Do ranchers have a right to predator free landscape?

George Wuerthner nails it again, questioning the chief assumption that informs livestock-wolf conflict management.

Do ranchers have a right to predator free landscape? – George Wuethner, NewWest

One of the unquestioned and unspoken assumptions heard across the West is that ranchers have a right to a predator free environment. Even environmental groups like Defenders of Wildlife more or less legitimize this perspective by supporting unqualified compensation for livestock losses to bears and wolves.

Only when the answer to George’s question is “yes” do any of the management prescriptions currently taking place, including compensation, “control”/eradication via tax-payer appropriations to Wildlife Services (sic), and other absurd de facto subsidies make any sense at all ~ particularly *but not uniquely* on public lands that belong to all of us.




  1. fenriswolfr Avatar

    Why would a rancher want predators? I think describing how a landscape with predators could benefit ranchers may facilitate better results.
    In the book ‘Wolf Totem’, based around Mongolian Herdsmen during the ‘cultural revolution’, the question gets answered again and again by the men who knew the old ways.

  2. Virginia Avatar

    I don’t know why we are always asking what the rancher would want! As George asks, “why do they seem to have a “right” to predator free landscapes?” I think most rational taxpayers who are subsidizing these ranchers are tired of hearing about what the ranchers want. The ranchers take, take, take from the public and give nothing in return.

  3. Craig Avatar

    Until we “Hunters” and “conservationists” can get together the ranchers will win! You guys need us as much as we need you to over through the cattle empire that rules the
    West!!!!!!! They have so much power and rule our Governing bodies we are all screwed. They have the power and the people in place to make the rules to make them Money at our expense. Just look at Butch Otter, perfect example!

  4. Jeremy Gingerich Avatar
    Jeremy Gingerich

    Another reasonable question to ask is, “Do ranchers have the right to protect their business assets, especially when said assets are kept on private property?”

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Brian Ertz