Caught-in-act wolf removal permits expire

No wolves killed under the permits while they were active

Caught-in-act wolf removal permits expire.
La Grande Observer






  1. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    A parallel tale from Wyoming’s Ground Zero of wolf hating , that being Cody.

    One of the most vocal opponents to wolves in the Cody area was a ranch manager from up the South Fork of the Shoshone about 45 miles from town. He claimed wolves were hitting his cattle hard ( they weren’t) and wolves were always in the area ( they were) , and cows put on the mountain were being frightened away from where this rancher wanted them to be grazing. When he finally got around to checking his cows he found them in other drainages nearby , presumably because of those darn wolves. Public land drainages. Forest Service allotments. His personal cows, but run on 120 day public allotments under the megamillionaire owner’s tax shelter .

    He was issued four Shoot On Sight permits by USFWS to take out these wolves. , in Spring 2008.

    He never got off a shot. It’s been over two years.

    Wildlife Services was called in , and at huge expense ( read: helicopter) wolves were eventually eradicated on the South Fork. Very inefficient, and costly. This same rancher is also vociferous about grizzlies to an extreme.

    I am of the opinion that since ranching has never been anything other than a rich man’s hobby and a tax dodge in this particular area , the ranchers who complain are granted nearly exclusive use of public lands and all that goes with that, perhaps it would be in the best interests of everyone if the grazing allotments were simply not renewed. The way the ” modern” public-private cattle grazing system is set up , it is doomed to fail in conflict zones with all species of native wildlife, not just major predators and especially wolves and griz. It’s a marginal enterprise, an anachronism , obsolete even.

    A few miles down the valley from this particular ranch the economics look a lot better. If only there were some mechanism to Means Test the viability of cattle ranching on public lands that factored in all the positives and negatives , and wildlife ( all of it!) was given fuller consideration in the formulas.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Cody Coyote,

    You are right about the economic viability of many grazing allotments on public lands, but what needs to be realized is that grazing the public lands is a cause celeb for many western members of Congress.

    It is like the old below cost logging controversy where it was judged that logging unproductive forests at a monetary loss was somehow the righteous thing to do.

    It is hard as hell to get a grazing allotment closed. Economics doesn’t seem to matter at all and environmental suitability matters only sometimes. When one is closed, such as Horse Butte near West Yelowstone, it is major news. The grazing permittee can’t even be bought out if he or she wants to sell the permit.

    This is part of the Old West mythology that says timber, mining (especially hard rock mining) and grazing is what we Westerners do for a living.

    It’s didiculous, of course, but one reason there is so much suffering during recessions . . . those people out of work didn’t have real jobs anyway, and, as Senator Orin Hatch said, are simply unemployed because they would rather do drugs.

  3. Cobra Avatar

    I hope you don’t belive what Hatch is saying. There are alot of hard working people out of work and it has nothing to do with drugs. I woulld like to add that there is nothing wrong with mining and logging if done right. I’m not to crazy about some of the logging going on up here right now by the state and out of state private landowners because their really going at it in a couple areas and it makes me sick, but I have a good friend that owns a logging company and when their done with the cut it looks really good, all select and replanted, the way it should be done.

  4. Bryanto Avatar

    My problem with public lands grazing,mining and logging, is that private industry gets to harvest a public resource, and then sell it back to the public for a profit,and we take a loss for letting them do it. And then we have to rehabilitate the land after they are done. They get to screw us 3 ways. The least we could do is charge a fair market value for what they extract. No private land owner would let this shit happen to their land. And guess what,it is our land, so we shouldn’t let it happen. Funny how much they love to go on about the federal government intruding on their way of life,when its the federal teet that they suck on for their livelihood. Time to ween the ungrateful bastards I say.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole