Washington prepares for wolves’ return. The state won’t introduce the animals, but wants to be ready when they arrive. By John Trumbo. Tri-City Herald.

One good thing about this plan is that as the wolf population builds up in NE Washington (where they are expected to enter the state), after 5 packs the wolves would be trapped to distribute them across the entire state.

Update. Here is an AP story on Washington state wolves that goes beyond ranchers as the source of information. Washington State Prepares for Return of Wolves. AP

In fact, Kim Holt, our Wolf Recovery Foundation secretary-treasurer, is one of the volunteers sitting on this state wolf committee.

 
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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.

18 Responses to State of Washington prepares to return of wolves

  1. avatar timz says:

    “We would like to see at least a 3-to-1 ratio for compensation,” he said.
    Because ranchers don’t get enough welfare now?

  2. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    Why is it, that only livestock and outfitting interests are the only ones quoted in articles like this? where are the voices from the conservationists?

    Rick

  3. Excessive compensation creates what those in insurance call a “moral hazard,” an incentive not to be careful.

  4. Rick,

    I noticed that too, and I meant to comment on it.

  5. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Green, a fourth-generation cattleman, said one wolf attack can destroy 40 years worth of cattle breeding.

    take better care of your stock… it just goes to show that livestock are an anthropogenic contrivance – bred out of any instinctual behavior to avoid prey – if they ever had the sense. let the wolves cull that behavior back into their genetic makeup – then there’d be at least some effort made – by the stock itself – to take preventative responsibility for itself. the cattlemen now have you and me doing it for them.

    it also reminds me of a commentary Ralph wrote once on how the media is predisposed to throw in the “fourth-generation” modifier as if it was supposed to mean something important.

  6. avatar JB says:

    Brian said: “…the media is predisposed to throw in the “fourth-generation” modifier as if it was supposed to mean something important.”

    This annoys me as well. Frankly, I believe what they are implicitly suggesting is that this (fourth generation) person’s ideas and interests are somehow more valuable than some person who is new to the area. If that’s the case, the media should be interviewing native Americans who can count back a lot farther than 4 generations.

  7. avatar cred says:

    Had to laugh at Brian’s response. Bet he eats beef. Bet he doesn’t ask how it is raised.

    Also have to laugh about “let the wolves cull that behavior…”. This would be in response to an article about how wolves would be translocated by humans to other areas in Washington.

    How about letting the wolves alone and letting them spread – or not – naturally? Let Mother Nature cull them… or humans cull them… just like the way you want cattle “naturally” culled.

  8. I’ll bet Brian doesn’t eat beef, and I don’t either, although I used to.

  9. avatar JB says:

    Cred,

    You’ll find a lot of us don’t eat beef or veal/mutton. Moreover, many go out of their way to buy locally grown food–at least whenever possible.

  10. avatar Ed says:

    Why is it that cattlemen nationwide feel a right of the government to protect their way of life. In any other industry as change occurs, adapation must follow and certainly its not the government’s job to help you. Consider medicine, constantly the old ways of doing things are replaced with new technology and ways of doing things. The same should be true for all facets of farming, the beef industry is going to change in this country for better or worse in the near future and wolves are only a small part of what’s ahead. The fear mongering and emotion over the multigeneration argument is based on nostalgia and nothing else. Few if anyone in today’s society is able to do the same career as their parents, often the job is unrecognizable from the previous generation. Having grown up in Iowa, I have watched my grandparents, father and other relatives be completed eliminated from farming into other jobs due to inevitable change.

  11. avatar timz says:

    “Why is it that cattlemen nationwide feel a right of the government to protect their way of life”

    I believe it was Ralph who mentioned the irony in that they are typically government haters except when they have their hands out.

  12. avatar J.A.Miller says:

    I applaud Ed on your comments. It is true about things changing. More and more we are realizing the unhealthy and unethical raising and processing of beef, and the rise will continue where beef will not be “whats for dinner”. I do not eat any meat for these reasons but more importantly I see more and more people changing their minds about it. So the real threat to cattle is not wolves bot the beef industry themselves. They do not have any rights to expect government umbrellas anymore than other business’. Let the wolves be wolves.

  13. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    cred,

    ralph is right, i don’t eat beef – you lose the first bet.

    on the second bet: “Bet he doesn’t ask how it is raised” — let’s explore that:

    Global Warming

    A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home.

    Water

    it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef – in fact, one comprehensive study puts it as high as 12,000 gallons H20/lb of beef (as opposed to 60 gallon/lb for potato; 108 gallons/lb for wheat, etc.)

    Newsweek once put it another way: “the water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer would float a destroyer.”

    pounded out that means 50 times more water to produce a calorie from beef as it does from, say, potatoes.

    Energy/Caloric Efficiency

    it takes roughly 8kg of feed to produce 1kg of beef – that’s 8kg of food to produce 1 kg of food. when you pound out the caloric input in the production of beef through the commodity chain, caloric (energy) input is at a ratio of 96:1. That is, it takes 96 calories of energy put into a cow to produce 1 calorie that a person will eat. Corn is at a caloric ratio of 12:1.

    Bottom Line

    the consumption of beef robs calories from Americans’ tables, it heats the earth in a way that contributes more warming gasses to the atmosphere than the entire transportation sector, and it is one of the most wasteful uses of water in a west that is becoming more and more troubled by water scarcity, it kills wildlife including wolves, bison, coyotes, elk and deer (competition of forage), it denudes wild places and denudes entire ecological systems, it pollutes our sources of water, etc. etc. etc…

    when someone tells you that livestock producers put food on the table of Americans, they’re lying. Livestock production robs more edible calories than it produces, livestock production robs water resources at an exponentially greater rate than other food production, livestock production heats the planet more than the entire transportation sector.

    bucky’s got it right… if we want to enjoy beef, we need to be honest – it’s a luxury. it needs to be produced in an efficient way, where there’s the naturally occurring water to sustainably support its production and under conditions that promote the potential to capture wastes that are currently running into our water sources and into our atmosphere – warming it. That place is not the semi-arid to arid west, it’s not where livestock production becomes one of the most pervasive sources of conflict with the wild world we have left.

    so cred, you tell me – have you ever “asked how it was raised” ?

  14. avatar Charlene Vanness says:

    Brian Ertz,

    You are so on the money!! I don’t eat beef either,
    but I raise Purebred Texas Longhorns. Wanna know why?

    Presently, our farm has (TWO) Longhorn steers and their job is to grace the land, provide beauty and protect our head of 60 plus AQHA superior pleasure producing mares and their foals. Because the Longhorns have not been “inbred” over generations, these “last cattle species of American Longhorns” are our farm’s equine herd protectors & bodyguards. These guys confront their fears.. they don’t run…they’ll fight to the death for “their” herd. Being raised with mares and foals, these two Longhorns believe that this is their herd. Which it is.

    In the past, we’ve had Angus, Holstein breeders, you name it, rent some of our pastures for birthing etc. I’ve seen countless cows, abandon healthy calves for no apparent reason, whatsoever. Other than simply, no breeding, no brains. The cows birth and walk off. Period. Pitiful.

    We don’t rent pastures anymore… Ohio State Vet and I, simply can’t handle the volume of rescues. The cattle business here as such, is disposable, the vet would farm out one Angus calf and I’d find a home for the other. Also, the cattle guys that rented my land, for some reason, believed that when they’re cows calved in January, I was the responsible party when poorly formed and deficient calves were born with missing organs, limbs, etc. Thats why we couldn’t do it anymore. Always someone else’s fault. Not a thing to do with in-breeding?

    Every mare and foal we have, makes its way to the loafing shed at night for grain. If, one of the two Longhorn steers are not present in the sheds, that means mare and foal are still out and the steer is guarding them until the “complete” herd retires into the shed for the night. We’ve seen this patterned behavior on the Longhorn’s behalf everyday. And I mean everyday. Seriously.

    We also deal with coyotes here in Ohio. I know where their dens are and we howl with them. Being a business owner all my life, I expect a loss, in someway, I expect a shrinkage, I expect someone to steal from me, it’s just part of being in business.

    Does it make a difference if I’m a bison, or a wolf, a coyote, a raccoon, a fox, or a human? And I, being a landowner, farmer, breeder, expect that the coyotes and someday, hopefully, perhaps a wolf, may take one of my goats or cats or dogs? I’m I on their land after all. and I’m I the interloper? I’m I the thief? I’m I the ugly part of nature?

    Myself, Charlene Vanness, wonder what has gone so wrong that nothing is free to even perish as an intregal part of ourselves? Do we even know what lesser beings we have become by taking smaller lives than ourselves?

  15. avatar Ryan says:

    Brian,
    What do you reccomend one eat instead of beef?

  16. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    I can’t speak for Brian, but I would suggest eating just about anything else! My wife is an epidemiologist (she studies disease epidemics); currently, her research is in the area of obesity. Beef–especially as raised in the U.S.–is particularly bad for you; its loaded with cholesterol and fat. I know you hunt; I would suggest eating wild game and more vegetables (preferably locally grown, when possible).

  17. avatar Catbestland says:

    JB and Ryan,
    Ditto on the eats. I’ve been vegitarian for 18 years and am much healthier for it. Another incentive to ditch the beef diet is the rising cost. As the price of gas climbs so will the price of all food especially beef because it is such an energy consuming product. The displacement of resources for the resulting energy output makes beef an impracticle choice as a dietary staple. Food travels an average of 1500 miles to get to the average American table. The soaring price of fuel is going to make food prices go sky high as well. This is all the more true of beef prices due to the amount of energy consumed in its production. I think the price of gas is going to force a lot of changes in our consumer life style and rightfully so.

  18. avatar Ed says:

    Excellent post by Brian Ertz. Beef just can’t be the main staple of the American diet. Hopefully cost is going to make this much more of a luxury item in the near future. Dietary staples need to be items found in abundance and preferrably locally grown. Nothing beats your own garden. There was an editorial in the New York Times in the past couple of months which explored the same idea. It seems a complete oxymoron that with a supposed food shortage worldwide, we are the fattest people on the planet. Look back at your grandparents family albums. You never see someone morbidly obese. Half the problems we have are simply over consumption!

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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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