I don’t think you got my point, but thanks for helping me make mine again.

  10. avatar Dave J says:

    Is there any recent survey data that would shed light on the actual level of support for wolf recovery by Idaho residents? I wonder if there will be a point where things are so bad that citizens who have been relatively quiet, perhaps somewhat intimidated, will become vocal and involved to the point that they cannot be ignored by state government? Or does Idaho’s demographics make this absolutely impossible?

  11. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Dave J, there’s some very interesting stats in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, found here: http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/NationalSurvey/2006_Survey.htm

    For example, the population of Idaho is about 1,102,000. Some 51% of the population considers themselves hunters, anglers or wildlife watchers. Hunter and anglers COMBINED total some 259,000 or 24% of the population, while wildlife watchers total 432,000 or 39% of the population. You can see that wildlife watcher easily outnumber hunters and anglers combined.

    There seems to be a fair number of hunters that support support wolf recovery; combine those with however many anglers support wolf recovery and add in the probably substantial number of wildlife watchers that support wolf recovery.

    What’s the total number of Idaho citizens that support wolf recovery?

    We can use logic and common sense or we can conduct a survey.

    My pea brain tells me that however many citizens of Idaho support wolf recovery, they FAR outnumber the livestock producers and hunters who do not.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  12. It’s split about 50:50 among those who really care, but most people don’t have very strong feelings.

    Idahoans are mostly concerned about the same issues as other Americans, lack of affordable health care, the bad economy, Iraq

  13. avatar JB says:

    Dave,

    There are a number of studies that have documented attitudes toward wolves in this region. In general, the studies conclude that the majority of residents support wolves and wolf-reintroduction, and have positive attitudes toward wolves.

    However, (as Ralph pointed out) many people simply don’t feel strongly about this issue and don’t respond. Thus, those who do respond tend to “line up” on either side of the issue (that is, public surveys under-represent the “neutral” folks in the middle). Responses are also often biased in favor of hunters, agricultural producers, the more educated, and men (because they are more likely to respond).

    We can get around these biases by “weighting” data. Specifically, applying a numeric weight to certain types of respondents so that the overall survey results accurately represent the population. Unfortunately, many studies do not do this, and so present a somewhat biased view of public opinion. Still, even without weighting these studies have generally concluded that support for wolves is widespread.

    At any rate, here are some references on studies from the Yellostone region:

    Bath, A. J. (1989). The public and wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. Society & Natural Resources, 2, 297-306.

    Bath, A. J. (1992). Identification and documentation of public attitudes toward wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. In J. D. Varley & W. G. Brewster (Eds.), Wolves for Yellowstone?: A report to the United States Congress. Mammoth, WY: U.S. National Park Service.

    Bath, A. J., & Phillips, C. (1990). Statewide surveys of Montana and Idaho resident attitudes toward wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. Report submitted to Friends for Animals, National Wildlife Federation: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. National Park Service.

    Wilson, M. A. (1997). The Wolf in Yellowstone: Science, Symbol, or Politics? Deconstructing the Conflict Between Environmenalism and Wise Use. Society & Natural Resouces, 10, 453-468.

    Williams, C., Ericsson, G., & Heberlein, T. A. (2002). A quantitative summary of attitudes toward wolves and their reintroduction (1972-2000). Wildlife Society Bulletin, 30(2), 575-584.

    Bruskotter, J. T., Schmidt, R. H., & Teel, T. L. (2007). Are attitudes toward wolves changing? A case study in Utah. Biological Conservation, 139(1-2), 211-218.

  14. avatar pack says:

    Love them or hate them, wolves will reach a point when their population growth will need to be controlled. I personally think the wolves in Idaho are at that point and control measures need to be taken on a very conservative level to maintain the current numbers. What type of control measures would an passionate wolf supporter agree to and when? My read is a wolf supporter will accept no reductions.

    I just returned from a fishing trip to the Challis and Salmon areas. Fresh calves were present at every cattle operation. I can only imagine what a wolf thinks of when looking down from a mountain ridge.

    Also, I have to think that the East Fork area is very polarized because of Marvel and his followers and their infringement on the livelihoods of local cattlemen. This area of Idaho doesn’t support much for working opportunities besides ranching, farming, and working at the mine(s). Take these sources of income and what is left — selling out to the millionaire environmental folks who want to own an actual ranch so they can get closer to nature. What comes next is they post the land, close off access to public land, install grand entrances, and build fancy second homes.

  15. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Too much emphasis can be placed upon public opinion; I have been guilty of that in the past myself. Snowmobiles in Yellowstone has been a contentious and political issue. Opinion polls overwhelming show the public favors phasing our snowmobiles altogether.

    But the YNP superintendent on the decision to allow up to 765 machines in per day: “”This is not a public opinion poll,” Ms. Lewis said. ”This is not about majority votes. It’s about comments.”

    Public opinion must be translated into action, and unfortunately it rarely is. It sure as hell wasn’t on the snowmobile issue.

    I hope this is not true for the wolf issue.

  16. avatar JB says:

    Pack asks: “What type of control measures would an passionate wolf supporter agree to and when? My read is a wolf supporter will accept no reductions.”

    I’ll take a stab at your question: First, I think its important not to make generalizations. People who you might call “wolf supporters” have a wider variety of opinions. Some don’t want any control (i.e. killing to preserve livestock) ever, while others are willing to accept much more control than is currently being applied. Personally, I’m willing to tolerate whatever level of control allows for wolves to expand into unoccupied suitable habitat that is adjacent to existing habitat. I oppose the state plans (well at the very least Wyoming’s) because these plans allow the states to aggressively kill wolves; in the case of Wyoming, the state plan would essentially allow for the wholesale slaughter of wolves everywhere but in the NW corner of the state (which, is mostly federal land anyway). I do not find this acceptable.

  17. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Pack says “Love them or hate them, wolves will reach a point when their population growth will need to be controlled.” Is this statement true? This is the issue, not whether a wolf lover wants a wolf killed but instead whether we need to mess with the way things are at all. Coyotes regulate their population without interference of man according to at least two authors I have read who have spent lots of time observing them. . one was “God’s Dog” and the other “Suburban Howls” by Dr. Jon Way. Bears regulate their population without the help of man and I believe the real issue is not whether a person is a “wolf lover” or not but whether we have the good grace to be patient to see how the wolf introductions work out in the long and natural run of things. People who argue that control is needed only imagine an animal with unlimited food and habitat like humans have.

  18. avatar JB says:

    “People who argue that control is needed only imagine an animal with unlimited food and habitat like humans have.”

    While I agree that wolf populations would be self-regulating in the absence of humans, we do not control wolves to regulate their population growth; pretty much all wolf-control is done for the sake of managing human-wolf “conflicts” (i.e. wolf depredations on livestock or pets, or wolves that become a threat to public health due to disease or habituation).

    To reiterate: whether it is “needed” or not, control is used to reduce livestock and pet depredations, not limit the expansion of their populations (though you could argue this is a by-product of control).

  19. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    let human beings manage ourselves – and let the wolves manage themselves – that way we can be honest when we use the word ‘wild’.

  20. avatar pack says:

    A young college biology student learns early on the relationship between predator and prey – the predator population will decrease after the prey population decreases. The problem with wolves, and love them, is they mainly hunt large animals. The coyote preys on smaller game and can generally co-exist in rural America. Wolves won’t be able to. They will continually be drawn to domesticated animals. This is especially so in the wide open west, where wolves can see herds of cattle from miles away, unlike the in upper mid-west where the country is heavily forested.

    One way human beings manage themselves is to manage their livelihood and, unfortunately, their property.

  21. I don’t see any evidence that wolves seek out cattle and sheep, or will.

    The numbers of cattle and sheep taken by wolves is small, and it would be very many times larger if they actually hunted livestock.

    Livestock are very abundant. In most of the West, seeing cattle is far easier than seeing elk even in places where elk are common.

    If wolves are merely having a hard time finding the livestock, and that’s why they kill so few, they truly are stupid animals.

    No, killing livestock is unique, and why some packs begin to do it requires an explanation that is different than “they were hungry,”

  22. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Ralph may remember where to locate this info; dogs kill significantly more livestock than wolves do.

  23. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    if there were enforceable measures securing a reasonable expectation that producers weren’t negligent with livestock (i.e. dumping carcasses wherever, negligent calving as has been demonstrated, etc.) to the detriment of wolves that’d be one thing – perhaps there’d be less than completely absurd cause for public expenditure and “take” of publicly valued wolves. that’s just not the case.

    as ralph suggests ~ proportionately and behaviorally, you’d think there’d be a lot more livestock preyed upon if it were simply a matter of wolves taking the easiest prey.

    unfortunately, it is not uncommon that the real behavioral problems reside in negligent practices learned after decades without wolves and over a century of entitlement — and that resistance to learning to live with wolves is perpetuated by the absence of incentive and sanction which might promote appropriate management.

    reading Ralph’s account in the main post, it looks as if there were serious problems.

    so who needs to learn to live with who ? It isn’t managing oneself, taking responsibility for one’s own property, by calling up WS and having them come out and slaughter a pack of wolves using tax dollars and frequently doing so on public land.

    this idea that there is any semblance of reason involved in these slaughters is wrong and tired.

    a. compensation
    b. lack of proper stewardship or the enforced condition of such before publicly financed government intervention
    c. public land
    d. etc. etc. etc.

    the problem behavior isn’t with wolves.

  24. avatar Jay says:

    DBailey,

    I’m not trying to be argumentative, but bear in mind there are thousands and thousands of dogs, but less than 1000 wolves in Idaho…your point is valid (ranchers have a disproportionate fear/hate of wolves due to losses attributed to wolves, even while their own dogs are out killing their calves), but it’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison.

  25. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Jay, the bottom line is: in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, dogs kill more livestock than wolves.

    Livestock producers are bottom line kinda guys, are they not…

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  26. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Fear is no excuse for killing wolves, especially since those fears are unfounded. Lies are no excuse for killing either wolves or buffalo. Knowing the facts, really makes those livestock producers look far less then intelligent. Dark ages mentality comes to mind.

    Any one who has spent significant time observing “man’s best friend” will attest that dogs not wolves are much more aggressive. In fact, i would bet that if the dogs numbers were equal to the wolves, dogs would still be far beyond the pack in livestock attacks/kills. But of course that would make no difference because the livestock producers would have to admit they are wrong. And as far as i know the Humane Society does not compensate loss of livestock due to “domestic dogs”.

    As long as the powers that be and/or the government continues to support and reward untruths we can expect more of the same. Hence, the use of lawsuits. No wonder the USA is seen as “sue happy”. It is our only legal means of recourse.

    Mark Twain said something to the effect that, “It ain’t what we don’t know, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”
    It is the continued support of the “ain’t so’s” that is slaughtering the American Bison, and why the Grey Wolf is the new Bison. Rather archaic, wouldn’t ya say??
    And that is why i must echo Mark Twain and Mack P. Bray, it is simply the bottom line. All the rest is B.S., and “that’s the rest of the story”……..{borrowed from the radio guy}.

  27. avatar Jay says:

    The Humane Society doesn’t compensate anybody for livestock losses….what are you talking about?

  28. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Jay, i know that. I was being sarcastic.
    Defenders of “Wildlife” has a compensation program to cater to the livestock industry, and the Humane Society is the “defender” of domestic animals… It’s a joke.

  29. avatar JB says:

    DBH says: “Any one who has spent significant time observing “man’s best friend” will attest that dogs not wolves are much more aggressive. In fact, i would bet that if the dogs numbers were equal to the wolves, dogs would still be far beyond the pack in livestock attacks/kills.”

    Not to pick on you DBH, but I’ve spent significant time observing both and I do not agree with these claims. Wolves live and die by their aggressiveness–it is adaptive to aggressively pursue your next meal. Dogs have been subjected to over 10,000 years of selective breeding–much of which has been aimed specifically at producing animals that are NOT overly aggressive (and thus could live alongside human beings and their livestock). Of course, this isn’t totally true, some dog lines/breeds have been bred FOR aggressiveness (think M. Vick). But these are relatively few in comparison to animals bred as companion animals. Moreover, many of the dogs that can be extremely aggressive (e.g. terriers) are too small to do much damage to humans or livestock. Wolves are the far more efficient predator; dogs are a shadow of their ancestors.

  30. avatar Salle says:

    From reading these posts, it looks like nature is the enemy and unless we victimized humans gain control over it, we’re screwed and nothing will save us from it… perhaps we need to control ourselves and not nature.

    As for localized opinions, I know that some folks in my community are itching to kill wolves because they want to kill wolves~and all of these have dogs. The main complaint is that it makes it harder to hunt elk, deer and moose. I also had someone tell me that wolves will eat each other and that wolves have either chased away all the local moose or killed them all. (I find that as hard to believe as the notion that wolves are evil or some bastard creature that these people’s god mistakenly created.) I don’t consider their complaints well reasoned by any stretch of the imagination.

    It’s all about a culture that was spawned by domination oriented policies of the past which have no credibility in the present day but continue on with myth-mongering (as senator wide-stance promotes by claiming that wolves are surely going to devour some little girl in rural Idaho while she’s waiting in the dark for a school bus…) and willful ignorance.

    I also don’t believe that hunters are the major contributors to conservation nor do they concern themselves with such notions unless it means they can’t go kill something with relative ease on a Saturday completely free from competition of any kind or someone calls their bluff on the subject. They ALWAYS claim that because they buy hunting licenses and tags they are the real conservationists ~ of things they can later go out and kill that is.

    It is a fact that state wildlife agencies are focussed entirely on harvesting animals or saving them to harvest them. (Just read the mission statement of Idaho F&G for a good example.) I think, maybe that was one of the reasons the FEDERAL government created the ESA and sometimes implements it ~ when there’s an administration that is capable of cognitive functioning outside of what their corporate contributors tell them to think.

    Present day humans, particularly in this country/culture don’t care to understand anything that requires consideration of the fact that they can’t have it all or that something is different from their perceptions and that it’s not a catastrophic situation that things aren’t what they imagined.

  31. avatar JB says:

    Salle–

    Sounds like your venting, so I apologize for nitpicking, but you made a couple of statements that I can’t let go.

    First, wolves have eaten each other on occasion in the past. It is not common, but has been documented by numerous researchers (one case I’m aware of is Coronation Island).

    Hunters ARE major contributers to conservation. I say this, as a non-hunter. In many cases, the sale of hunting and fishing licenses go directly back to state DNRs that use the money for all sorts of conservation projects such as purchasing land, taking agricultural land out of production, habitat restoration, etc. This degree varies from state to state, but there is no question that hunters are a major contributor to conservation in the U.S. Moreover, hunters and anglers pay a tax on the sale of firearms, ammunition, and other types of fishing/hunting equipment that goes directly back to the states for habitat restoration projects (see the Pittman-Robertson Act and Dingell-Johnson Act below).

    Finally, it is not appropriate to stereotype hunters. I would remind you that Ralph (who operates this blog) and others who participate here (e.g. Robert Hoskins) are also hunters, and no one would accuse them of not being conservationists. Don’t get me wrong, some portion of hunters are rednecks with guns that want to kill things–but these are not in the majority. They are simply a highly visible and vocal minority.

    Okay, I’ll get off the stump.
    JB

    Pittman-Robertson Act: http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusfd16usc669.htm

    Dingell-Johnson Act: http://ipl.unm.edu/cwl/fedbook/djact.html

  32. avatar Jay says:

    DBH–gotcha…sometimes jokes don’t translate well across the internet.

  33. avatar Larry Z says:

    Lynn:
    Sorry to hear about the Buffalo Ridge pack and Wayne Baker. From my recent days as a Federale, I remember all the problems we had with grazing, anadromous fishes and the Bakers. Wayne definitely knows all the ins and outs of the Federal system as a former Forest Service employee that has personally benefitted from BPA-funded fences and diversion improvement projects on his ranch (= “blood money” for killing steelhead, sockeye salmon, and Chinook salmon) as has many of his East Fork clan.

    not so cheerful

    Larry Zuckerman, Central Idaho Director
    Western Watersheds Project
    Salmon, Idaho

  34. avatar Jay says:

    Mack,

    Fair enough…dogs kill more than wolves, therefore it’s not an issue. Using that logic, I guess since cancer kills more people than car accidents, then we shouldn’t be concerned with them.
    If a wolf kills a calf on public land, I say too bad. But last I checked, a person still has a right to raise cattle on their private land, and be given the same level of government assistance they would get if it were a bear or lion killing their livestock. If you don’t like WS, fine, do something to get rid of them…I wouldn’t miss them. Until then, the rules should apply to all depredating species. And regardless of what kills more, dogs or wolves, losing a half dozen or more calves to wolves is a financial blow. I won’t be crying in my beer over it, but I can at least admit that 4-5k in losses is a significant loss.

  35. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Jay, you’re putting words in my mouth. I’m not saying that because dogs kill more livestock than wolves, it’s not an issue.

    Bottom line is, in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, dogs kill more livestock than wolves. My point is that livestock producers claim they’re in business to make a profit. If domestic dogs are killing more livestock than those devil wolves, why aren’t livestock producers doing something the dogs?

    I think we know the answer to that one…

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  36. avatar Jay says:

    I can tell you with pretty high confidence that your typical rancher isn’t going to stand by and watch dogs kill his/her livestock…there’s a reason those ATV’s and horses have rifle scabbards on them.

  37. avatar Heather says:

    wow I’m sure I’ll get in trouble for this but I’ll go ahead anyway- we have too much cattle. I dont know -how about finding another job somewhere else? like walmart? then you wouldn’t have to worry about it! I’m vegan. I dont eat any animal related food – precisely because I want to change this crap. losing beautiful wild species to 1 million head of dumb cattle. what a bunch of bs.
    and it aint difficult being vegan – I revel in my personal protest everyday. with a smile.

  38. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Hey Jay, no worries here.

    It would be quite interesting to compile the first hand knowledge of the men and women working for USPS, who deliver our mail. And not just USPS; we can’t forget UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.
    I bet those folks out number ranchers…(with sarcasm, he, he).
    Dogs kill more livestock…. So why are those depredations not as widely publicized as the wolves? I think it would be much more relevant to report that which causes the most financial loss; maybe even have two sub-catagories….
    1). the number of domestic dogs–dogs who are in the care of the owner, whether as a pet or working dog, and
    2). the number of feral dogs—–Just a thought.. Across Europe the issue is feral dogs, that the locals warn travelers about, as in hikers/backpackers. Folks say it’s not the wolves you need to worry about, it’s the feral dogs that are dangerous.
    Could it be that because dogs associate with people, they are generally not wary like the wolves?

  39. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Heather,

    You won’t get any hassle from me about being a vegan. I am not a vegan even though I know it is the right choice, in many ways, to make. I don’t eat factory meats but I will eat buffalo and wild game along with dairy products.

    I gave up beef entirely about 7 years ago, it has taken a while to give up most other meats though.

    I don’t know what more I should add about the Buffalo Ridge Pack. I could say a lot but I think I’ll just leave it at that. Not good. I hope they get away from the guns.

  40. avatar Catbestland says:

    Yeah Heather, you go girl. I’m vegi too. And Just like Vicki? said (another thread I think) If everyone cut their beef consumption in half, what an impact this would make on the demand for the poison. Your body, the planet and all wildlife would be thankful.

  41. avatar JB says:

    “Dogs kill more livestock…. So why are those depredations not as widely publicized as the wolves?”

    Focusing on dogs would mean confronting neighbors, friends, to resolve the problem; it’s much more convenient to blame wolves and the liberal, east-coast, hippie (am I missing anything) elitists that put them there.

  42. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    JB,
    I think you have it covered. Many problems in the USA are due to people not being held accountable for their actions and not being required to take responsibility for their property.

  43. avatar Kathy Fowles says:

    I am betting a dead horse here but wolves do not go out hunting live stock. And they only bring down the weak or sick. There is no wolf that wants to go up against a full grown bull. And yes coyotes do get into live stock. A coyote will kill 10 sheep in one night just to teach their young how to hunt. A wolf will only kill what they need to eat. And all the ranches in this country that want to complain, do get paid for what they loose. And the ranchers that do complain are the same ones that allow their cattle to breed when ever they want and then they have their young in Dec. and Jan. If you have ever been out of this country you know that every where else the live stock is bread to drop their young in the spring when it’s warming up. We just want every thing our way and not have to do anything to make it happen. And I was just wondering if any one has given thought to: we want to mange the number of every thing on this plant but no one wants to mange the number of people. We have killers and thieves and what ever other bad thing, but we keep having young like there’s no tomorrow.

  44. avatar scott d says:

    Heather has the best point here – our country is obsessed with cheap beef. I’m not anywhere close to a vegan (mmmm….steak), but I agree that our dear cattle are the big problem here. Jeremy or Jay, you seem to be the closest thing to a ranch supporter here. Maybe you can answer me this: Why does the ranching industry feel entitled to be compensated for a “business loss.” All companies deal with loss and waste, it is a fact of business. You write it off on your taxes and pass the cost on to the consumer. If a Whopper Jr goes above 99 cents, we will survive. Whitetail deer use themselves as battering rams against cars in my area (Ohio) all the time. Can we start a statewide campaign to eradicate the menace of deer because our insurance deductibles are a financial burden?

  45. avatar scott d says:

    Pack – why do you feel like human beings need to control wildlife? Do you think natural selection and carrying capacity are principles no longer applicable to this planet? Human beings are the only ones that need controlling. I believe the Wachowski brothers summed it up best in The Matrix: “Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its environment, but you humans do not………..human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague….” I admit that may be a little harsh, but I hope we can all see their point. Our civilization would be much better off if we put more effort into controlling our own population than those of keystone predators.

  46. avatar JB says:

    scott d:

    A 1995 publication estimated 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions at a cost of 1.1 billion (with a “B”). Michigan and Minnesota literally have Millions of deer–(Michigan alone has over 60,000 REPORTED deer-vehicle collisions per year). Yet nobody compensated my insurance company when I flattened a deer a few years back.

    Compare these figures to wolf livestock depredations (that amount to a few hundred animals a year) and things really become obscene.

  47. avatar JB says:

    Sorry, it was a 1997 publication:

    Conover, M.R. (1997) Monetary and Intangible Valuation of Deer in the United States, Wildlife Society Bulletin, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 298-305.

  48. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Scott D,

    Don’t give those insurance company bastards any ideas! They just might do it!

  49. avatar scott d says:

    Now, how about discussing some action? It’s great that we are all blogging our hearts out, but in the end we aren’t changing anything. Anyone who is monitoring this site already has a strong opinion, one way or the other, and it probably isn’t going to be swayed. We need to get mainstream. Anybody have any connections with news networks or newspapers that can get some stories in the national spotlight? I had no idea any of this was happening until I vacationed in Yellowstone, and I consider myself fairly “in the know.” I’m sure the average, animal- loving soccer mom outside of the Rocky Mountains is completely clueless. And how about some direct action? Obviously, in Ohio, I can’t do much except beat my head against the wall over the fact that we put George Bush in office, and continue to send checks that will hopefully fund the lawsuits to reverse all of this lunacy. But for everybody in the area – you have the power! I’ll throw out some ideas, and hopefully not sound too militant. How about getting some volunteers to go for nature walks during hunting season? These walks could just happen to shadow a hunter, who would be very pleased that you were talking, singing, ringing bells, ect. while you followed him/her around. I guarantee you wouldn’t see any animals that day. How about some private plane owners? You guys want to go for some nice flights over national forest areas, that just happen to be on the same day as aerial gunning operations? Be a shame to send the wolves into hiding, wouldn’t it? On a side note, those bison traps are made of wood aren’t they? Everybody likes a nice bonfire on cold winter’s night. Worst case, we need to make it not profitable for ranchers to let the cattle graze on public land. A beef boycott would be good, but I don’t think that’s possible. Maybe something will start happening to cattle in problem areas? Maybe a number of cattle mysteriously seem to get ill every time a wolf is “managed.”
    I don’t want anyone to get in trouble, and I know these are just stopgap measures, but we only need to buy about 11 months. Hopefully by then we will be in the process of cleaning house in the Interior Department and restoring sound principles of science to our decision making process. OK, I’m done venting, it’s somebody else’s turn.

    Ed note: This is exactly what should not be done. One reason they are so obnoxious is that they hope provoke an illegal response. They will capitalize on it and try to brand all their opponents as a bunch of terrorists. Ralph Maughan

  50. avatar Concerned says:

    Scott d,

    Well if your advocating shadowing hunters, then you will get thrown in Jail and pay at the least a fine, because in many states harassing a hunter is illegal and carries stiff penalties……if your advocating doing something to make cattle ill, then you are advocating what could be considered rustling…an in many instances at least in Montana, you can be SHOT for rustling…Come on folks, you have to work within the system that is current day western America, these types of suggestions, are crazy enough to get someone hurt or dead..

    Doing illegal things to stop what many consider illegal, will do nothing but put your butt in jail..

  51. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    for my part, it is extremely frustrating to watch these crooks and liars at the helm mucking up the natural world in so many malicious ways. i can certainly sympathize with folk who see a lot of different ideas ~ but not with those that undercut the legality of advocacy. many people are working very hard to make wildlife values recognized in a way that upholds the law ~ i think that this would be the strongest foundation for lasting relief.

    hopefully the judge will give us the 11 months. if not, i’m sure there will be plenty of room for many ideas about legally applying pressure

  52. avatar Concerned says:

    Well I can see where this is going, so I will bow out now…solutions not emotions will solve this problem folks, legal actions will solve this folks..

    Come on..

    Anyway, night all.

  53. avatar JB says:

    I agree with “Concerned.” Whatever your views, even the suggestion of illegal activity in a public forum can only hurt your cause. I would suggest that the administrators of this site delete this post.

  54. avatar Catbestland says:

    Scott D.

    We are all tempted to engage in a little “Monkey Wrenching” from time to time. But unfortunately Concerned is correct. We could get in big trouble or dead for it. While it is not against the law to be on Public Lands during hunting season, one of the problems with this is that if you scare game away from some hunters, you are likely to send them right into the aim of others.

    We all get angry and want changes, but they have to be changes that will last and not cause further problems. This is the place to brainstorm though.

  55. avatar Concerned says:

    Well when illegal activities are suggested, that is not even close to civil disobedience, what the heck did our predecessors work for..suggesting doing illegal acts, puts you in the same arena as those you are fighting against..who wants to be the first one to harass a guy with a gun and to much beer in his belly, do your really believe strong enough to end up dead? come on, lets all calm down and get back to solving this situation…

  56. avatar JB says:

    FYI: I think many would agree that hunters are not the problem. In fact, I see hunters as allies (see Dave Smith’s recent post). Heavily subsidized, unsustainable ranching on public lands is the problem. The solution should be sought through legal routes.

  57. avatar scott d says:

    If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you will do will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you will yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift to the coming human hell. – Mills.

    OK, that’s the end of my beligerance. Seriously, does anyone have ideas on how to “work within the system of current day western america,” AND GET RESULTS? I’ve already written letters to Congress. I send my money to the organizations I feel can help. What do YOU (Concerned, JB) plan on doing between now and November? How can I do more?

  58. avatar Concerned says:

    Cat Said:

    “But unfortunately Concerned is correct.”

    Cat, why is it unfortunate, that I am correct? I want to win the war, not the battle, these types of suggestions will do nothing to get this situation corrected..”monkey wrenching” will not solve the problem, look how long it took to pull the guy off his pole yesterday who was protesting the killing of the bison,, the system in fact does have the power right now, it is up to us to bring it back inline and use the law to change things back..

    Dave

  59. avatar Concerned says:

    Scott,

    I spend a great amount of time doing research, I spend a great amount of time on the phone with those who I helped to elect, I spend a great amount of time helping people understand what the heck is happening, I have been doing it for over 15 years now, and do see light at the end of the tunnel, these are not new issues people, no matter how new you are, rest assured, there are many of us, who actually have been working on this for a long time, change does not always come quick, and it does not always happen 100% the way you want it..I have been fighting with the state of Montana, since BEFORE Buffalo Field Campaign was ever around!

    It is good that blood is boiling in peoples veins, but man, don’t let it boil over, because if you do, then your deflated(pun) Things cannot change over night, but they are changing..

  60. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    scott d,

    i couldn’t agree more with the sentiment of the Mills quote.

    I maintain that the folk breaking the law are in seats of power within this administration ~ in this condition, the act of upholding the law is controversial.

  61. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I disagree with Scott D about nearly all of his suggestions. I believe in direct action if it actually accomplishes something but most of the direct action that I know of is usually to make someone’s ego bigger and only makes other advocates of their position look bad. BFC has had some of those people in their history, people that weren’t associated with them go off and do wild things but actually accomplish nothing. There have also been people that did accomplish something with their direct actions by bringing attention to the issue, it’s a sketchy thing.

    With the wolf issue I think direct action is actually impossible unless it is something like what Lynne is doing. That’s not to say that the ranchers shouldn’t be doing exactly what she is doing but since they have these subsidies they don’t have any incentives to do it.

    I think that going after the funding of WS for aerial gunning, eliminating public lands grazing, and not compensating livestock operations for losses would go a long way towards making ranchers accountable for their actions and they would, out of necessity, try to avoid circumstances like the Buffalo Ridge situation.

    I also argue that there would be far fewer cattle on the East Fork and the Upper Salmon Rivers if the resident ranchers weren’t able to graze their cattle on PUBLIC lands. The ranchers would have to depend on their own land to sustain their cattle rather than stealing the forage of other wildlife from PUBLIC lands. This is true of many ranches throughout the west as well.

  62. avatar Catbestland says:

    Concerned,

    I am agreeing with you. I am simply pointing out to Scott that we ALL get aggravated with the unfairness of the situation but UNFORTUNATELY (for the individual) we cannot take matters into our own hands.

  63. avatar Concerned says:

    Cathy,

    Okay, I apparently misunderstood your meaning and message.

  64. avatar JB says:

    Scott:

    Ditto what Concerned said: except that I haven’t been involved nearly as long.

  65. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    what needs to ring is the “radical” nature of the actuality of this management and the interests behind it

  66. avatar Catbestland says:

    Concerned,

    No Prob.

    Scott,
    Ditto on what JB said that highly subsidized public lands ranching and not hunters are the real problem here.

  67. avatar Concerned says:

    Many people seem to forget, there was actually a break through this past year….an east coast senator actually spoke up for what has been considered a western problem, the Bison, this is a major breakthrough…it means that people that have the power are actually paying attention, even if it is JUST one senator, then that is more than we have had in the past…that is a seed that can grow and sprout…don’t take me wrong, but there are more paying attention now than ever before…we all need to keep up the work, make people not only know, but understand what is going on….that will get us farther than anything else, I admire the guy up the pole, I wouldn’t do it, it is darn cold when they take your cloths away from ya! but we are making small, but meaningful progress.

  68. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Buffaloed,
    i would like to chat with you. Please get my e-mail from Ralph.

    Scott D,
    Are you a native buckeye? You “vent” like one. I am from the NE corner of Ohio, but moved west a few years ago after finishing my studies at Marshall. Go Thundering Herd!!!

  69. avatar JB says:

    Brian,

    How do you propose to maintain credibility when you condemn someone for breaking the law by breaking the law? It seems the ultimately hypocrisy?

    That said, I suppose it is hypocritical of me to support acts of civil disobedience (such as the bison-kill protester; other post)? However, I would maintain that misdemeanor violations that do not harm anyone nor damage their property are fundamentally different from other types of illegal activities…is this what you are advocating?

  70. avatar Concerned says:

    Protesting legally and protesting illegally are two different things, one may get your message across, one may get your but in jail for more than a night, and could get you killed..

    Pick the fights you can win, many little wins or one big win as long as the goal is achieved, does it really make any difference? I don’t think so, because change has occurred, if we can get the ranchers and the livestock departments to understand we are in fact serious then we have accomplished a lot, so many protests start, gain momentum then fade when a wall is encountered…the bison as well as the wolf movement has proven, it ain’t going away, there will be more victories in the future, as there will be with public lands issue..

  71. avatar Concerned says:

    Opps, I DO think so..because change has occurred! Yikes, I hate typing!

    LOL

  72. avatar Buffaloed says:

    dbaileyhill, comment on my blog, that will be faster.

  73. avatar kim kaiser says:

    so it would seem the true fight here,,, if i read it all correctly,

    is public lands grazing it the root of many of the ills in the tri state area (id mt wy)… is that correct?

    gathering what has been said, if the Ranching/cattle industry was either
    1> barred from public grazing,
    2> required to pay much higher fees and fees go to restoration from each season to make it more of a business decision as opposed to a welfare check,
    3> and that anything that happens on the public lands to the grazing operators interest is not punishable to the predator,,,

    i am guessing that this would help eliminate many of the bison woes,, as they go to public lands to graze in winter,, RIght?

    and wolf/bear/coyote damage to grazing herds on public lands would be just a cost the rancher would have to bear as part of doing business, with no consequesce to the offending predator,

    in nutshell, this is the basis of which all this is born, ?
    just want to be sure so if i have to argue a fact, i know what the root of the problem is,, for future reference.

  74. avatar Concerned says:

    If a rancher is grazing on public lands(those owned by us) he should have no right to demand anymore than the public is willing to give to him/her, if the public deems that all wildlife should be able to range on public lands without penalty, then this is what should happen, unfortunately, currently, this is not the way it happens, I have no problem with a private land owner controlling his own property and what happens on it, but when it comes to public lands, the public by law should prevail…

  75. avatar Catbestland says:

    I guess I don’t quite understand the picture, maybe i’m blind but is there a guy on top of the sign, under a blue tarp, and he’s naked??? I’m all for what he’s doing, I’m just not sure WHAT he’s doing.

  76. avatar Catbestland says:

    Oops wrong thread.

  77. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    JB:

    i did not suggest breaking the law ~ i suggested upholding it and that upholding the law and having it fall down in favor of wildlife will do more to advance wildlife values than breaking the law accomplishes.

    perhaps this was not explicit enough.

    i do not endorse breaking the law, i think it counterproductive ~ not because i fear being labeled “radical” ~ but because i fear undermining the efforts of so many that have been so successful at bringing the protection of wildlife into the protection of the rule of law, and that protection is more important than the brief moments of attention our fundamentally broken media might enable.

  78. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    kim kaiser,

    i would certainly agree with the proposition that the root of the problem is Livestock’s prevalence on public lands. That’s where much conflict originates. That being said, this may be better understood as the consequence of a mentality, as ranchers are not the only folk to inflict this paradigm upon the natural world ~ let’s call it the ‘Livestock Mentality’ ~ this mentality has garnered control of western political institutions and secured much control of state governments as a function of subsidizing it’s constituents and in turn the political associations that maintain control of local governments. this mentality believes that the only way to manage something is to dominate it, cultivate it, etc… it extends to a subset of hunters who believe themselves entitled to docile game. there is no “use” for wildlife with this paradigm and the expectations of maximizing productivity compel it to wipe out competition, predators, etc. and engage in activities that destroy the natural west.

    one of the chief personifications of this is the cowboy and the idealized cowboy is endowed with characteristics inherently at odds with its actual activity. sorta like doublespeak.

    the actual activity used to maintain entitlement over public land, i.e. welfare ranching ~ secures influence over vast acreage and management throughout the west. these ‘cowboys’ being at each of the individual wildlife management tables throughout the West has significantly influenced management to the detriment of wildlife for a very very long time.

    no livestock on public land = populations of wolves that are truly wild
    no livestock on public land diminish the political influence of this activity w/ regard to bison management.

    basically extend this across so much wildlife and the broader health of ecosystems in general.

    welfare ranching is wrong.

  79. avatar JB says:

    got it…thanks for the clarification!

  80. avatar Jay says:

    Scott,

    I’m am far from a “ranch supporter”…I’m just middle of the road, not extremist on either side of the issue. I like wolves, and I don’t like to see wolves killed for livestock depredations. That said, I happen to know a handful of them (ranchers), and most of them are good, honest people that are just trying to make a living. And to answer your question, in my opinion, many of the producers feel like they’re being subjected to additional losses due to wolves that they didn’t want brought back. I don’t agree with that, but I do understand their mentality–bear in mind, some of these ranchers are third or fourth generation cattlemen, and don’t know anything else. So when I read comments like Heather’s suggesting they should just sell off their land and move out of the house their great grandfather built to go work at Walmart, I don’t see a whole lot of willingness to understand the “other side”. Maybe if you went back and read some other comments I’ve made, you might think differently, but if you want to label me a “supporter”, so be it…I think that’s a simplistic viewpoint, but whatever.

  81. avatar pack says:

    Scott: To say because you are in Ohio that you cannot have an impact is ridiculous. Because of this internet thing, media outlets, public comment opportunities, and the fact the national forests belong to all Americans gives you just as much of a voice as anyone. This is how the wolves got reintroduced. Without the voices of the the folks outside of ID, MT, and Wy, the wolves may not have been reintroduced. However, this also happens to be partly what angers westerners. They (me included) feel because we live and play in the west are opinions should be given more consideration.

  82. avatar pack says:

    Ralph: You need to speak a little louder to these folks who want to see changes in wildlife management and public land management. For years, you and Marvel have worked very hard to make changes. They didn’t hear you!

  83. avatar scott d says:

    Jay – Thanks for the reply. I didn’t label you as a ranch supporter, I said you were the closest thing to it, here. There’s nothing wrong with playing the devils advocate and being a voice of moderation.

    Pack – Thank you for the reply, also. I know I’m not completely helpless in Ohio, but the distance does limit my options. I think its natural to assume that those of you who live in the area carry more weight in your arguments simply because you aren’t insulated behind a thousand miles of suburbia like us easterners.

  84. avatar scott d says:

    I still think that to really make a difference in the short term, we need to find a way to get this story in the mainstream media. I did a quick search last night on the guy chained to the bison trap. The only paper that came up was the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. That’s not going to inspire someone in Atlanta to make their voice heard. Any internet savvy folks out there that could whip up a great Myspace page? How about a Youtube video? If you can get that demographic interested, the story could spread like wildfire. News channels love doing bits on high schoolers/ college kids acting altruisticly. It gives us all hope about the future of our country. Anyone know any insiders in whichever department is actually responsible for the executions (either bison or wolf?) If you could get a video of the actual killing being done onto youtube, you would instantly have thousands more people extremely pissed off about the current state of affairs.

  85. avatar scott d says:

    On another topic, has anyone seen or tried to put together a list of environmentally sensitive ranches? I’m sure it is a short list, but if we knew what ranches or what distributors to look for, we could all do some research at our local grocery stores and find out how to keep the summer cook-outs going without, say, supporting the broken wing ranch. Besides looking for the labels of organic, locally grown, cage free, free range, grass fed, no antiobiotics, no growth hormones, and dolphin safe doesn’t quite feel like a scavenger hunt, yet. I shall try adding “wolf friendly.” Anyone with connections in meat packing?

  86. avatar Catbestland says:

    See Scott d.

    Already you hve some GREAT ideas.

  87. avatar Ken says:

    pack Says:
    February 24, 2008 at 11:31 am
    “Love them or hate them, wolves will reach a point when their population growth will need to be controlled. I personally think the wolves in Idaho are at that point and control measures need to be taken on a very conservative level to maintain the current numbers. What type of control measures would an passionate wolf supporter agree to and when? My read is a wolf supporter will accept no reductions.”

    There are over 6 billion humans on the planet, we are long past the point where control measures needed to reduce or even maintain current numbers. So I ask you, what measures would a passionate human supporter agree to and when?
    It is unfortunate to see irresponsible practices by a few cost so many and so unnecessarily. It is equally unfortunate that some people fail to understand this planet is not meant for them alone to exist on.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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