Benjamin Tuggle, the Southwest regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gets a letter from Jon Marvel-

An article and a link to Marvel’s full letter is in a post on Demarcated Landscapes. This is a good illustration why cowpersons and cow politicians don’t like Marvel . . . . he tells Tuggle legal truths like . . .

“Ranchers have no legal right to keep cattle or sheep on public lands, they have a license or permit to graze livestock under very specific conditions through their ten year term grazing permit from the Forest Service or the BLM. Those permits are revocable at any time for cause, and can have their terms and conditions changed annually should the federal agencies involved choose to do so.”

. . . . . .

“Some conditions that would be very helpful include:

1. Requiring ranchers to remove all dead or injured cattle or sheep from public lands within three days of receiving knowledge of their presence to prevent wolves becoming accustomed to eating livestock.

2. Disallowing grazing of domestic livestock within five miles of a wolf pack den or rendezvous site.

3. Requiring a rider or herder to be present 7 days a week 24 hours a day with all livestock (human presence is a major deterrent to wolf predation on livestock).

4. Requiring calves turned out on public land to weigh at least 250 pounds.

5. Requiring that all calving or lambing of domestic livestock be carried out on private lands.

6. Requiring protective guard animals like dogs, lamas and burros to be present with all livestock.

7. Requiring all livestock losses to be documented accurately to prevent mendacious claims that wolves are predating.

8. Requiring electric fencing of all domestic sheep bands every night.”

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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.

5 Responses to More on the problems with the recovery of the Mexican wolf

  1. I might add to the points John listed. 9. Require that the livestock owners only turnout the number of livestock they have a permit for. 10. Count them in and Count them off. In my experience with the livestock industry is that they think Multiple Use means: Turnout two or three times the number of cows your permit calls for. An extra truckload or two before church on Sunday mornings and the cow numbers really add up. Once livestock is out on the range it is very difficult for the BLM and USFS to really know if the permitee is cheating.

  2. Brian Ertz says:

    this is the kind of truth that’ll get at real opportunity for change. it’s the land use stupid !

  3. Now that Tuggle has been schooled, he needs to step up. He could start by using some of the new interdiction/compensation money to support permit retirement. At least, put that option on the table. It might surprise all of us how many permittees take the money and find a new hobby.

  4. Matt says:


    You are correct – just look at the effects of past buyouts on dairy farmers and tobacco producers. LOTS of them took the money and ran.

  5. ProWolf in WY says:

    I might add to the points John listed. 9. Require that the livestock owners only turnout the number of livestock they have a permit for. 10. Count them in and Count them off.

    Larry, I like that idea.


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