Big public Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday-
California Advances Wolf to a Candidate Endangered Species-

The killing of the Wedge Pack continues to stir Washington State. Here is a sample of the stories as of a day ago.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is going to have a public meeting on the Wedge Pack issue. Public comments begin at 3:15 PM, but the meeting starts at 1 PM. It will be on television. Here is the official agenda of the meeting. 

~Details from the Seattle Times~

 

Meanwhile in California, late in the afternoon Oct. 3, reportedly after a long and heated meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission advanced the gray wolf to candidate status under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

“Candidate species” means a native species or subspecies of a bird, mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, or plant that the commission has formally noticed as being under review by the department for addition to either the list of endangered species or the list of threatened species, or a species for which the commission has published a notice of proposed regulation to add the species to either list.  Having candidate status provides immediate protection under several sections of CESA.

 

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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.

75 Responses to Wedge wolf pack issue continues in Washington State

  1. avatar Rachel says:

    I wrote about this very issue yesterday, but regarding Conservation Northwest’s role in the situation. It’s obvious that although the Wedge Pack has been all but eliminated, the public’s anger will not go away as easily. They aren’t going to just walk away from the issue. I’ll be following the aftermath closely.

    • avatar Jerry Black says:

      The poll showed that nearly 75% DID NOT want the Wedge Pack removed, yet Conservation Northwest, the only “conservation” group that “threw the wolves under the bus” maintains its arrogant attitude including a recent letter to members from their E.D. with which included only positive feedback. Their fb page reveals an entirely different story with over 250 comments, mostly against Conservation Northwest’s support for killing the pack.

      • avatar Jerry Black says:

        These Washingtonians are getting a hard lesson about the power of the livestock industry and grazing on public lands.
        There just may end up being some positives come out of this cluster f–k.
        “Wolf Liberation Front” is a new facebook page doing its best to keep this news current.

        • avatar Rachel says:

          Thanks for the heads up on the Wolf Liberation Front FB page. I completely agree that CNW’s handling of the situation has been arrogant and dismissive. Their political tone is clearly not sitting well with folks who expect more collaboration from a conservation nonprofit.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Washingtonians learning who really runs the state . . . while it surely hurts to learn, at least many people will learn it and then organize to obtain political equality with the landed gentry.

      • avatar bret says:

        Jerry,
        66% Washington residence also support lethal removal of wolves causing livestock losses. the plan also calls for lethal removal if prey base herds are significantly impacted, so this will not be the last I’m sure.

        • avatar jon says:

          People need to be careful when reading polls. Most of the 66% could be from rural places, places where a lot of residents living there are anti-wolf. Polls usually don’t tell you the whole picture. Polls usually involve a couple hundred people. I will say that I think it is absolutely absurd to kill wolves for eating their natural prey. I’m sure this will be done just because of the whining that will surely be coming from deer and elk hunters. Kill them for eating livestock and kill them for eating their natural prey.

          • avatar Mark L says:

            Aren’t polls done only to people with landline phones? Doesn’t this skew data?

            • avatar Salle says:

              Actually, cell phone access is now allowable for polling purposes. Some focus on cell phones and others still exclude them. The rules have changed in the past few years, thus the “no call” lists for cell phones that have come up lately. It depends on the polling contract; that would be the contract specifics that organizations like IPSOS, for instance, has with the organization that conducts the surveys and the tallies may even be conducted by yet another party. The variables can be seemingly endless, skewed or not.

            • avatar Salle says:

              Other factors in polling surveys include, but are not limited to; focus of interest ~ that would be in regards to the actual wording of the questions; the areas of interest, that being the geographic area where the queries are made (some may be worldwide, nationwide or specific area); and filtering by other measures such as focus on gender, age… etc.. And the intent is also a consideration which is used to design the surveys using any or all of the factors mentioned above.

            • avatar jon says:

              Polls are just polls. Polls usually involve only a few hundred people or so. Polls can also be very biased. Recently in Montana, there was a survey done by Montana fwp that I think involved a few hundred people in Montana and their views on wolves. The surveyed showed that most of the people surveyed had a low tolerance for wolves and a high tolerance for killing them. Most of the people surveyed were from rural areas. People from rural areas tend to be the most hostile toward wolves.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              jon
              Rural people live with the wolves and the effects of wolves. Wolves have no effect on your life except to make you feel good and you live how far from wolves. Maybe at some point you will also understand that some people have no problem living with wolves that behave themselves but no tolerance for problem wolves.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Jon,

              I would expect rural people to be more hostile than urban people, it only stands to reason, urban residents are not exposed to wolves all that often. The areas that wolves currently inhabit is rural.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            What about the polls that show positive results in favor of wolves Jon?

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              so RB what defines a problem wolf, one that needs to eat?

            • avatar jon says:

              One of the questions that should have been asked was do you support the killing of wolves when they eat livestock on public lands? I don’t think wolves should be killed if they are killing livestock on public lands. You would probably get a different response from those that were surveyed after this situation with the Mcirvin ranchers in Washington.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              Louise
              Well we will never see eye to eye on that will we? So my definition would be wolves who continue to kill livestock, or become comfortable around human presents. I live with all of Montana’s major predators with little to no problems, only predator to cause problems wolves.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              jon
              In Montana in 2011 89% of confirmed wolf killed livestock occurred on private land. So how would your poll question make a difference to wolf pack removal, make you feel better?

            • avatar jon says:

              Bob, any wolf that kills livestock is a “problem” wolf according to you correct? I get that. If a wolf kills an elk or deer, is that wolf considered a “problem” wolf?

            • avatar jon says:

              I wonder what people would think about wolves being killed because they kill livestock on public lands. Do you support the killing of wolves that specifically kill livestock that are on public lands rancher Bob?

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              jon
              Deer and elk are public property all us predators kill and eat them.
              Any wolf that kills livestock on public property is going to continue to kill livestock on private property so why delay the removal action. So yes it doesn’t matter where the problem occurs IMHO.

          • avatar bret says:

            jon,
            the poll was done by Colorado State University prior to the adoption of the wolf plan. it was a county by county survey, urban counties had the lowest ay 55% approval.

            • avatar jon says:

              Bret, you said you live in Eastern Washington. I don’t know if you said you’re a hunter, but the people that you know in Eastern Washington, what are their views on wolves?

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              jon, you have said repeatedly that you live in Maine……

            • avatar bret says:

              Jon,
              As with many issues, attitudes towards wolves go from one extreme to the other, by and large people knew that wolves would repopulate the landscape. Livestock groups were a part of the wolf working group that developed the state’s plan, they know how the states politics work and felt that their best opportunity to have a say would be as part of the plan rather than being on the outside.
              With the state heading to 7 million people and a smaller prey base, yet managing more BP’s than MT, WY, ID wolves will need to be managed. My .02

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00001/wdfw00001.pdf
          The above is the link to the Washington Wolf Plan.

          This is the link to the second part of the presentation/hearing that was presented by the F&W department.
          http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2012101005

          As one might expect two opposing camps of thought – one from the livestock industry (applauding the lethal removal and pushing for delisting in the Wedge area, if not all of the state. The other side opposing the lethal action and arguing that there was not enough evidence to support lethal removal and that the rancher resisted actions to reduce conflicts. Many argued that the state needs to outline a specific protocol for when non lethal options have been exhausted. Some argued for more education and for eliminating grazing of cattle on public lands.

          The hearing evidenced a great support for wolves as does the Washington wolf plan. The plan places a great emphasis on outreach and education as well as an emphasis on cooperation needed between conservation groups and ranchers to work together to develop proactive and non-lethal methods for managing wolves.

          From the plan….”(55.7% strongly or somewhat favored this vs. 13.6% who strongly or somewhat opposed this).”

          Bret while you are correct that 60 something % (depending on which poll you look at) supported lethal removal this should be qualified by acknowledging that the plan and the constituents want and support wolf recovery and while they accept the use of lethal force they do so when non lethal methods have been exhausted and expect that the state will follow its own plan. If you listen to the hearing, many who testified were very disappointed, angry and disillusioned to see the wolves killed and saw this action as one taken in contravention to the expressed intent of the plan.

        • avatar ernie meyer says:

          according to the hearing on friday there was no real proof that wolves did all the damage if fact a lot of the damage read like a dog attack.. a wolf kills a dog bites and rips because they don t have the jaw power to kill a calf…of the seventeen incidences only two could be confirmed as wolf and only because the cattle were eaten …still no proof and no smoking gun

  2. avatar Richie G says:

    It’s about time that the government stands up to this even if it is an election year, and it is for political points !

  3. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I think that despite the long drive Jerry Black will be attending, I’m hoping he will provide a first hand account. I’m grateful for the backlash. I do wonder why such outrage here but when the Lolo wolves were killed hardly a peep! I know Washington is a different state but I wonder if naming the wolves (Wedge Pack) provided the basis for greater attention?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Jerry
      just finished listening to the 4? hours of testimony part 1 and 2. You went! and sat and sat and sat
      at least this time, you were listening to more wolf advocates than not.

  4. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Looks as if they might have really stepped in the wolf scat on this one.

  5. avatar Richie G says:

    To Ralph and Louise;
    Louise it’s a different state,the senator is probably a Democrat, not that it’s a big difference but votes, it’s an election year, and they want their base for sure, also the special on the air. Put this in the public’s eye. Also the news special showed the rancher on his horse stating “I want these wolves gone or otta here” that did not help the ranchers. So they will be fighting tomorrow, you know the profits,it’s hard enough bla bla bla. The rancher is a millionare he has a lot of pull where he comes from, as for Ralph, Ralph called it a long time ago, he called the “The Land Barons” and he hit it on the head.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      good points although its still doesn’t explain all of it in my mind, I’m trying to extrapolate information that will be useful in applying it to advocacy

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        Louise, Ida, et al -

        How does the lethal treatment of the Wedge Pack threaten gray wolf recovery in the Pacific Northwest?

        • avatar DLB says:

          It doesn’t. It’s a border pack in a region that already has enough wolves to satisfy delisting objectives.

          I’ve been kind of confused as to why folks are choosing this pack to make their stand when it comes to lethal control over depredations in Washington State. Even if you are completely anti-rancher, there will MUCH better opportunities to draw a line in the sand.

          • avatar JB says:

            Agreed. And it ultimately hurts their cause with moderates by feeding into the rhetoric: (paraphrasing) “there’s no compromising with these wolf-lovers, they don’t want any wolves killed, ever.”

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              DLB and JB I think you have missed a point, its not that confusing as to why people are taking a stand here. They want the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to follow their plan. In a rare unified stand for wolves… advocates are actually insisting that the livestock industry bear some responsibility in keeping their livestock safe so that their cattle remain safe, wolves are deterred from predation, and that a policy of accommodation and killing is not the first line of defense every time there is a conflict. It was an important issue and one that was not lost on the people who took the time to testify. The state could have required the rancher to exhaust all non lethal options before they agreed to look at lethal removal or they could capitulate to the defiant rancher which is what they chose to do. Their constituents are not hurting their cause. They are demanding that the department follow the rules, create a protocal to define when all options have been exhausted, to listen to their concerns, and to preserve wolves because people value wolves. Washingtonians are showing their clear support for wolves and that they don’t want to see Washington follow the same track as Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. if you actually listened to the comments you would hear that in the testimony.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              This is the link to the second part of the presentation/hearing that was presented by the F&W department.
              http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2012101005

            • avatar Tim says:

              Well I’m a Washington resident as well and happen to buy my beef from a ranch not to far from where the wedge pack lived. I support the removal of that pack. The ranchers in that area have been losing cattle for the last two summers to that pack. There are only two wolf trappers in the state of Washington to identify packs so its kinda taking awhile to confirm more packs. keeping that pack around would have helped sway more of the public to dislike wolves or turn more ranchers toward the sss method and no one is going to catch them doing it.

  6. avatar Richie G says:

    Oh thanks to JB for showing so much interest, he is a great guy,

  7. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    It’s also just getting progressively worse around the country. The wolves in the Rockies had lost their protections, a terrible situation for them surely; but in WA they were still protected under the ESA, and yet were wiped out. People who may have been somewhat understanding in the beginning are now seeing the handwriting on the wall. This rancher also refused to cooperate with the program, which just looks bad all around. Night hunting of coyotes in the Carolinias is another transparent attempt which I hope is shut down cold.

  8. avatar Richie G says:

    Maybe with the Discovery broadcast on the Wedge pack, and being in Washington state brought this all to a head, and it is an election year.

  9. avatar DLB says:

    Brett,

    If you see this post, I’m hoping you can confirm something…..

    As I thought I read the final wolf management plan, wolves don’t actually have to be present on the peninsula to trigger delisting. It appeared that the zone which included the peninsula also included the southern Cascades, and if the minimum number of packs were present in the southern Cascades, delisting could occur.

  10. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s some of the WDFW necropsy results back on the Wedge pack. They are described as all being of “average” condition, with a couple of the pack members described as “thin to good”. Does that sound like they were all living high on the hog?

    http://www.nwsportsmanmag.com/2012/10/02/wdfw-releases-wedge-wolf-weights/

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “Does that sound like they were all living high on the hog?”

      What condition would you expect a wild wolf to be in at this time of year?

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        This time of year is the most difficult for wolves because the pups are big now and demand a lot of food, but they don’t contribute to securing food for the pack. Deer, elk and moose are at their best — their strongest. . . at least this is true until the hunt begins.

        Winter is the the time of the wolf.

        One thing that the hunting season does favorable for wolves, assuming there is no wolf hunt, is provide gut piles and escaped wounded game for the wolves to dispatch. I was told by Idaho and Montana wolf managers back in the days of federal control that some packs did not kill for a couple months because there was so much to scavenge.

        I believe one reason the wolf population expanded so quickly in the three original Northern Rockies states when there was no wolf hunt, was this factor.

        In a way, wolves are the friend of the wounded dying elk.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I really don’t know; I was just curious. I was just concerned.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          Ralph nailed it – I’ve handled several dozen wolves while research-trapping – in early spring they’re not too shabby, but when we trap 6-month-old pups in late summer they’re in horrible condition.

          If you let your dog get that thin you’d be arrested for animal neglect. And I’ve never handled a wolf that didn’t have prominent ribs.

  11. avatar Amaroq Weiss says:

    Ralph,

    The October 3rd Fish and Game Commission hearing in CA was not particularly heated, as far as public wolf meetings go. I attended and presented on behalf of the four petitioning organizations (CBD, EPIC, KS Wild and Big Wildlife) as well as on behalf of my own organization, California Wolf Center. The California Department of Fish and Game presented for about 15 minutes. Then Petitioners were allowed to present for 15 minutes. Then public comment took place for about an hour and a half. There was perhaps a little bit of labeling taking place on both sides of the issue. All who testified commended the Department for how proactive they have been from the very start, in keeping stakeholders informed and operating transparently. Many if not all of the representatives of ag groups, outdoors groups and county official reps advised that all the goodwill the Department had been engendering would go to ruin if the Commission accepted the petition and that these stakeholders may just pull out from the discussions. I did not hear any pro-wolf commenters threaten to pull out of the process if the Commission didn’t accept the petition (though I did have to step out of the room for about 10 minutes while being interviewed by a local tv news station, so I may have missed something). The Commissioners’ legal counsel then spoke, and advised the Commission not to accept the petition, based on his perception that a population of “one” wolf in the state was not sufficient to designate the species as a candidiate. The Commissioners listened to what he had to say, then each gave their own thoughts, including that the bar is set very low under statute for what is required to accept a petition and designate as a candidate species. Then they voted, and unanimously found there was sufficient information to find that listing may be warranted and, thus accepted the petition. So, really, in the scope of the world of all the public wolf meetings we have all attended, this one was quite civilized, and having the whole hearing take only about 2 hours wasn’t very long — it may have seemed so, since it was the 2nd to last item on the agenda for the day, but, really, 2 hours is kind of short for a public wolf meeting.

    Amaroq

    • avatar Salle says:

      Amaroq,

      Thank you for the update! And I also thank you for presenting at that hearing. You are an amazingly eloquent speaker and present a good argument for your cause. I feel that you have represented the interests of many who want to see wolves expand into more of their historical range, including me.

      It’s a good day for wolves in California for now. I remember the first time I heard you speak about wolves returning to California, I wondered if that could ever really happen in my lifetime, if ever. Now it appears that it might be so and I am thankful that you have been there all along working for sound and appropriate policies.

      I am glad the hearing went well although the opponents deciding to take their ball and go home threat was unfortunate and disappointing.

      all I can say is… Well done and thank you.

      Salle

  12. avatar Richie G says:

    What happen in the Washington meeting on this past Friday ? Or did I get this wrong,wasit California,or was their two mettings going on ?

  13. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    One interesting point that one of the ranchers brought up at the hearing is that there isn’t enough of a prey base in the national forest, saying that is why they turned to cattle. There are bears and cougars there too, he stated. Any thoughts about this?

    • avatar SAP says:

      Not knowing the area, I can’t say. My impression is that wolves switch to cattle because it makes sense energetically, not because there’s nothing else to eat. Cattle can be (are not always) easier to hunt than elk and deer, and typically will yield more meat, especially more than deer.

      Elk seem to deal with wolf pressure by moving more and by spending less time out in the open (see various papers by Scott Creel at MSU). Sure, wolves can find elk in the timber, but they’ll have to expend more energy searching for them, and perhaps have greater difficulty making effective attacks on them in the woods.

      In contrast, cattle are typically constrained by fences (which they can and will bust through if sufficiently motivated, but they generally won’t just jump over them like wild ungulates), and are often out in big meadows. Wolves thus don’t expend nearly so much energy in the “finding” portion of the hunt when they switch to cattle. Cattle are also not as nimble nor as fast as elk or deer, so they probably end up being a lot easier to hunt. And even if it’s a calf that they kill, it’s a big caloric payday comparatively.

      Just about any attribute that makes cattle preferable as assets versus native ungulates, also makes them more attractive to wolves. Meaty, docile, easily contained; versus lean, flighty/fighty, highly mobile.

      • avatar Salle says:

        SAP,

        That’s true. Wolves can get their a$$es kicked trying to bring down wild prey, sometimes they can lose one or two members of the hunting party in one encounter (with bison especially), whether they get to eat it or not. When’s the last time anyone heard of a wolves being killed by cattle or sheep? (I’m sure there must have been one incident, maybe? but I don’t remember any) And then, you rarely, if ever, hear about the wolves who die from wounds of the hunt, there’s a higher potential for injury with wild prey and this does happen and more often than one might imagine. It’s not easy being wildlife.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        SAP,

        Nevertheless, wolves and other predators/carnivores do not immediately go after cattle.

        Because cattle are so overwhelmingly abundant in the hills and mountains they are very easy to find. If it was only matter of energy expended compared to energy obtained (from prey). Wolves, grizzly bears, cougar would eat almost nothing but cattle from the start. Yet they don’t. This needs to be explained.

        • avatar SAP says:

          Neophobia? Adult cattle are big & loud. I imagine it takes a few encounters before predators decide to explore them as prey. One might hypothesize that the greater the rate of benign encounters, the greater the likelihood that wolves will prey on cattle.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            SAP,

            I think “neophobia” is part of it. There is the hypothesis that wolves learn a prey image from the rest of the pack and don’t easily stray from it.

            However, it ought to be obvious to a wolf that cattle are not just big and noisy but slow, except the calves. The calves, in my opinion at least, run just like prey. The calves are attacked far more often than adult cattle. Nonetheless, it seems to me the attack rate is disproportionately low for their abundance.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          I believe the first type of cattle introduced to the west were Longhorns.
          http://www.itla.net/longhorn_information/index.cfm?con=legacy&ss=history

          A breed of cattle that could more than take care of themselves & their familes around predators. In time, a more docile type of beef cow was introduced (for weight) when railways made their way west and trail drives came to an end.

          Huge tracts of land were fenced to control the cattle. By the time cattle numbered in the millions in the west, wolves were gone.

          Wolves have been back for 17 years and depredations on cattle are minimal each year given the millions of head of cattle on the landscape.

          “If it was only matter of energy expended compared to energy obtained (from prey). Wolves, grizzly bears, cougar would eat almost nothing but cattle from the start. Yet they don’t. This needs to be explained”

          Yes, it does Ralph.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            And why were longhorns use discontinued? As per article, too lean? Other reasons I have heard, and I am not asserting them as fact, but the longhorn surliness, which made them formidable to predators, also made them tough to work with. The other was that their horns were just too big for cattle cars at that time, so transportation was tough.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              Couple of interesting sites Immer.

              http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ddusbovine.htm

              http://www.ctlr.org/Resources/Alcalde/index.html

              “This independent breed slowly receded, replaced by ones that required a lot more care from ranchers, better feed, and protection from predators”

              “I’ve heard old-timers say that about the time that they got rid of most of the longhorns, bred them out, that they had to get rid of the lobo wolves,” says Yates.

              They didn’t have to when they had the longhorn cattle because they fought them off. These crossbred cattle would just bawl and watch them kill their calves.

              But crossbreeding can produce ultimately negative results. Agricultural scientists who were crossbreeding Texas longhorns with English and continental breeds to get that quick weight gain discovered they got more than they bargained for.

              They’ve found out that they’ve upped the cholesterol, upped the saturated fat, and there’s less unsaturated fat,” says Wallace”

              Hmmmm…..”duped” by the cattle industry, comes to mind when you think about how powerful cattle lobbyists, organizations and related associations are today around the country even though, 3% (someone correct me if I’m wrong here) of beef is actually raised in the west?

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Nancy,

              From one of the articles:

              “European breeds gain weight faster, and the modern beef industry wants to turn the dollar,” says Debbie Davis. “If you can get a steer finished at 15 months instead of two-and-a-half years, then they’d rather raise the one that finishes at 15 months.”

              The beginning of “Fast” food! :-)

            • avatar SAP says:

              Nancy, you wrote

              . . . “3% (someone correct me if I’m wrong here) of beef is actually raised in the west?”

              Three percent is a widely cited figure of how much beef (probably gross weight gain) is produced on federal lands in the West.

              I’ve dug into this question in the past a few times. Evidently, maybe eight percent (8%) of all the actual cattle in the US spend some of their time grazing on federal land. In most cases, they spend maybe three or four months of the year on those lands (they seem to spend far more time — officially or not — on federal land in the Great Basin, AZ, and NM).

              Apparently, the three percent is the portion of weight gain that those eight percent achieve for the part of the year that they’re on federal lands.

              Here’s a source, 10 years old, for the eight percent figure (again, that is eight percent of US beef cattle that get part of their annual forage from federal land):

              http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/agoutlook/JuneJuly2002/ao292g.pdf

              or try this one:

              http://webarchives.cdlib.org/sw1rf5mh0k/http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/agoutlook/JuneJuly2002/ao292g.pdf

              Page 19:

              “Some 3-4 million head of beef cattle in the Westwide states, or about 40 percent of beef cattle inventories (about 8 percent nationally) may spend some time grazing public lands.”

              If you look at the contiguous states west of the Great Plains, excluding California, these states account for around 15 percent of the nation’s beef cows. Montana, last time I looked at the stats, had about 4 percent of the nation’s beef cows.

  14. avatar Richie G says:

    I stiil do not know the outcome of Fridays meeting tried tv3 but could not find anything.

  15. avatar Mark L says:

    On that note, I’d be curious to see any data on wolves vs. longhorns, etc. (if they are even bred in RM area). Why not put your A team out in the more ‘wolf prone’ areas and not leave the sickly ones to be taken down and then whine about it, right?

    • avatar SAP says:

      Mark L – there are longhorns and other horned cattle breeds in the GYE. See for example:

      http://www.bbar.com/cattle.html

      Horned cattle fell out of favor because the horns lead to injuries. However, they are quite able to take care of themselves against predators, so they may be making a minor comeback.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Thanks for the info above re: 3% SAP.

        I’m not fimiliar with the dehorning or disbudding practices on ranches around here (or which breeds go thru the process as calves) but it seems like it would make sense, since most cows spend their lives on the ranch for calving purposes, to leave many with horns as a tool against predators.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          As in “familiar”

          • avatar SAP says:

            Nancy – a lot of the major commercial breeds have been selected for no-horns for centuries.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polled_livestock

            Occasionally, the gene for horns will express itself and you will see horns on calves. Some producers leave them, others de-horn during branding. See this link (second item) for one of the tools used to dehorn:

            http://www.bigbendsaddlery.com/mmaker.html

            But, most of them are born without horns.

            I have talked to a few folks who keep longhorns and corrientes; there is some interest in figuring out the ratio (if it in fact could be figured out) of horned to polled in a herd to confer some protective advantage on most of the herd. I think that question can’t be answered in a generic way — terrain and density of cattle would come into play quite a bit. But it’s still pretty clear — cattle that have substantial horns are pretty formidable.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      That’s the thing – the cattle industry doesn’t appear to want to cooperate or make an concessions whatsoever, that’s what’s so disheartening.

  16. avatar Nancy says:

    “The beginning of “Fast” food!”

    No doubt Immer :)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060884/reviews

  17. avatar Lonna O'Leary says:

    I am so in agreement with the Seattle Times Editorial “Wedge wolf, if you are out there, run for your life” I too believe that ranchers who use public lands to graze their cattle should not be entitled to compensation if their cattle are killed or injured due to predation. When ranchers move their cattle onto public land, the natural prey (elk and deer) leaves the area. So what’s a wolf to do starve to death because the ranchers “slow moving elk” are off limits for him to eat? I think not. Even 4th graders that wrote comments about this tragedy are in agreement about public land use. That’s the wolves territory and other wild animals and they should be left alone and not killed because of some rancher’s cattle. That is a risk they as a rancher chose to take when putting his cattle on public land leased or not period.
    I am so angry about the treatment of wolves by state after state since the wolf has been delisted. Turning them over for each state to manage was a huge mistake. But from everything I have been reading on the politicle side, it looks to me like that was the government’s intention. What I don’t understand is why? Why spend so many years protecting a species from extinction only to delist it so the extermination will begin again? That absolutely makes no sense at all to me.

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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