People love to argue about “depredations” by predators. What what “depredations” by plant eaters?

Hungry elk have landowners critical of N.M. management. New Mexico weighs how to limit damage or offer compensation. By Susan Montoya Bryan. The Associated Press in the Denver Post

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

3 Responses to Hungry elk have landowners critical of N.M. management

  1. Barb Rupers says:

    New Mexico seems to have an excess of elk in the north, too few wolves in the west, too many ranchers all over the state that dominate the wildlife policies of USFS and BLM. Ranchers want compensation for predators, weather, and any other natural disaster.
    I have spent $1000s trying to protect, with fences, a 20 acre hazelnut orchard in western Oregon from beaver, deer, and rabbits.
    There is nothing I can do about the over harvest of trees by corporate logging interests in the headwaters which causes rampant flooding during the winter rainy season. The stream responds like a yoyo – what used to be a normal rain event causes the creek to rise dramatically, break fences, clog fields with debris and silt deposits, fill in threatened western pond turtle habitat, and open new territory to beaver who thrive on recently planted western ponderosa pine trees. The only pine I have lost to ungulates are a couple each fall to bucks shedding velvet

    I’ll trade this for a few elk any time.

  2. ProWolf in WY says:

    A few wolves might help this problem out…

  3. mikepost says:

    There is no doubt that a resident herd of elk can cause extensive on-going fence damage that can cost thousands of dollars each year to repair. I have seen fence in SD where the top strand is a 3/8″ diameter woven aluminum cable that seems to hold up well and actually trains the elk to leap over rather than run thru. For areas where damage is on-going, the added cost might well amortize quickly.


July 2009


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

~ Edward Abbey