Wolves in the fold: Ranchers struggle to co-exist with an old Montana predator
This story appeared Oct. 6 and is fairly moderate in tone, despite the headline — “their struggle” isn’t much compared to the multitude of other things that kill cattle and sheep.
Montana’s Department of Fish and Wildife and Parks, which does just about all on-the-ground decision making about wolves today, is also moderate. Montana’s Department and its commissioners are much more inclusive, willing to try new things, and open to the public than Idaho. I won’t even talk about Wyoming’s Game and Fish Commission where total darkness reigns.
The odd thing is this, despite Idaho’s harsh rhetoric, and backward ranchers with political pull, Idaho has far more wolves than Montana, kills fewer wolves than Montana, and in many years has fewer so-called “depredations” on cattle and sheep (note that I am being conscious of George Wuerthner’s article on language that I posted today).
So I am puzzled.
Wolves in the fold: Ranchers struggle to co-exist with an old Montana predator. By Kim Briggeman. The Missoulian
Related story. Wyoming wolf conflicts decline: Aggressive control actions limit livestock kills. By Whitney Royster, Casper Star Tribune. When you factor out the large number of wolves in Yellowstone Park, a much higher percentage of wolves are killed in Wyoming than in Montana or Idaho by the government — in this case the federal government.
Another puzzle, does killing a lot of wolves improve the political situation with ranchers? Are they going to be more pleasant in Wyoming now, or does that kind of management just raise their expectation level? The question needs to be asked and answered, and wolf conservation groups decide their tone in the future on the basis of the answer.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
126 Responses to Wolves in the fold: Ranchers struggle to co-exist with an old Montana predator
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On private land, I can understand the frustration of the ranchers (at least those that try to live with wolves and those who attempt alternative means to killing like hazing, dogs,etc). On leased public lands, you get what you pay for. Put your cattle on public lands with wolves and if don’t expect some challenges then your head is buried in the dirt.
I’m with Ralph on Wyoming. Their thinking is archaic.
This should be “good reading” over the next few days.
You know I’m glad you made the distinction between public and private lands. I’m very much for wolves, but I have always said that ranchers should be able to protect their livestock on their property however they see fit.
On public land I’d personally much rather see real wildlife (wolves, bison, elk, deer, etc.) instead of any cattle or sheep. On the other hand, I do understand that public grazing helps our food producers, which is beneficial for all of us.
I do think however that any livestock owner that is leasing land from taxpayers needs to take into consideration that taxpayers (no matter where they are from) as a whole want wolves, bears, and other predators on public lands. This will undoubtedly raise some, as you said it so eloquently, “challenges”.
Oh and I definitely agree, this should be fabulous reading…
Turning cattle loose on public lands in spring and rounding them up in Fall and expecting to get every one of them back is like running a convenience store cash register on the honor system…don’t expect the numbers to match up perfectly.
My experience, including yesterday watching on a cattle allotment east of Pocatello, is that some are always missed. To be sure, they have to sweep it again, and then some are missed anyway.
I think these do get credited to wolf losses at times, and, in fact, a cow or calf living all by itself will likely become a predator kill. Something will happen to it in the mountains.
Are you an ‘experienced’ rancher to unequivocally state that their struggle is not much compared to multitud of other things that kill cattle and sheep.
Your statement may be true for sheep but I know for a fact that that is not true about cattle. My family runs several hundred cattle in central idaho and come up missing at the most 10 – 15 head a year up until wolves started showing up in and around the ranch where they are at. Since wolves, the number missing is more in line with 25 head per year. And yes, bears and coyotes and lions have always been there. The only other variable is the wolf introduced into the food chain. So it is significant and their struggle is more than you can or have ever experienced or imagined. And they even ride the range at least 2 times/week throughout the summer. However, riding the range is difficult when there is 10s of thousands of acres to cover and lots of timber intermixed about with sagebrush.
You don’t have to be an experienced rancher to know that wolves are not a major cause of death of cattle, except in a few situations.
In addition, in Idaho at least, there are two sources of reimbursement for wolf losses — Defenders of Wildlife for proven or likely losses and the state reimbursement fund for a situation where you have records and can show that your unaccounted for cattle have gone, as you say, from 10-15 to 25.
You didn’t mention how many you lose each year that you find? Has that number changed? Do you have any confirmed losses to wolves? If wolves account for the extra missing 10 or so a year, there ought to be at least some confirmed losses to them — cows you find, freshly killed with wolf tracks all around and wounds typical of a wolf attack.
My apologies if you are one of those few ranchers who do lose more than an occasional one. There are a few in that situation.
I think we would all like to see more information about your losses because most of us do not raise cattle or sheep.
if you can’t cover tens of thousands of acres of land and monitor your livestock, maybe you shouldn’t be putting them out there. if you really care about the animals you raise and their well-being, you wouldn’t put them at this risk.
as for the comment that “public grazing helps our food producers”, only 2 % of the beef we buy in the commercial beef industry was grazed on public lands. i am pretty sure we could do without that 2% with not much effort.
“The only other variable is the wolf…”
So the only thing that’s changed in the wilds of Idaho over the past 12 years is the wolf? What about bear, lion and coyote populations? What about the drought? What about competition for forage with other species? I understand your frustration, but I think you may be overstating the effect of wolves.
This kind of “correlation = causation” thinking has been running rampant when it comes to wolves, and it’s not just the ranchers. Hunters lay the blame for the decline in Yellowstone’s northern elk herd solely at the foot of the wolf, while environmentalists claim the wolf is single-handedly responsible for the return of aspen and willow to the riparian areas. Wolves are just one factor in a whole host of variables that affect cattle losses, elk populations, and even aspen. We need to quit making them out as demons OR angels–they’re simply another critter on the landscape.
“i am pretty sure we could do without that 2% with not much effort…”
And I’m pretty sure my waistline could do with 2% less beef period! 😉
The question of how much beef comes from the western states seems to come up a lot. I don’t want to rehash an earlier (and productive, really) discussion we had about the ol’ 2% (or 3%, depending on your source) over at the Sinapu blog,
but that 2% seems to always come from an obscure 1986 source cited by M. Hudak.
Two, three, ten, fifteen? Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn’t, but since we so often want to claim that Truth and Science are on our side(s), it seems worthwhile to get the facts straight and not just repeat something we heard somewhere.
Here’s a quick summary, gleaned from a USDA source posted at the Sinpau blog by Jeff E:
See numbered page 19 (2d page of the PDF):
“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.”
Evidently, the 40 percent there refers to just the western states; they are saying that 8 percent of the nation’s beef cattle inventory (at least in 2002) spent SOME time on public lands.
As I wrote elsewhere, it is still very difficult to translate that into pounds of beef, but it at least gives us some idea of what’s going on.
Maybe the “8 percent of cattle-spending-some-time-on-allotments” would translate into “3 percent of the cut beef in stores nationwide,” I don’t know.
Frankly, I’d also like to know about the methodology behind the 8% figure before I start repeating that–it seems there are a lot of ways to count cattle! 😉
In my mind, here’s what it boils down to: Outside of Alaska, most of the Nation’s public land is in the dry, arid and semi-arid lands in the West–which are not as productive/efficient for livestock. Personally, I happily support livestock producers that graze private land–they keep this land locked up so that it isn’t plagued by new development–but the public should decide what to do with public land, and I don’t think grazing sheep and cattle on public land is the wisest use of this resource.
Take a look at the linked map from the USDA (http://www.nass.usda.gov/census/census92/atlas92/html/m158.htm)
I didn’t count dots, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say (at least based on this map) that the states in the lower 48 with the most public land are among those with the fewest livestock.
I think that Ed Bangs summed it up pretty well: “People are so worked up because of what they think wolves are, rather than what wolves really are,” said Bangs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Helena-based wolf recovery coordinator. “In reality, they’re just another large predator. They don’t have any special powers. They’re not good or evil. They’re just animals.”
The sooner we de-mystify the wolf and accept that it is just another, though important, aspect of the a healthy, functioning ecosystem, the sooner we will get on to more devastating matters in terms of environmental protection and conservation. Wolves, cows, and all the other critters on the landscape will not be able to thrive (or survive) without a healthy ecosystem.
Parcellization of the landscape into, log home mansions far up in the summer range, run-off and other pollutants in our streams; industrial waste in our air, soil, and water – these are the real threats to our ecosystem and our way of life. I believe that somehow ranchers, environmentalist, wolves and cows may somehow learn to coexist. But if there is no healthy habitat to support everyone, the game is up.
I’m tired of cows and wolves being sacrificed as political pawns. They are just animals caught up in our world. We think that if we manage them one way or another, we will win and everyone will be happy. The truth is, despite our silly head games, it’s a fight for survival out there. Not financial or political survival, but survival of a species, right down to the herd or pack level. The one who wins in this game learns how to adapt and coexist. It very well may be a real fight for our own survival.
So, my advise for everyone is to take a lesson from the critters that we coexist with on this planet; when predator and prey enter into the deadly dance, they neither hate or love each other; but each knows that the survival of their own species depends on the survival of the other species. Hopefully, before it is too late, we humans may learn that our survival hangs on a balance with other species. Not the eradication of one to favor the other.
It might be important to note that the USDA, unless specifically stated otherwise, considers the”western states” to be the states west of the mississippi. So when talking numbers and percentages that should be kept in mind.
When I said that public grazing helps livestock producers, I meant that it gives them cheap grazing land to supplement their herds. Really doesn’t help my family though, we eat almost every kind of meat except beef.
I had a thought about what JB said earlier, specifically his comment about the “correlation – causation” thinking when it comes to wolves.
My wife & I have had this theory that wolves are really just the latest of a series of challenges that today’s ranchers face. I won’t pretend to know what all of these challenges are either. However the wolf has become a convenient place for them to focus their frustration & becomes a symbol of that frustration.
Others have mentioned this before, and this thread has rekindled it, but drought has an impact not just on the forage available for deer and elk, but also on cows. So as habitat is affected by this prolonged drought (what I’ve heard referred to as the new normal) is there any consideration about how the habitat conditions will affect forage for not only wild animals but domestic as well? It seems that one of the big anecdotal reasons for vilifying wolves in the ranching community is that, since their reintroduction, the average weight of the cows coming off the range in the fall is less, presumably because they get run around a lot by those awful wolves). But, like the aspen regrowth hypothesis, I think that the wolf as a cause for decreased average weights of cows bears further study, especially in light of the drought conditions…
The public land agencies have been very slow to adapt to the drought. They assume it is a short term event, but it’s probably not.
This became very clear in our range inspection tours with Western Watersheds this fall and earlier in the year when we asked them not to even turn the cattle or sheep out in some places.
Range conditions in most places I have seen in Idaho this year, not all, of course, are the worst I have ever seen in the state.
There is great irony to this because the Taylor Grazing Act was passed back in the 1930s in part to deal with the dust bowl conditions by reducing the number of livestock and creating some order in grazing on the public domain. Now we have agencies perpetuating the negative interaction between cattle and sheep and drought. It kind of contradicts the reasons government regulation of grazing on public lands was initiated.
Jeff E wrote:
“It might be important to note that the USDA, unless specifically stated otherwise, considers the”western states” to be the states west of the mississippi.”
Jeff, see same page I referenced, far left column at the bottom:
. . . “the Westwide states (the 11 states west of Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas).
If they were including all the states west of the Mississippi River, that would include the top-tier of beef calf production states: Texas, California, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, & South Dakota.
this is a case of being stated specifically otherwise
Yup. Thanks again for the excellent source, too.
On the whole, we’re still not talking about a lot of beef. Stack up those numbers against obesity rates and health problems from eating fatty feedlot beef, and I think we could do with less of it at higher prices.
SAP( and anyone else interested)
be sure and read the footnotes in the GAO reports.
I can see where my comments are going. For one comment about wolves and the struggle my family has with their cattle operation their are 20+ comments of others attacking and degraging my comments so I see any other comments I give will only be butchered – like sending a couple dozen sheep before a pack of wolves.
However, let me just end by stating that bears, lions, coyotes, drought, competition with other species, etc. has changed very little over the past 20-years. They have had many years of drought during this period with other years of good moisture throughout. Wolves are the only variable JB.
Yes Ralph, they have had several confirmed kills this year. However, there has been one research done over the years that also verifies that undocumented wolf kills may be as high as 10% which appears to be likely for this situation.
Also, this location where they run their cattle is also prime real-estate for condos, townhouses, cabins, etc. He has had several offers of which I do not think I could pass up. However, he is not in it for the money but actually enjoys the life style and hopes to preserve some of the last open places before real estate gobbles it up. I would much rather have cattle around and on public land than real-estate any day. How about you folks.
Actually, I’d rather have cows on private land than real estate: golf courses, Costcos and Targets, etc., can all go away and I’d be just fine with that. On public land, graze at your own risk. It my public land too, and I’m willing to share it with wolves, grizzlies, elk, cougars, coyotes, and all the other wildlife out there. I have no animosity towards ranchers–in fact, I respect and admire the hard work that goes into it–but there’s no law saying they’re entitled to predator-free public lands.
I couldn’t agree with you more, overall I would much rather see ranching operations than real estate development. On public land, personally I would rather see wildlife than cattle. That being said, I do realize that grazing helps ranchers and I don’t think that help should be taken away from families like yours.
I do agree with Jay though, just because you use public lands doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to predator-free grazing. Predators play an important natural role in their own right. The trick here is how do we balance these roles of public land? Honestly, I’m not sure if I have an answer as to how we do it, but I think we need to find a way.
Otherwise if we’re not careful we may end up with more and more Wal-Mart signs…
now THERE’S a scary thought.
From Wuerthner – http://www.westernwatersheds.org/watmess/watmess_2002/2002html_spring/article1.htm
“Often overlooked is the fact that even in the West, a substantial number of livestock (70 percent) are grazed exclusively on private lands most or all of the year. For example, only 10 percent of the forage for livestock in Montana, a state that possesses one of largest cattle industries in the West, is derived from public lands.”
“Furthermore, access to federal public lands is not equally distributed: Indeed, the majority of public lands forage is controlled by a small percentage of the larger landowning permittees. Like most federal subsidies, the larger operations reap significant and proportionately greater advantages.
For example, a 1992 GAO report found that the 500 largest BLM’s permittees controlled 47 percent of all BLM allotment acreage. The top 20 largest permit holders controlled 9.3 percent of all BLM forage or 20.7 million acres of public lands! This includes Idaho billionaire J.R. Simplot whose public lands spread includes more than 2 million acres of rangelands in several western states.
The total federal and state acreage devoted to livestock production is 300 million acres, or an area equal to the acreage of all the eastern seaboard states from Maine to Florida with Missouri thrown in.
According to the 1994 Rangeland Reform EIS, eliminating all livestock use of federal lands would affect only 2.4 percent of the beef cattle inventory in the 17 western states.”
There are those whom I have seen post on this site that want all cattle, regardless of the type of operation such as small family owned or large corporation, removed off of public lands.
True, as Mack has stated, that that would affect only about 2.4 percent of all beef cattle. However, what is more important is that those 2.4 percent are majority small family owned operations, not the large corporations, so removing their livestock from public lands would definitely be a major impact to their ability to continue their way of life and financially make ends meet. They cannot exactly graze their cattle on private lands for the same equivalent AMU as they do on public lands.
As Dan has so well stated, “The trick here is how do we balance these roles of public land? Honestly, I’m not sure if I have an answer as to how we do it, but I think we need to find a way.”
I, likewise, would much rather see wildlife than cattle even though my family owns a family operated cattle ranch. However, I also would much rather see cattle on public land than see the Wal-Marts, townhouses, etc. take up prime real-estate.
Unless I’m mistaken, most of the acreage grazed on public lands is not utilized by small, family operations but rather is used by large, privately controlled operations, and even wealthy “hobby ranchers” who run cattle for whatever reasons (egotistical?) yet enjoy federal subsidises – keeping that good ‘ole “cowboy tradition” alive. I do not know if small, family operations *outnumber* larger, private corporations.
Here’s a question for the readers: Would it be possible, instead of subsidizing ranchers with insanely low AUM fees, to remove livestock from public lands to private lands and to subsidize the difference between fair market private fees and insanely low AUM fees? I am not suggesting this is necessarily a good idea; I’m just putting it on the table. Is there enough private land in the arid west available for grazing privately owned livestock?
We’re talking about removing privately owned cattle from public lands and because this represents some 2.4% of the beef cattle inventory in the 17 western states, we’re really not talking about big percentages here. Surely something could be worked out with a little creative thinking and hard work.
I read (somewhere) that 5% percentage of wood products America uses comes from our national forest. So 95% of our wood products come from vast tracks of land owned by private and public corporations (many in the northwest) and privately owned wood lots (many in the southeast). So if Americans cut back 5% on consumption of wood products, perhaps we could eliminate logging on public lands.
Just FWIW, I know that in the Payette Nat’l Forest the majority of the cattle allotments are small, family outfits. Some of the sheep allotments are fairly big operations (2 or 3 bands of about a 1000 head each) but not what I would consider “corporate” entities.
Again, that is just one forest, I don’t personally know about the others here in the state.
Challis and the Salmon National Forests including the areas in the Big Lost, Little Lost and Birch Creek Drainages are also vast majority small run family outfits.
As director of a conservation organization, I DO have an opinion on the matter; but one which many on each extreme may not like.
Wolves should be controlled.
But, that doesn’t mean wolves should be killed for political reasons, or to appease ranchers, or in violation of the ORIGINAL 10j rules, nor should they be killed because of the Defenders Compensation Program; which I believe encourages ranchers to seek depredation conflict as a shortcut to a few bucks. I witnessed this firsthand on one occasion, and second-hand through numerous stories.
I got into wolf recovery in 1998 because I cared about wolves, and because I felt they needed a champion. I don’t believe any wolf should have to suffer death at the hands of humans; but I have to set aside that personal belief in the reality of wolf management. The fact that the reintroduction was very poorly undertaken doesn’t change the fact that wolves must now be managed, despite the opportunity missed for managing the people as should have been done. FWS’s screw up doesn’t mean we should have to watch or hear about wolves being killed because Rancher Joe whines about his horses being chased.
I have firsthand experience with the attitudes of Idahoans. Three weeks ago, I lost my dog, the one I was training to be my service/companion animal, to a gun happy neighbor. The pervasive attitude in this state is that “if its on my property (whether deeded, leased, borrowed, stolen, or otherwise), I have the right to kill whatever I want, however I want, whenever I want.” It is this attitude that represents the primary failure of the reintroduction, and what doomed wolves from the get go. I also witnessed this when a wolf was killed not 1/4 mile from my home, in the field next door. That wolves were brought back into a state with this attitude still prevailing demonstrates the failure of the FWS in the reintroduction. And it is this attitude that we are discussing here.
My efforts to find a solution will revolve around legislation and education, as well as research to disprove many of the myths people have about wolves.
I hope that other organizations can see these things, and also make efforts to remedy the situation in an effective manner. I attempted to suggest this in 2005 at Frontiers of Wolf Recovery, but was largely shut down by IWC; who doesn’t operate in the environment of the Nothern Rocky Mountains; an area where ignorance prevails, and where management of livestock with wolves present has always been, as opposed to the northern rockies, where livestock have NEVER been managed with wolves…wolves were “managed” instead.
Dante and Layton,
Your description of these areas might well be accurate, but the dominance of Simplot’s corporate ranches overall In Idaho was what I thought was a well known fact.
So we should feel sorry for you because your way of life is not as profitable as it used to be? Get a job. No ones life is what it used to be. Why should you and your kind get welfare in the form of grazing alotments while the rest of us have to work for a living. Yes I know you have to actually work at times during calving and so forth. The rest of the year the coffee shops and diners are lined with cattlemen at all hours of the day. Your worse than cops at donut shops. I would almost rather see development take the space your cows destroy. Cattle in the high country overgraze and introduce noxious weeds and destroy the watersheds. The dissapearance of numerous waterfoul and native bird species can be directly linked to destruction of habitat cause by cattle. I can’t tell you how many times I have been disgusted by the stench of cattle slop on what could be pristine forestland were it not for the unnatural presence cattle.
We could all do something about the problem by just not eating beef. Hit ’em where it hurts. Boycott the beef industry for awhile. It’s bad for you anyway. You know it is. And then only purchace beef from cattlemen who have proven themselves to be “wolf friendly”. The beef industry is the worst displacement of resources for the resulting energy known to man. It is responsible for the destruction of the environment not only here but in South America and Africa as well. I know you all love your steaks, you can do without them for a while.
Does anyone remember Rosa Parks. Change was only bought about after a boycott of the city busses by the suppressed minority in Montgomery Alabama. So the Cattle industry holds all the purse strings right now. Lets take it away from them. Stop eating beef, at least for a while. Educate others on the health dangers of beef. We have the power to make a change. Sacrifice that Big Mac. Do it for the wolves. Have the chicken sandwich instead. I never heard of a chicken breeder shooting a wolf.
Just a thought.
“There are those whom I have seen post on this site that want all cattle, regardless of the type of operation such as small family owned or large corporation, removed off of public lands.”
when the management of public lands and wildlife becomes about personalities ~ we see denuded watersheds, slaughtered wolves, and subjectively watered-down environmental standards. is that ok if the operation is ‘family’ ? is it ok that public management agencies manage in accordance with this small minority ?
when it’s about real science and the legal standards established by public institutions for public property ~ those excuses for the shameful condition of wildlife and watersheds are seen to be just that ~ excuses.
if i put graffiti and carve designs into a public bus or bathroom ~ the police and/or driver don’t care about my net worth or the size of my family ~ whether my term in jail will cost me my job/livelihood etc. the condition of public property demonstrates whether the standard of law has been complied with or not ~ my social/cultural/economic condition bears no implication on compliance with law in that regard.
dante or others, i ask this with utmost sincerity: what about ranchers, whatever size their operation may be, ought uniquely afford them a different standard by which public regulation should judge their lawful vs. unlawful conduct with regard to public property. the legal line is in the sand ~ judges continue to demonstrate that ~ but why should the standard be about personality rather than the condition of the land or endangered species that the public has established ? why? why ranchers but not others users of other public properties? the owners of public properties?
the issue is about whether small families or corporations are able to manage for the environmental conditions that the public has established for its public land. if so ~ go for it ~ good luck. if they are unable to do so ~ the privelege ought be revoked.
slaughtering wolves is not ok. denuding watersheds is not ok. i don’t see how the law changing depending on the user will ever serve the public environmental interest… and quite frankly ~ coddling livestock producers has been the worst thing to do for their interest as well ~ they’ve come to believe that they’re entitled – which they’re not – and just like a child, the tantrums get lowder the more reasonable the public’s standards for its own property become. And just like a child coddled too much ~ an industry is rendered unable to stand on its own two feet and transition to deal with the real world publicly established values of wildlife.
I agree with alot of what you say Be. Livestock operations, even small run family operations should have to comply with the law and the science behind how our environment is being destroyed. However, I do not have a solution but you cannot just go run the little guy off his property and shut him down all because the government made a big screw up year ago by allowing wolves to be killed and removed and the livestock owner placing his livestock on public lands to see them have a negative impact. I do not know what the solution would be or how to solve it. Maybe we should treat this situation like Hillary Clintons socialzed medicine. See that everyone has healthcare, you as taxpayers pay for everyones health care. Maybe the government shoud buy all the little guys out of the lilvestock operations and set them up for life. Hillary plans on doing so.
BE (et al),
I just want to make a couple of comments here — from personal experience, NOT hearsay, NOT rumor.
Two years ago, when I went back to work for the USFS for the summer — there were several “new kids” that were basically city born and bred that went to work at the same time.
One of these young guys was pretty well certain that he had his act together, cattle (or other critters) just didn’t belong on the public’s forest.
As we spent the next couple of weeks showing him what his job was and what a noxious weed looked like he said over and over how good the forest looked and how he just loved being outside and working in it.
Then the inevitable, he found some cow pies!! Ohmigod!! Cows don’t belong here, just look at the mess they make and the range here is surely destroyed forever!!
My boss looked at him and pointed out that the range that he thought looked so pristine had, in fact, been systematically grazed — just like the parcel that he now decided was ruined– for over 40 years!!
There is a message here, I see it when photos are presented that point out how cow type critters have “ruined” the particular area where the photo is taken. Pictures of the same area taken in the spring are offered as proof of the devastation that has been done — I can’t help but wonder how many years the same land has been grazed previously.
Sure, there are abuses, maybe even lots of them, but there ARE areas, MANY areas, that are proof that grass and other forbs DO grow in abundantly —- EVERY YEAR!!
“when the management of public lands and wildlife becomes about personalities ~ we see denuded watersheds, slaughtered wolves, and subjectively watered-down environmental standards.”
C’mon BE, when was the last time that there was an instance of “slaughtered wolves”?? Isn’t that a bit of exageration for emphasis??
Just like everything else, the ideal place is NOT all the way to the side of the “greenie” and it surely isn’t all the way on the side of the “rape, pillage and plunder” folk. Why the hell can’t we just sometimes make a decision that lands in the middle?
“The dissapearance of numerous waterfoul and native bird species can be directly linked to destruction of habitat cause by cattle.”
Could you site one “waterfoul species” that has been “directly linked” to destruction caused by cattle?
I’m really curious. (by the way, isn’t that waterFOWL?) 8^)
The Least Tern and Whooping Crane come to mind and probably the Wood Duck as well. I’ll check my sources, I’m sure there are more. Did I say water FOUL? I must have been thinking of the smell of cattle or cattlemen. Or maybe I was remembering the condition of the last watersheds I visited.
You asd “When was the last time there was an instance (and shouldn’t that be incident) of slaughtered wolves.
July 23, in the Madison valey on the Sun Ranch owned by Roger Lange. An injured Alpha female (who was not harrassing cattle) was chased down and run over numerous times and pinned under an ATV driven by ranch hand Cody Dixon. This isn’t only slaugheter, it is the most horrific form of torture I can immagine.
asked, sorry, typing to fast.
Dante wrote “…you cannot just go run the little guy off his property…” Public lands are not “his” property. Those lands belong to ALL Americans, even the ones that never set foot on them.
Dante wrote “Maybe the government should buy all the little guys out of the lilvestock operations and set them up for life.” Sure, buy ’em out, similar to buying out tobacco farmers. Or just not renew the grazing allotments, which would be a lot cheaper.
Layton wrote “Then the inevitable, he found some cow pies!! Ohmigod!!” I think you have trivialized the issue.
Layton also scribbled “C’mon BE, when was the last time that there was an instance of “slaughtered wolves”?? Isn’t that a bit of exageration for emphasis??”
You’re not serious, are you, Layton? Tell me you’re not serious with your statement above.
Slaughter, decimate, massacre . . . we use these terms interchangeably and so maybe Layton was really asking about a massacre of wolves?
Merriam-Webster gives us this for “slaughter:”
1: the act of killing; specifically : the butchering of livestock for market
2: killing of great numbers of human beings (as in battle or a massacre)
Decimate is a more interesting term, as it literally means “kill every tenth one,” or ten percent. Deci = ten; mate = kill. Comes from the Roman practice of getting mutinous legions back in line by killing every tenth one.
Cathy B: wood ducks (Aix sponsa) are doing great. We really can’t point to grazing for their now-reversed decline; they nest mostly in flooded timber and it was wetland draining and channel-straightening of rivers (no more oxbows), along with overhunting that really knocked them down. In the 1980s, they made a big comeback as we started to conserve (and re-construct) wetlands and put up nesting boxes for them.
Don’t know for sure, but I think a similar fate befell the whooper — habitat destruction (maybe for ag, but not likely directly for grazing) and market hunting. They haven’t bounced back yet — larger body size and other vulnerabilities make them more challenging than wood ducks.
Let’s get it straight there Mack, slaughter, to me would indicate more than one, maybe many — can you site an incident like that?? I mean in recent times here, you know, AFTER the introduction in 94.
Did I scribble Mack, or is that just you drooling on your computer screen again??
Did I trivialize the issue? Good, I meant to. Grass and other forbs are RENEWABLE, mostly all that’s left when a cow gets done with them are a little bit of —- get ready, — try to handle it —- DUNG! The issue IS — in about 98% of cases — TRIVIAL!!! As I said, there ARE abuses, those should be dealt with appropriately.
Cathy, I haven’t heard of the incident (your word 8^)) that you reference, can you point me at it? To be sure we’re talking about the same thing here — to me, a “slaughter” is when a pack of wolves gets into a flock of sheep and kills 40, 50, or a hundred without eating any, just killing for the fun of it. Does killing ONE wolf amount to a “slaughter” in your eyes?
Why, Layton, if you were to read or even take the time to search THIS BLOG ALONE you would find Ralph’s headline: “Idaho wolf pack of nine killed by government, west of Fairfield.” If you’re too lazy to look it up, here’s the link: http://wolves.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/idaho-wolf-pack-of-nine-killed-by-government-west-of-fairfield/
Does the killing of 9 wolves constitute a slaughter? Why, I believe it would, in the eyes of a reasonable person. What’s your opinion, Layton? Do you think the killing of 9 wolves is a slaughter?
And that’s only ONE wolf slaughtering incident brought to you by the feds.
Layton scribbled “Grass and other forbs are RENEWABLE…” Really? Layton, I’m not stupid, I only look that way.
I can show you, in Grand Teton National Park, a grazing allotment with only very, very old cottonwood trees lining a stream. Know why there aren’t any other than old cottonwoods? It’s because the cattle graze the young ones to the GROUND. Why, you can see for yourself cottonwoods stumps that send up shoots every year only to have them eaten by cows. Eventually, the root system will give up and die.
I can also show you how cows have trampled and widened the stream bank, causing the stream to broaden and become more shallow and warmer. Hard for fish to survive in there.
So, Layton, can you see that there’s more to the livestock grazing issues than just the consumption of the forage?
Layton scribbled “The issue IS — in about 98% of cases — TRIVIAL!!!”
Well, I, for one, including many respectable professionals, disagree.
Point taken, I guess that — in the eyes of an UNCONDITIONAL wolf lover — that killing a pack of nine WOULD constitute a slaughter. However, in the eyes of one that can see BOTH sides of the wolf situation, that same action could be considered a needed control action or maybe even – to some affected by the actions of those wolves – justifiable actions undertaken to rectify an intolerable situation!!
If you follow the link that you put there you can also read about 40 some odd sheep in the Josephine Lake area being “slaughtered” by another wolf pack. Some of them (the other wolf pack) were, in turn, “slaughtered” by the FWS bunch.
Really Mack, if you would just take a moment, take a deep breath, try to get your undies out of the bunch they seem to be in —- and read what I posted — I SAID that there were grazing abuses!! Yes Mack, I SAID that.
I’ve seen situations in raparian areas that were bad, I’ve seen situations where over grazing occured —- I’ve also seen other areas (more) that were as I described in a previous post. Do you mean to try and tell me that ALL grazing allotments are abused?? Get real.
I also would like to ask if it’s possible for you to just have a discussion — one without stooping to absurd little childish tantrums and personal insults — can that happen with one as “dedicated” as yourself??
Seems like some of the folks here really get kind of “pissy” when another person dares to disagree with the viewpoints that they hold somehow sacred and inviolate.
Layton, I’m curious about what’s behind your eyes, not the eyes of an “unconditional wolf lover.” In your opinion: do you think that the killing of 9 wolves constitutes a slaughter? A direct answer to this direct question would be appreciated.
You also wrote “C’mon BE, when was the last time that there was an instance of “slaughtered wolves”?? Isn’t that a bit of exageration for emphasis??”
Do you stand behind your statement above, or would you care to retract it?
“(BS deleted about my undies being in a bunch) I SAID that there were grazing abuses!! Yes Mack, I SAID that.”
Actually, Layton, what you said was “The issue IS — in about 98% of cases — TRIVIAL!!!”
When you said that, did you meant that 98% of grazing permit holders have only trivial grazing problem on their allotments, or did you mean that 98% of public lands acreage used for grazing suffer only trivial grazing problems, or what DID you mean? Clear us up.
And I don’t think I’ve “stooped to absurd little childish tantrums or personal insults,” but if you do, you’re welcome to your opinion.
Seems like some of the folks here really get kind of upset when another person calls them on their errors. Disagreements and discourse welcome, BS not so much so.
Obviously you missed the disconnect. With Hillary as president we will have socialized medicine. You will be paying more taxes to give everyone in this country healthcare. I was only correlating this with ‘Why not buy out all the ranchers and their business. You will pay taxes for everyone in the country for health care which is just about as good as buying out the small family operation.
Cathy, you are so naive when is comes to the rancher and cattlemen. Apparently youre ideas about the ranching lifestyle must com from watching too many “unrealistic” cowboy movies. Brokeback Mountain comes to mind. I did not know that cattlement sit in the coffee shops and diners all day. You need to get a life and spend time on a ranch for even a day to get a minute idea of what they do. Don’t think you could handle it. Apparently you and the rest of you who talk about government welfare (welfare ranching) have no complaints or problems with paying taxes to provide free healthcare to all in this country under the Hillary plan. Ralph at times has spoken of ‘welfare ranching’ yet supports the Hillary health care plan for all. How can you dislike one form of government welfare yet support the other government welfare for socialized medicine. Gauranteed you will be paying more in taxes for the Hillary socialized medicine than you are currently paying for your so called ‘welfare ranchers.
You are attacking personalities when you lump all cattlemen into this program. Obviously, you are willing to destroy more habitat with the development of real-estate condos. You are obviously not better a steward of the land than those you label as welfare ranchers.
You wrote, “I can’t tell you how many times I have been disgusted by the stench of cattle slop on what could be pristine forestland were it not for the unnatural presence cattle.”
Most of us when we go in the wilderness or camping choose to camp out of the way of the cattle and their presence. There are many pristine areas cattle do not inhabit or are not allowed, you just have to work a little harder to get away from the cattle but aparrently you choose to associate cattle dung and stench of cattle as pristine. Enjoy your pristine habitat. I will avoid those areas.
Dante wrote “How can you dislike one form of government welfare yet support the other government welfare for socialized medicine.”
Let’s see now… assuming we could consider national insurance and/or socialized medicine to be considered “welfare…”
And if we could, to compare this form of welfare with welfare for livestock producers…
One form directly benefits all humans in America.
The other form directly benefits ranchers and cows and sheep.
Which would I chose… Hmmm…
I can show you may places on public lands and on private cattle ranchers where cattle do not seem to bother eating cottonwood shoots. Personally, with my experience working on several cattle ranches, including the one my family owns, I do not see this destruction of cottonwoods, poplars, etc. You can choose to find the good and bad with cattle and livestock operations. Likewise you can choose to say that 1 wolf or 9 wolves killed is termed ‘slaughter’ However, I choose to think that randomly killing 50 head of sheep is definitely ‘slaughter’. It is all in the eyes of the beholder.
Oh, yes you are correct. One form directly benefits all humans while taking a large chunk out of your pocket. That same form also teaches people to NOT be self sufficient, and rely on government handouts. Our forebearers came to this country to have more freedom from government interaction and not more. Amazing how you can support this and not support welfare ranching. Pretty much the same except ranchers are supporting themselves and do not rely on the government. Canada would love to have you.
We do not need more government involvement. We need less. That is what you are advocating with the removal of cattle off public lands – government would have to get out of their paying ranchers to graze on public lands.
You make no sense at all and rationalize everthing to your benefit.
One form of “welfare” as you put it, nationalized health care, would benefit people by healing their illnesses. So you are correct, I have no problem with that. The other form “of wellfare ranching” serves to destroy public lands. Big difference. FYI, Dante, I have worked on several livestock opperations, only to witness first hand the destruction to the environment, not to mention the poisons injected into these animals (which end up on the dinner table), and am quite familiar with the habits of cattlemen. Perhaps you haven’t lived long enough to aquired these habits for yourself, give it time, it seems all wellfare recipients, cattlemen, drug dealers and the like develop the same habits over time.
As for spending time only in areas where the cattle have stunk the place up… In order to get to any of the somewhat pristine areas, it seems you must trudge through where cattle have been.
Oh, and Dante, what is it called when 50,000 head of sheep or cattle are sent to those places um… called SLAUGHTER HOUSES??? Would that be considered slaughter as well?
Whether you (by you I mean cattlemen in general) “take” (slaughter) one wolf or nine, you are only shooting yourself in the foot. This kind of selfish disregard for wildlife will only set off the more radical groups. Pretty soon you’ll have another range war going which could have been avoided. You are already well compensated for livestock depredation. What more could you want? The simple knowledge that YOU are responsible for sending the stock to a horrific death in a slaughterhouse as apposed to their being killed by wolves? This is the same mentallity of the subhuman, mouth breathing, bottom feeder that tortured and slaughtered the injured female alph on July 23. The only ray of hope there is that everyone now knows his name and hopefully he will never get another piece of a@@ in his life and his mutant, knuckle dragging breed will not propogate.
As suggested earlier, EVERYONE PLEASE, STOP EATING BEEF, ESPECIALLY MONTANA, IDAHO AND WYOMING PRODUCED BEEF. At least for a while. This is the only sure fire way to help these ranchers understand that maybe wolves aren’t so bad.
And Dante, I have a life, why don’t you GET A JOB.
Whoa Nellie! Sounds like Ron Gillett versus Jon Marvel in a cage match in here!
Not me, I’m just a harmless little fuzzball. A “Greenie” vegetarian pacifist. Wouldn’t hurt a fly.
OK Mack old buddy, here goes.
“Layton, I’m curious about what’s behind your eyes, not the eyes of an “unconditional wolf lover.” In your opinion: do you think that the killing of 9 wolves constitutes a slaughter? A direct answer to this direct question would be appreciated.”
In my very own eyes the killing of a pack of nine wolves that have a continued, well documented history of livestock depredation constitutes a NECESSARY CONTROL ACTION!! Plain enough? No, that is NOT my definition of a slaughter!!
“You also wrote “C’mon BE, when was the last time that there was an instance of “slaughtered wolves”?? Isn’t that a bit of exageration for emphasis??”
Do you stand behind your statement above, or would you care to retract it?”
Nope, no retraction necessary. See the above comment for further clarification if necessary.
“Actually, Layton, what you said was “The issue IS — in about 98% of cases — TRIVIAL!!!”
No Mack, what I said was :
“Grass and other forbs are RENEWABLE, mostly all that’s left when a cow gets done with them are a little bit of —- get ready, — try to handle it —- DUNG! The issue IS — in about 98% of cases — TRIVIAL!!! As I said, there ARE abuses, those should be dealt with appropriately.”
And I said — in a previous post on this same thread that you either didn’t bother to read or used a little selective memory on:
“Sure, there are abuses, maybe even lots of them, but there ARE areas, MANY areas, that are proof that grass and other forbs DO grow in abundantly —- EVERY YEAR!!”
“When you said that, did you meant that 98% of grazing permit holders have only trivial grazing problem on their allotments, or did you mean that 98% of public lands acreage used for grazing suffer only trivial grazing problems, or what DID you mean? Clear us up.”
Even YOU should understand that Mack, but for the sake of having a discussion I’ll try to type s – l – o – w – l – y so you can understand.
The very large majority of grazing allotments have NO problems. I have no more basis for saying that other than personal experience working on a range crew for the USFS the last four years. I’m not sure that you have even that much basis for what is obviously a leaning the other way on your part — right?? If you DO have even a little bit of documented proof of a percentage of the rangeland that is abused or not abused per year, please share it.
Is that enough for now??
I wasn’t calling Dante the bottom feeding, knuckle dragging dirtbag. That was meant for the neanderthaal who killed the alpha female on July 23. Unless of course……Killed any wolves lately, Dante? I don’t mean to insult any neanderthaals here. Neanderthaals are much more highly evolved than the skumbucket who killed that wolf.
This blog is getting dirty and very personal. Unfortunately Cathy, you need to develop the knack or take courses on how to communicate with folks to not offend. I blog and you attach personally all livestock producers and anyone who comments are not in line with yours. Obviously, those cattle operations you worked on killed too many of those nuerons within the brailn. Get a life….and a job. Hopefully, I will not have to support you on health care welfare and your ‘too much government” agenda. People like you really stink up this sit….too much cattle dung has fried your brain.
A slaughter is when a number of anything is killed. (as in what would happen to those 50 sheep anyway, regardless of whether the wolves get them or not.) I would only like to make the point that if you guys keep killing wolves, you are going to anger a lot of people who are not as nice as me. If you really want to get a range war going then keep killing wolves. Who do you think will benefit from that?
If it will satisfy you any Cathy. I grew up on a Cattle Ranch, have since moved away and have a ‘real’ job according to your definition. Now my brother runs cattle on this same ranch and is doing a good job. He does not use hormones so his cattle that he sells are virtually organic. All that does not matter though cause he still grazes cattle on public and private land. And you already have made up your mind that all cattlemen, regardless who they are are welfare slugs.
Dante did you ever think someone might say something to make a point. You seem to have done that yourself, when you bring up Hilary’s health care plan . WHAT does that have to do with wolves, cattle, or ranching!!!!! Vicious killing of anything (wolves included) shows a warped conscious no different than the Chinese when they beat people’s pets to death in front of them or the Puerto Rican’s who throw children’s pets off 50′ bridges. kILLING IS KILLING. There are a large number of people who have a problem with that. Killing wolves will be added to the list of causes against animal cruelty especially when it is done in such a inhumane fashion such as running them over with a ATV while the wolf was running away from your precious cattle. If you don’t catch a wolf killing your cattle (and with the overabundance of deer and other game in the Western states these days why would they, especially when wolves don’t like being around humans) what gives you the right to kill a protected animal. And don’t give the same old line we who protest it don’t know what we are talking about. I have lived in Colorado most of my life with parents and grandparents who raised cattle.
You’ve already started a range war Cathy. I have stated many times on this site that both sides of the party need to come together and have a civil discussion without being hypocritical and attacking the other side. Then, if both sides work togethter, maybe some legislation can get changed that will be better for the environment but when you come into a discussion carrying your big cannon with your mind made up and calling those who do no necessarily agree with your agenda then you are going to piss off alot of people. People like you already have pissed off alot of hunters, other outdoor enthusiasts and cattle ranchers because you make no reasonable effort to have a civil discussion. Do not be a hypocrite and tell Layton about angering alot of peopple because of a few wolves that get killed. There are two sides posting here and others get angered when wolves kill domestic animals.
How have I attacked you. I said the awful names were meant for the skumbucket who killed the wolf. You, (again, when I say you I mean cattlemen not you personally) on the other hand support the killing of wolves who have the right to be on this land. You (cattlemen in general) chose to remove their natural prey, which were the large herds of bison,elk, deer and pronghorn and expect them not to prey upon the slow witted sluggish beasts you replaced them with. All the while adversely affecting public lands in the process. That is the real attack.
You’re about to start a range war here. You’d better develop a little thicker skin. You’ll be an easy target for those who are not as nice as me. I didn’t mean to hurt your widdo cowboy feelings. I keep forgetting how fragile the breed is.
You know, there are real hypocrites and then just real assanines. Hypocrites I can take but asses like you and just plain a big waste of skin and very, very big on Mouth! You are so tuff I think I will hide under the covers. Why don’t you work on trying to help solve the problem instead of causing confrontation and aiding the problem along? With your attitude and hate you are no help to the problem you talk about. We do not need your kind! Have you ever heard of the Darwin awards. Maybe you can be part of that group!
Did I say “BIG on MOUTH” and very small of helping solve the problem with public land grazing!
I haven’t started any range war. The killing of wolves is what is going to start a range war. I’m trying to help you understand that there are some people are going to react violently to your (cattlemen in general) killing of wolves.
Why is it that you can insult me but I can’t (which I didn’t) insult you. I guess you can dish it out but you can’t take it. Better toughin up Cowboy. I’m just a “Greenie vegetarian pacifist. Wait till the real opposition arrives.
Dante, It’s not just cattlemen and their fight with the wolves, but the STUPID Joe Blow who moves into the wilderness areas and keeps chained, tied or corraled animals and can’t understand why natural preditors kill them. Here in Colorado we have as much problem with hunters killing cattle. I doubt it’s much different just one state away, as cattlemen are complaining about wolves. I have known many ranchers who were grazing their cattle on BLM land in Northern Colorado near the Wyoming border that yearly would lose several cattle (that they knew about) to hunters that just had to shoot anything that moved. Are you going to start action against those boneheads as well?
“Me thinks thow doth protest too much.” Who is insulting who now? A pacifist (as I am) doesn’t hate anything or anyone.
Peace, Love and Dove Brother.
No insults. I am just reacting to whom started this whole attack whom issue. I do not get mean and personal unless some else does first. Good Luck with whatever agenda you have.
” I would only like to make the point that if you guys keep killing wolves, you are going to anger a lot of people who are not as nice as me. If you really want to get a range war going then keep killing wolves. ”
Who in the HELL is “you guys”? Are you letting your battleship mouth overload your rowboat whatever?
Don’t accuse someone of something like that unless you have at least a little bitty idea about what you are talking about!!
“You (cattlemen in general) chose to remove their natural prey, which were the large herds of bison,elk, deer and pronghorn and expect them not to prey upon the slow witted sluggish beasts you replaced them with”
If you have a brain, use it!! Those herds of bison that you speak of have been gone for a lot of years — turn your clock forward to the 20th century!! Those times are GONE, this is a new time and a new place and the only thing that you have said that makes any sense is that you seem to indicate that the wolves belong with the herds that you mention!!
There WAS a bit of a discussion going on here until you came on with all guns blazing — if you are a pacifist you surely don’t come on like one!! Seems like you and Mack are cut from the same cloth — if you can’t make a logical point, make a personal one!!
I will guarantee that the only thing keeping me from telling you just what kind of an idiot I believe you are is the fact that I feel I’m a guest on this blog. You evidently don’t feel bound by the same rules.
Go ahead keep up with your little campaign to prove that there are more horse’s asses in the world than there are horses — you’re doing a really good job!!
I guess it’s the 21st Century. The wolves should still go with their “natural” prey.
OK Layton, Its your turn now is it?
As I explained a number of times. But since you didn’t get it. When I said “You” or “You Guys” I am referring to cattlemen who kill wolves. But let me break it down into simpler terms for you. WOLFKILLERS. And those who take their defense. If you were capable of following the conversation, you would realize that I was referring to, WHEN wolves preyed on these animals. And that when the herds were removed and replaced by cattle, the wolves had no choice but to prey on them.
In case you haven’t noticed the wolves ARE here now. Again, if you had an attention span long enough to follow the theme, you would have noticed the point made that there are adequate compensation programs for livestock depredation.
Are you suggesting that I should turn my clock forward to a time where there are no wolves? Or should be no wolves? Doesn’t sound like much of a compromise to me.
If you can control your Billigerance, we can breach the subject of why there is a definite need for wolves.
What guns, you know us pacifist do not believe in guns. There have been no guns. I guess this is proof that the pen (in this case the keyboard) is mighter than the sword.
Why do you feel so threatened by someone who is only armed with the truth. Can’t take it either Huh. If there are any hipocrites at all it is those who say they want to work out a solution but still support the killing of wolves.
The only thing keeping you from telling me what kind of an idiot you think I am is you know I am right.
Don’t perpetuate the stereotype, Layton. I was giving you credit for having some brains until now. YOU are as you put it “Proof of my little campaign that there are more horses asses in the world than horses” I haven’t attacked you at all. Only your politics. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen,
Did I point out that where my family’s ranch is there are ‘too many elk” Cathy will not believe this but all summer (mostly during the night) those ‘public’ owned elk graze all summer long on private land. There are more elk and deer now than when Lewis and Clark came through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. This just proves that Cathy does not know what she is talking about when she states that the livestock industry has removed large herds of natural prey. Quite often there are herds of 60 or more elk and I do not hear my brother complaining of those ‘welfare’ elk eating all my alfalfa. In his mind he has helped the elk and deer become more in numbers by allowing them to graze on his ground.
The hunting season runs roughly 4 solid months and not even the wolves can keep fed on the elk so they find it much more palatable to kill and eat cattle on private ground. Hmm, I do not hear my brother complaining about that too much either. He should be ‘crying’ wolf as does Cathy and other pro wolfers.
Oh, Cathy you must be mistaken or at least have formualted your ‘incorrect’ opinions by stating that I and my family have killed wolves. Get real! Nowhere in my comments have I stated this or even impllied it.
And nowhere in my comments have I implied that you or your family have killed wolves. In fact I’m beginning to like your brother. Can I send him some Greenpeace Liturature?
Sounds like you need some more wolves up there to help you out with that elk problem.
Yvonne Moore brings up a good point. Is it going to be OK to start killing hunters who kill cattle?
Kum Ba Yah
Dante, I must have been extraordinarily confused…! Thank you ever so much for clearing everything up…!
Dante wrote: “…ranchers are supporting themselves and do not rely on the government.”
So when ranchers pay $1.65 per AUM to graze their livestock on public land, instead of paying $6, $7, $8 (approximately, or whatever) per AUM to graze their livestock on private land, they’re not relying on the government to subsidize their operation…! They are supporting themselves…! Amazing…!
And when ranchers call in the feds to shoot, trap, and poison coyotes and other WILDLIFE (I call them wildlife, you call them vermin/varmints/predators) and shoot wolves from airplanes and helicopters, they’re not relying on the government, they’re supporting themselves…!
Dante also scribbled “We do not need more government involvement. We need less. That is what you are advocating with the removal of cattle off public lands – government would have to get out of their paying ranchers to graze on public lands.
I am STILL confused…! If cattle were removed from public lands, the government would have to get out of paying ranchers to graze on public lands? I thought those ranchers were supporting themselves…!
Dante wrote: “In my very own eyes the killing of a pack of nine wolves that have a continued, well documented history of livestock depredation constitutes a NECESSARY CONTROL ACTION!! Plain enough? No, that is NOT my definition of a slaughter!!”
Well, there’s the telling evidence. Dante thinks that the killing of a pack of nine wolves does not constitute slaughter. Very insightful.
I think wolves should run free and wild on public lands which are free from privately owned livestock. When they roam onto private lands and “slaughter” livestock, they should be controlled. And if this is a “NECESSARY CONTROL ACTION” (as Dante describes it),” well, it’s also a slaughter. So be it. At least I call a spade a spade and a slaughter a slaughter.
Dante wrote: “The very large majority of grazing allotments have NO problems. I have no more basis for saying that other than personal experience working on a range crew for the USFS the last four years.”
And out of the millions of acres of AMERICA’S public lands that are let for grazing, how many acres have you been on in the past four years?
Cathy wrote this and it is EXCELLENT: “You (cattlemen in general) chose to remove their natural prey, which were the large herds of bison,elk, deer and pronghorn and expect them not to prey upon the slow witted sluggish beasts you replaced them with. All the while adversely affecting public lands in the process. That is the real attack.”
Regarding Cathy’s comment above, Layton wrote: “If you have a brain, use it!! Those herds of bison that you speak of have been gone for a lot of years — turn your clock forward to the 20th century!!”
Ah, ‘cuse me, but AMERICA’S buffalo leaving Yellowstone are being SLAUGHTERED on behalf of your privately owned golden calves.
And I’m damned tired of it.
No thanks! Too many wolves already as they are eating the cattle and not the elk! We do not have any problem with hunters here in Idaho killing cattle. By the time hunting starts cattle are already off the range. Unfortunatlely, it seems those elk and deer are smart and know a safe have is available on private land. Now how come my brother is not ‘crying wolf’ as you do with cattle on public land!!!
I’m forced to give credit where credit is due — of all the “spin doctors” and liars on the wolfy side I really do think you are the best!!
Keep at it — just throw in a little bit of truth once in awhile so those that don’t know better will really think you aren’t completely full of crap —- then continue to rave on!! I enjoy seeing an expert at work.
In my very own eyes the killing of a pack of nine wolves that have a continued, well documented history of livestock depredation constitutes a NECESSARY CONTROL ACTION!! Plain enough? No, that is NOT my definition of a slaughter!!
Mack, Layton is correct. You need to go back and read the posts. The remaining two thirds of your post was Layton’s comments, not mine.
However, since it is your public land why don’t you pay your 1, 2, 3 or 4 dollars to use it. The livestock owner pays this plus pays for the maintenance of the troughs, fences, etc. You should have to pay a little to use it to but you get to use it for free. Damned if you will. Whine to the government, they set the prices for livestock grazing and you pay your taxes to them so you must approve of it. If your whining about paying taxes for this small amount wait until you are taxed out the —– for socialized medicine and forcing millions more people to become dependent on the government. In addition, there you will be waiting for months for procedures that may need immediate attention to save your live. Youre on a waiting list, unlike now. Oh, and all the doctors work for the government. Yep, I really want to have more government involvement and more taxes.
Oh Mack! Your right. The government should be paying the livestock owner who grazes on public land 6, 7, or $8 per AMU and not the $1.65 per AMU. Good Point!!!!
Psst —- hey, slow down, get that knot out, go back and read the previous posts slowly, try for comprehension.
You’re not keeping the people straight that you’re trying to quote. I know it’s rough, but try.
This thing is a joke!! You don’t even spit your rhetoric at the people that you intend to!! Say what you will, ignore questions when they ask about a subject you don’t want to talk about. But—- above all have fun and DON’T EVER listen to someone else’s point. After all, among the vegetarian, pacifist, greenie group it’s considered a sign of weakness!!
By the way, there’s someone out there that calls herself Bestland that you should meet. Or have you??
That’s the difference in those on the wolf side of the argument and those on the wolf killing side of the argument. The wolf side is well educated on the subject. They have looked at both sides of the issue. Have come from both sides of the issue. They can see through all the bull____. It seems the wolf killer side chooses to know no other point but their own.
I expected better than that from you Layton. Are you slipping? What? Don’t wish to breach the subject of the environmental need for the presense of wolves?
Thanks Mack. must be that same cloth were cut out of. It’s quite becomming I think.
So after reading this thread, I find a lot of unpleasant attitudes out of the mouths of ranchers, not just destructive practices.
There are exceptions as individuals, but overall it confirms my view that I plain don’t like the occupation or the industry.
Where you been?? Good to hear from you, I’ve been trying to keep your friends here company.
Ralph, I do not claim to be a rancher so do not know whom you speak of. Likewise, I have also heard alot of unpleasantries out of the mouths of wolf loving folks. It brings out the best in all categories, ranchers, hunters, pro wolfers, conservationists, etc. etc. Not just selectively to one group.
However Cathy, there is a difference between looking at both sides of the issue and BEING on both sides of the issue. Probably most cattlemen have not been on the pacifist greenie side and most pacifist greenies have not been on the cattlemen side so I would have to say that the wolf advocates are no more well educated than the livesotck man. Apparently both sides need alot more education.
Billigerantly pointing your finger at someone who is making a valid point and calling it an attack is a sign of weakness. These aren’t attacks. They are points of discussion which you respond to with insults to avoid the debate. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black. Answer Macks question. Because I (and others I sure) would like to hear your argument on the subject of allotment fees and grants. And right now it’s looking like you don’t have much of one.
Cathy, how many trees does it take to carve a door from wood. Appears to me that this can be considered as destructive to the environment and habitat after all you are ‘taking away’ something out of its natural setting.
I say this cause in an earlier post you state that livestock are not placed in a natural environment.
Please explain the difference between taking away from the environment (removing wood – does not matter if it is dead or alive) and placing something ‘unnatural’ (like cattle)into it?
By the way, beautiful art work.
What we need to do is educate the public on the negative impact that the ranching industry has on the environment, health, wildlife etc. not to mention the cruelty issue. The more people that are aware of the dark side of ranching, the more likely they will be to participate in an industry boycott. A boycott of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming (States whose ranchers support the killing of wolves) produced cattle, would I believe, go a long way in convincing ranchers that wolves are not so bad after all.
I’m not trying to turn everyone into vegetarians, just get them to stop eating beef from these states for a while.
I know that endorsements on products can make or break a business. We need to let the ranchers know that the shooting of wolves will result in loss of business and income. Hit ’em where it hurts. I believe we could get endorsments from organizations like Sierra, or Defenders to support this movement. After a suitable period of boycott, the beef produced ranchers who do not support the killing of wolves could be labled as such. But, it’s going to take a real effort on the part of those who really care about the future of wolves to make the sacrifice.
What say you. Or anyone on the subject.
Trees are a renuable resource, the environment is not. I don’t know what you mean when you say that I said “livestock are not placed in a natural environment” Could you put it in the broader context for me or indicate where I said that?
And thanks to the destruction of the environment and global warming, there are entire forest without one living tree in them. Entire mountainsides dead. These trees must be removed for wildfire mitigation and fortunately are oftenbeautifully stained due to beatlekill. It’s a win win situation for carving doors. I thank you for your interest. I love explaining the enviro friendliness of my business.
But you are taking from the environment – the woodpecker or the squirrels may use that tree for the young. Either way, a true ‘pacifist’ would leave all things natural in their original habitat. You may be slaughtering little ittie bittie squirrels, wood peckers and blue birds. Yes, cattle do destroy habitat but I do not see much difference in this claim as taking away trees from their natural environment. Either way, it destroys habitat. We should practice what we preach wholeheartedly. So are you going to share with us how many of those trees it takes to carve one wooden door or is that privy information?
Dante writes this idiotic crap: “However, since it is your public land why don’t you pay your 1, 2, 3 or 4 dollars to use it. The livestock owner pays this plus pays for the maintenance of the troughs, fences, etc. You should have to pay a little to use it to but you get to use it for free.”
Cattle AUMs are around $1.65 or so a month. This is what cattlemen pay per head (cow and calf), per month, to graze on AMERICA’s public lands. They do not pay 2, 3, or 4 dollars as you said. Oh, by the way – when you finally remove your stinking cows from AMERICA’S public lands, take the trough with you and take the goddamn fences down.
You said I get to use it for free? Actually, I don’t. I pay taxes which go into the general fund, out of which comes appropriations for the Department of Interior. It ain’t free.
Dante scribbled: “Whine to the government, they set the prices for livestock grazing and you pay your taxes to them so you must approve of it.” Congress sets the fees and western representatives to Congress are basically CONTROLLED by agriculture in their respective states. And I pay my taxes to them so I must approve of it. There’s no logic here. If I don’t pay my taxes, I’m taking a big risk. I don’t approve of the war in Iraq, so by our logic because I pay taxes I approve of the war. Someone’s got bats in the belfry and it ain’t me.
More confusion from Dante: “The government should be paying the livestock owner who grazes on public land 6, 7, or $8 per AMU and not the $1.65 per AMU.”
You’ve got it backwards. The government doesn’t pay livestock producers. THEY pay the government.
Dante, can we send some federal help you way to help you understand the system?
Cathy, I DO think we’re cut from the same cloth…! And I’m honored…! “Illigitimus non carborundum (Don’t let the bastards wear you down)”
Cathy, you have inspired me. I’m now boycotting all beef. And I’ll support any local, regional, state or national boycott of beef. Thank you.
For years I’ve said that the brucellosis issue is not about the bacterium; it’s about livestock producers wanting control of the grass on public lands. Now I’m convinced that the wolf issues are not about wolves killing livestock, it’s about livestock producers wanting control of the grass – it’s just another smokescreen.
Welfare ranchers are talking out both sides of their mouth: “Get the hell out of our lives and industry, all you feds. And while you’re doing that, subsidize us by keeping those grazing fees low and by keeping AMERICA’S public lands available to us. And keep the wolves that AMERICA appreciates away from the livestock we run on AMERICA’S public lands. And if you can’t keep the wolves away, shoot ’em. We don’t have enough private land to run our livestock, so we’ll use AMERICA’S public lands for cheap. ‘Cuse us for crapping on your lands, America. Enjoy your burgers, suckers.”
Mack, settle down. You are ticked off. I just wish I was as intelligent and smart as you. We would all be better off. You take every word written as hard cold written in stone. Mellow out! Didn’t you also read that I also said that your right Mack the government should pay the livestock owner 6, 7, 0rr $8 instead of the current $1.65. This was only a joke of which you have a difficult time reading into.
The other point I was making is that you are barking and whining up the wrong alley. You want higher grazing fees, cattle off public lands, etc. then whine to your congressman. Geez, do you think you can do it without changing legislation. They made the laws. If you don’t like it then don’t whine to me. I can not help you.
MACK, your previous post should have been sent to your local congressman. If you guys gang up together then maybe you can get something done. But when your bull headed and know all then you get nowhere. As is this discussion.
Let me preface may comments by saying that I am totally against public lands ranching as it now stands. ranching should be carried out on private land and if that is not possible and some go out of business, then welcome to the free enterprise market. The down side of that is the ones that would be left are huge conglomerate agribusiness’s such as Simplot. (hold on for a minuet, I am watching a buffalo kick the shit out of a wolf on the national geographic channel. and people think being a wolf is easy). any way the biggest problem with a specific state boycott is that beef is shipped all over the country before it is slaughtered. I would think it would make it next to impossible.
Cathy…..Good luck getting any support from “Defenders of Wildlife”. They have an office here in Missoula and yet remain silent on wolves killed in this area. I challenge you to get a response relating to a boycott from them. I’m baffled as to “where they’re coming from”.
Also, for what it’s worth…in 2007, the federal grazing fee for Western public lands is $1.35 per AUM, not the $1.65 mentioned previously.
It probably takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/2 haf a tree to build a door. I don’t build them, I only carve them. And the taking of the dead trees only serves to improve the environment and lessen the threat of wildfire. No birds live in them. As I mentioned the entire forests are dead. For that matter, it could be argued that the absense of the wolf in the environment could have had a bearing on the health of the forest. Studies have shown that the absence of the wolf changed grazing habits of elk, deer etc. causing them to stay in one place and raze the forest of certain types of trees eliminating the habitat of certain types of birds that may have preyed on the beetles that killed the trees.
Rest assured that I have taken no trees from their natural habitat. A dead forrest due to mismanagement is not a natural habitat. There are no birds there.
The livestock industry has consistently controlled a lot more than just their cattle. In Montana the DOL receives at least THREE MILLION DOLLARS a year to exterminate, oops, I mean “control” the last remaining herd of genetically pure Bison, per year. And just think how much money the Feds will give them to exterminate the wolves.
The DOL even has “pull” with law enforcement and private citizens, I mean people who just kill, kill, kill for “shits and giggles”!! And you wonder why now their is an issue with the wolves???? The same actions will be taken to “control” them on the whims of someone who will not take responsibility for their own property, by using methods that would keep everyone happy and alive. The Montana Highway patrol can destroy camaras, film, and even beat people who have done nothing wrong/illegal. MDOL and their cronies get to do whatever they want, including but not limited to choosing which laws to abide. And they do not want any type of documentation of all the illegal activities they are involved in, even though federal law states that the public can document anyone’s activities. Every winter the MDOL crosses over into YNP as much as seven miles to harass bison to the point of dying, they shoot cracker rounds, use helicopters, assorted vehicles, snow mobiles etc, and endanger the lives of anyone who “ain’t one of ’em”. Earlier this year when those morons were going to slaughter 300 bison, they were stopped from doing so and shot the bison with orange paintballs out of spite. Spring 2005 they randomly slaughtered 1,012 bison. And don’t even think of bringing up the “brucellosis myth”. Yes the big lie. There is federal documentation stating that bruc. is not a threat!! And someone in the MDOL even stated that bruc. could be used for bio-terrorism, so all the bison should be eliminated. So, I think it should be easy to see why wolf and bison people get so fired up!
It is an absolute free-for-all. I am so sick and tired of people and the government lying and misinforming the public!! And people wonder why wolf advocates are so fired up about these actions. The MDOL is already gearing up with the local morons, to go “play cowboy” with the bison. It will be the same for the wolves. People are tired of this bs and all the injustice allowed to continue!
The scum has been sitting on the pond for far too long, and it is time to “stir it up”.
One more thing about the bison- The entire area west of the park that the bison migrate to in the winter has absolutely NO cattle. The locals want the bison to be there. North of the park, last time I checked there are around 150 head that graze during the summer, long after bison were there.
I am tired of all the lies!!!!
Dante, you’re right for once. I AM ticked off. But you know what? I’m NOT going to settle down. I’m about to become VERY active again. Thanks for the inspiration, beef eater.
In protest of Montana’s slaughter of buffalo leaving Yellowstone, The Fund For Animals started a tourism boycott of Montana in ’97, as I recall. Then Governor Racicot felt threatened enough to charge The Fund with “false advertising.”
Cathy, I’d support you in your efforts to start a nationwide boycott of all beef products on behalf of the wolves of Greater Yellowstone.
I suggest the boycott remain in place until livestock are no longer allowed to graze on AMERICA’S public lands.
Ralph, if you read this, please privately send my email address to Cathy, should she express an interest, on or off your great blog.
For years I’ve said that the brucellosis issue is not about the bacterium; it’s about livestock producers wanting control of the grass on public lands. Now I’m convinced that the wolf issues are not about wolves killing livestock, it’s about livestock producers wanting control of the grass – just another smokescreen.
Welfare ranchers are talking out both sides of their mouth: “Get the hell out of our lives and industry, all you feds. And while you’re doing that, subsidize us by keeping those grazing fees low and by keeping AMERICA’S public lands available to us. And keep the wolves that AMERICA appreciates away from the livestock we run on AMERICA’S public lands. And if you can’t keep the wolves away, shoot ‘em. We don’t have enough private land to run our livestock, so we’ll use AMERICA’S public lands for cheap. ‘Cuse us for crapping on your lands, America. Enjoy your burgers, suckers.”
Jeff and Jerry,
I understand there would be obsticles to overcome but Beef from all over the country is often labled as Kosher, or 100% grain fed or pure angus or what have you. These certain catagories of beef must come from numerous areas. There must be some way of tracking Whole shipments of beef from certain states. After all, remember the mad cow scares when shipments from certain states were banned? Or when the West Nile scares were going on. They kept track of movements of stock then. Isn’t the orrigin printed on the packages? Sure it would be difficult, but remember, I’m the best spin doctor on the wolfy side of things. (or so says Layton) Or maybe I’m just a good pest. Sometimes that’s what it takes. After all the mighty oak was once just a little nut who held it’s ground.
We could all put preasure on Sierra and Defenders and other such groups to support this or exspose them as hipocrites.
In my view a boycott is the only thing that will get the industry’s attention. But I am open to other ideas.
Oh and Dante, you can tell Layton “thank you for googling me and my website.”
JEFFE- I saw the same show!
Where I live we are fortunate to have beef and other meats from sustainable farms near our area. And I happily pay more. I don’t eat much meat but when I do I only buy that. The difference in taste was absolutely amazing. And anyone can go visit the farms.
You may send Macks email to me and mine to him if that is a possibility.
Mack if Ralph can’t send it (which I think he can) why don’t you ask Layton or Dante for it. They have apparently already googled me. I should be flattered I guess?
I propose we initiate a nationwide boycott of all beef products, regardless of which state they come from, until livestock are no longer allowed to graze on AMERICA’S public lands.
Cattlemen in states with no public lands available for grazing do NOT enjoy the benefits of subsidized forage. They pay fair market value. So they’re at an economic disadvantage.
I propose we pressure the entire industry until it realizes that it’s not worth supporting the western producers that supply what, some 5% of the beef products America consumes.
D Baily Hill
Get the word out about your source of meat. These types of businesses would actually benefit from a boycott on beef produced by wolf killing ranches. I saw the same show. Amazing stuff.
Mack you bring up some very good points. Lets form some kind of wolf guardianship fund. Is there anyone in the media out thats with us?
out there, that is.
Cathy, we’ll get organized and identify good media resources.
I’m pressing for a nationwide boycott of all beef products on behalf of the wolves of Greater Yellowstone until livestock grazing on public land ends BECAUSE, in OTHER, non-western livestock producing states with public lands that are let for grazing, coyotes, foxes and other wildlife (they call them vermin/varmints/predators) are ALSO killed on behalf of the golden calf. In other words, ***with a nationwide boycott, when the wolf benefits, wildlife in other states benefit***.
Friendly addendum here, and THANK YOU d. Bailey Hill for making me aware: Let’s exclude beef from sustainable operations that do not graze on AMERICA’S public lands from the boycott and, in fact, let’s promote their beef products as an alternative. 🙂
Exellent idea about promoting beef from sustainable operations. They and other groups like them might benefit from the boycott and actually come to support us. We may need them.
Cathy, friendly addendum #2: Let’s promote buffalo as yet another alternative to wolf-unfriendly beef. Buffalo is really a “hot item” in many upscale restaurants – 🙂
Here’s an excellent recent article in the NY Times:
Cathy, friendly addendum #3: Let’s organize a nationwide boycott of all beef products on behalf of the wolves AND BUFFALO of Greater Yellowstone until livestock grazing on public land ends.
After all, more buffalo have been slaughtered, on behalf of the Golden Calf, than wolves. I believe the total number of buffalo slaughtered on behalf of the Golden Calf is around 10,000.
One of our chief goals must be the relisting of the wolf as an endangered species in all three states. Our methods must remain peaceful. Outrageous conduct will be held against us. If we are firm in our resolve, focused on it’s mission and can demonstrate our ability to work within the law to a peaceful resolution, we can accomplish anything. I hold out the civil rights movement and the actions of Dr. King and Roas Parks and others as examples. In the beginning their quest for equality stood about as good a chance of success as an ice cubes chance in hell. Their opposition formidable. Look at them now. With the type of people that show their genuine concern for the welfare of wolves and the environment by voicing their opinions on this blog, we’ll be off to a good start.
I’ve been brainstorming for strategy. First of all we need to extend the invitation to anyone who is concerned for the welfare of the wolves or the health of the environment to join us. To that end, is there anyone connected with the orriginal movement to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone who would be willing to quide us? Does anyone know anyone who could be approached in this regard? We need as much input as possible.
I’ve got some strategem worked out but don’t wish to show our hand to other less “wolf friendly” participants in this blog. All those interested should exchange emails. Maybe Ralph could be of assistance here. We may be small at first and there are those who will call us crazy. But again, the mighty oak was once, just a little nut who held it’s ground.
Let’s get the show on the road.
Cathy…I’ve asked Mack to forward my contact info to you once the two of you have connected. Like to talk more about your ideas.
We have connected. We’ll be in touch.
Cathy, I’ll set up a private, invite-only blog so we can move off Ralph’s blog and do our brain-storming, organization and preparation for our launch. As part of our launch, we’ll set up a website for the WORLD to see.
Let’s move the discussion, effective immediately.
Thank you for not forgeting the Bison. Most people assume that they are a protected species.
Also, in May of this year the Buffalo Field Campaign celebrated their 10 year anniversary. They are one dedicated organization! Knowing all the “garbage” that has been thrown their way over the years, they have always set a fine example of how people should conduct themselves.
I am so infuriated about what happened to Dan!! The photos on BFC’s web-site were very upsetting. And then he shows up in court to find that the outcome was predetermined. I am sure the DOL cronies are quite pleased that the verdict is intended to keep Dan under wraps for 6 months, which is during the time when they will be working to eliminate as many bison as possible. I am Irish-Italian and I do not think I could have kept my “cool” as Dan did. I am a very patient person, except when it involves injustice. Everytime I get discouraged about negative action against our bison and wolves, I remind myself of BFC’s dedication, and that we should never give up.
Please forward your contact info to me as I am interested in some brainstorming of ideas. Thanks!
d Baily Hill
We are in the process of getting a blog just for the purpose of brainstorming. We’ve got on little technical snag to unravel and we should be up and running. In the meantime. You are welcome to my email address. I believe Ralph can give it to you. Or if you have Mack’s, he will give it to you. There are already some exciting developments in our little fledgling effort. I am very excited to join forces with you and the Bison people.
Ralph, I hate to be an annoyance (escept to the cattle industry), but could you forward my contact info to d Baily Hill please. Or maybe you could tell me how to do it on my own. I have a feeling this is going to be happening a lot.
The blog is up and running.
d. Bailey Hill, if you ask Ralph to send me your email address, I will send you an invitation to join. Ralph, is there a work-around so we don’t have to continually bug ‘ya? And Ralph, we’ll invite you when we develop a working mission statement. 🙂
Well Mack, glad I could be of help to get you stirred up enough to take some sort of action instead of always tooting your horn. I always welcome ACTION instead of all the small talk and Ive preached many times on this blog even before you started your first comments that their needs to be action taken such as getting special interest groups to back you up and approaching your congressmen and those who make and change laws.
I like to think I did you a big favor. Maybe someday you and I will meet in person and you can buy me a big beef steak. Oh, I mean buffalo steak. In the mean time good luck on getting beef off public lands because it is going to take a very concerted effort to change legislation. In fact, boycotting beef may only help a little because a large percentage of our beef goes to Canada, Japan and other countries. I just do not think boycotting will do much but it is a start.
And to Cathy, really I do like the carving. It is excellent to see such handywork mold and take shape the way you see it. I may not support everything you believe in but that does not mean that appreciation for one’s skillful artistry is not welcome.
Thank you Dante,
It sounds like we may proselitize you yet.
I have told Ralph and others that one of the consequences of removing cattle off public lands is that you will more than likely have more wolf/cattle attacks and therefore more wolves killed. So Cathy you are correct in that the real range war will start when cattle are completely removed from public lands.
We’ve already have seen it where my brother ranches. Although wolves are around the hills along with the elk and deer and cattle on public land we have seen more wolves attack cattle on the private land and at least stir them up.
This will only get worse when cattle are removed from public land as they know easy prey is confined within small fenced areas.
So when this happens the livestock owner can shoot every wolf he considers a threat (in the act of attacking or stirring up his domestic animals). Actually, I’m sure there will be more wolves killed when this happens then now. As Ole Mack says, a spade is a spade. Well if cattle are destroying the environment and habitat then the cattle rancher has the right to kill and harrass any wolf that crosses his private land and bothers his livestock, without any questions asked. Remember Mack, its his private land…same idea you state that public land is yours. It is as simple and straight forward as that.
I am all for removing cattle from public lands if the cattle rancher can control predatory threats to his domesticated livestock on private land in any manner he sees fit to protect his livestock without any interference from the goverment, defenders of wildlife, or any other wolf loving entity.
What do you say to that Mack. Agree or disagree. You cannot have wolf protection for wolves on private land now that cattle are totally removed from public lands.
I never said the real range war will start when cattle are removed off public lands. I said “If youreally want to get a range war started, keep killing wolves. ” It doesen’t matter where the cattle are, they are at risk of being attacked by wolves UNLESS you take measures to discourage them. ‘t
The measures do NOT need to be lethal. Cattle raisers all over the world have found means to protect their heards from wolves without killing them. Guard dogs are available through wildlife protection organizations. The best method is simply to ride herd. Have someone with the herd all the time. Ranchers don’t want to put out the effort to protect their investment but they want to cry to the government when natural predators attack cattle that are on the wolf’s natural habitat.
Wolves don’t know where boundaries are. All they know is they are on their natural habitat and there is a slow moving meal waiting for him. It is up to humans to discourage them from attacking (in a nonlethal manner) It will take a little effort but is doable. Ranchers are simply unwilling to put out this effort. Killing wolves is much easier. There is much information available on alternative control methods. Why do ranchers refuse to accept that there is another way than killing wolves who are so vital to the health of the environment.
Wolf lovers are not just wolf lovers because of the emotional and sentimental attatchment to them. They recognize the integral contribution to the health of the ecosystem. I don’t want my horses or pets to become wolf snacks either but I am willing go to the extra espense and effort to protect them in a manner that is NONLETHALL to wolves. The wolf’s contribution to a healthy environment is just too important. Why can’t ranchers do the same thing. The assistance is offered to them for free. Their refusal to take it proves that they just like to kill wolves for bloodthirsty fun of it or to make a point.
“What do you say to that Mack. Agree or disagree. You cannot have wolf protection for wolves on private land now that cattle are totally removed from public lands.”
Well, yeah. However,
a) Chances are there will be far fewer ranchers on the landscape, in general ~ it’s NOT a profitable business in this part of the US since it takes far more acreage to feed one cow than it does in the more densely vegetated grasslands of the Mississippi River basin, south of the 40th parallel (need to exclude the eastern front of the Rockies since the northern portions of that range are sort of a mid-range density of vegetaion suitable for foraging cattle due to elevation). Therefore the subsidies and look-the-other-way legislation on grazing and no enforcement whatsoever.
As an aside, the current Supreme Court case that has been going on for a decade now; Corbell vs US Dept. of Interior, is about how the government in all its paternalistic grandure was charged with handling the funds to be paid to all the tribes for the extraction of resources and grazing on their land~what was left of it, etc. and it was so mishandled that it may never be resolved in any tangible sense–the US probably owes the first nations’ peoples of this country trillions of dollars that was hidden, misrepresented and stolen from them. We’re really good stewards of … what?
b) The main reason ranchers even came out to this part of the continent is because of the US government’s diabolical plan to oust the indigenous peoples from the range and moving large cattle grazing operations onto the range was a means to accomplish that goal. In doing so they needed to entice the ranching interests to take the risk of surviving in this vast area with little viable vegetation for the cattle. They removed the wolves and the Indians and the bison so they could claim that there was no remaining threat to settlers. (Kind of sounds like a special place in the Middle-East!)
But it happened here, and now we’re still dealing with the consequences of that ill-conceived policy agenda of over a century ago, along with several other poor policies that are the larger part of the ecological problems in the western states today.
So, there will likely be some wolf “takes” after the cattle theoretically are removed from public lands, but there will be less than you might imagine. As cattle are removed, more of the indigenous species-which often equate to prey-will eventually return to the range.
Another thing I don’t see people discussing in this topic lineage is the fact that wolf packs are self-regulating in pack size based on the prey available to their established range. When the pack size exceeds the carrying capacity of the range-and weather, like drought, etc. can be a major deciding factor here-there is dispersal and restructuring of the pack in order to accommodate the changes in their survival potential. This also includes death of some pack members by natural means as well. (And yes, I do include wolf on wolf kills)
So I find your comment relatively uninformed, perhaps you could take a few minutes every once-in-a-while to educate yourself about the topic, then you will likely be better understood by others rather than come off as an antagonist.
I’ve been in the mountains all day. It looks like folks have been very busy discussing things.
It is time to end this thread.