In Idaho Wildlife Services has historically received most of its funding from the federal government but this year those funds were cut by $247,000. To make up for the shortfall guess where the Idaho livestock industry is going to go. Yup, you guessed it. They are going to the Idaho Legislature with their hands out.

While the Idaho Legislature is gutting education, Medicare, and Medicaid funding these jokers are asking for handouts from the taxpayer to fund Wildlife Services predator killing.

Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of us.

Livestock industry looks for more predator control funds.
By SEAN ELLIS – Capital Press

About The Author

Ken Cole

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. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

54 Responses to Livestock Industry Plans to Ask Idaho Legislature to pay for Wildlife Services Predator Killing

  1. I think more exploitation of the average Idaho taxpayer by the favored 1% of the population, the oligarchy, that constitutes the public lands livestock industry.

    I think it is more feudalism than socialism, although they can look very much the same.

  2. jon says:

    Here is a thought, why doesn’t the livestock industry pay for predator control themselves?

    • Cork Meyer says:

      Just so you do not ask another dumb question.
      In Wy. we do pay a predator fee it goes to Federal Trappers with the USDA. They however are bound up in FEDERAL rules that are not much help

  3. CodyCoyote says:

    Remember the big push by the Cattle Barons in recent years for mandatory ” Country Of Origin Labeling” on fresh meat products in the stores? The idea was to encourage American consumers to ” Shop American ” and buy only domestically produced beef, not the alleged cheaper cuts from Argentina, Brazil , etc.

    After reading that the Idaho livestock barons want the state to take up the slack on federal funding of that rogue agency Wildlife Services to keep hammering predators, especially wolves, I once again dust off my own proposal called ” SOOL ” . State Of Origin Labelling.

    I would very much like to see a label on my beef steaks , roasts, and burger chubs stating where the meat was grown . IF that carcass came from Wyoming, Idaho, or Montana, I would like the option to BOYCOTT it. I refuse to buy meat from my own state – Wyoming- because of its regressive wolf management policy. I would do the same for Montana and Idaho if I only knew.

    Cattle prices are at a pretty good high point right now, and Northern Rockies producers are getting good money to offset the losses from the drought stricken states of the Southern Plains and Southwest and Texas. This would be an excellent time for us to send a message to cattle producers that we don’t care to purchase their product if they don’t care about our wildlife concerns ( which extend far beyond the predator issues).

    It would be important to target the Northern Rockies cattleman’s associations with this message due to the outrageous hyperbolic arrogance of resident ranchers towards wolves. For starters.

    It’s a good thing that Wildlife Services is going to see some serious budget cuts , and I hope that holds. Then , WS can take what money they do get and spend it on essential problem wildlife management in proportion to real need , instead of helicoptering in to do genocide on wolves , guided by a deceitful pretense.

    I hope I live long enough to see ‘ Cattle Baron ‘ become a past tense historical term.

    • Immer Treue says:


      “After reading that the Idaho livestock barons want the state to take up the slack on federal funding of that rogue agency Wildlife Services to keep hammering predators, especially wolves, I once again dust off my own proposal called ” SOOL ” . State Of Origin Labelling.

      I would very much like to see a label on my beef steaks , roasts, and burger chubs stating where the meat was grown.”

      Well said. I guess the business model of competition is good applies to all but them. I’ve not purchased red meat for some time now. Even though I am fairly sure the red meat sold in this area is not from Idaho or Wyoming, I’d sure like to be able to have the ID, WY variables removed from my choices.

      • ma'iingan says:

        “Even though I am fairly sure the red meat sold in this area is not from Idaho or Wyoming, I’d sure like to be able to have the ID, WY variables removed from my choices.”

        You’d better add MN to your boycott – Wildlife Services kills more wolves for depredation in your home state than in the NRM states combined.

        • Immer Treue says:


          I’ve got no problem with how MN manages it’s wolf population. Nearly all stake holders are in consensus that the MN wolf management plan is sound, and to this point fair. We again have a much larger wolf population in a much, much smaller area than the NRM states.

          One thing you have to remember about me is that I am NOT anti-wolf management. To this date MN has done a pretty damn good job managing it’s wolves. I have directly benefitted from this management from both the DNR and IWC, with the wolf artifacts I have, and the use of said artifacts in wolf education, and I stress education, not advocacy. MN has their act together, and as I have said earlier, my glass is half full in my outlook toward further “fair” management of wolves in MN when they are delisted. Different place than the NRMS, different philosophy.

          • ma'iingan says:

            Got it, Immer. I appreciate your rational perspective – quite rare when wolves are the topic.

          • JB says:


            My answer to your question requires some qualifications: The current estimate is that meat production produces between 15 and 24% of greenhouse gas emissions; in fact, 4/5s of agricultural emissions arise from the production of livestock, the bulk of which comes from ruminants (see Friel et al. 2009. The Lancet, 374: 2016-2025). But that’s just one way livestock can impact public health and our environment. High consumption of red meat increases one’s risk of colon and rectal cancer (Chao et al. 2005. JAMA 293(2):172-182.), and consumption of processed meats is also associated with coronary heart disease and diabetes (Micha et al. 2010. Circulation, 121:2271-2283).

            Now consider that (a) the production of ruminant animals is one of the most energy intensive forms of agriculture, and (b) the population is predicted to reach 9.1 billion in the next 40 years.

            Take home: Beef cattle production is not environmentally-friendly, sustainable, or healthy (at least with high rates of consumption) as currently practiced. Moreover, if we are going to feed 9 billion people in the midst of rapidly changing climatic conditions–something has to change. I am not naive enough to think that beef production is going away any time soon; nor have I made any attempt to campaign against its production, politically. Rather, I have made a choice not to consume beef and to greatly restrict my consumption of other red meat (their is currently only venison and fish in my freezer). Others are free to make their own choices.

          • Harley says:

            Actually, given what I’ve read lately about fish, I’m not sure I would even include that in my diet!

            In my own perfect little world, I would much rather go back to the days where you raised your own cattle for your own table. You know what went into it and you know where it came from. Same goes for any meat or produce or even your own wool if one wants to take it that far. However, that’s a bit impractical in an urban setting.

            I think I’ve said it before but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. I am against a lot of these HUGE conglomerate farms that have forced the family farm into nonexistence. That’s how my family members have lost their livelihood. Just a few months ago, I was talking to the relatives in Iowa. They were talking about how some of the big places have dead boxes, which are never really empty, there is a high mortality rate when animals live that close together. Well these dead boxes attract coyotes. Then these big huge farm places complain about the coyotes, which to me sounded stupid! It was one of those DUH! moments.

            It’s good to see that YOU have chosen to live your life the way you wish it but at the same time, you don’t think that I should live my life like yours. Or if you do, you aren’t jamming it down my throat so to speak! My mother would say, I’ve always had a rebellious streak in me and it comes out when I’m told what to do! I think though that most people are like that.

            Anyway… Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. When people do that instead of just hurling insults back and forth, it tends to put more of a human face on things. That’s why, though perhaps I don’t always agree with things that are said, I do try to respect the person presenting their opinion as long as they aren’t being a pompous ass about it.

        • JB says:

          Immer: It is easier, healthier, and better for the environment to give up beef altogether.

          I appreciate and share your sentiments regarding Minnesota’s approach. Minnesota is one state that really is treating wolves–at least to the extent they can–“like any other species”.

          • Harley says:

            So JB, basically you’re saying that the beef industry should just die out? Or just die out on public lands?

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        The thing about “state of origin” labeling is that most livestock products are created in more than one state.

        The beef may be held part of the year on federal public lands in Wyoming, for example, but shipped to a feedlot in Illinois to be fattened with corn or one of the god-awful mixtures of stuff they feed cattle in CAFOs.

  4. Mtn Mama says:

    The positive aspect of this is that the Federal contributions to this rouge agency is decreasing.

  5. Paul says:

    “The work done by Wildlife Services is vitally important to our industry and others as well,” said Ken Wixom, who raises sheep and cattle near Blackfoot. “I’m sure all of us would be open to other ideas (to generate more funding).”

    How about you and your rancher brethren fund it yourself? You know use some of that “personal responsibility” that right wingers claim is so important to their ideology. Enough of this welfare for ranchers crap. Make them pay their own way or find another business. This war on predators to appease a select few needs to end and taxpayers need to stop funding it.

  6. Does anyone know how many members of the Idaho legislature are cattle or sheep producers and will be trying to feather their own nests?

    • Brian Ertz says:

      i always just figured it was all of them … but i’ve always wanted to put together a list of Idaho legislators and cross-reference the list against the federal ag subsidy database.

  7. Harley says:

    Ok, question.

    What do you want to see done with the ranchers and livestock owners? Do you want them to all go away? Do you want to see some sort of compromise? Do want them all out of business?
    I’ve read a LOT about how greedy they are. I won’t fully dispute that, I’m sure there are plenty of greedy people all over. Ranchers and livestock owners and farmers do not hold the corner market on this.

    So here it is. What do you want to see done? What would your perfect world look like, or as close to perfect as you could get it?
    This, by the way, is a very serious question and I hope you all treat it as such.

    • Salle says:

      On first thought…

      “Let the market decide” is one of the mantras I hear all the time from this sector of our social construct. So, If you get rid of the welfare/subsidies/tax breaks they get for having cattle on their land… and ours as with public lands grazing they enjoy, how long do you think they’ll stay in business in this harsh environment that was made tame for them with our taxpayer dollars? The same with other extractive industries. If they didn’t have the “damned gov’mint” taking our money and land and handing it to them on a platter… how long would it be before they have to go find some other livelihood like the rest of we serfs have to… and let the markets decide how long they’ll last without our constant bailing out of their erroneous practices? These welfare ranchers operate at a financial loss without performance review or
      accountability… we just hand them a check on a regular basis. If it were any other group, that group would be/is expected to pull themselves up by their own boot-straps and stop whining… so why the special treatment at our expense and acceleration toward our own demise?

      I want to go into my National Forests and wild lands with NO chance of encountering livestock in the forest where I have to go far beyond where I want to be in order to avoid livestock and the feces-laden streams and disease-carrying, biting insects that accompany them so that I can set up my camp – in a National Forest/public land of any kind. I want to see the removal of cattle grates and fences and ruts across the landscape that was made by lazy ranchers and their ATVs, and degraded grasslands and riparian zones on public lands accomplished by over-grazing and absence of oversight. These lands belong to all citizens, not just those who dominate the special favor faction of our society… they shouldn’t have the ability to trash that which belongs to us all for their gov’mint supported profit. (A profit that wouldn’t exist if they had to play by the rules the rest of us must observe).

      And for those, like Bob, who claim that their yard is big enough for their dogs; what about that tidy tax break you get just for having livestock on your property and the taxpayer funded WS hit squad you call in because you don’t want to tend to your possessions yourself and do your damned job that is so much highly romanticized myth?

      I don’t see beef as a dietary choice, especially when it costs more than it can generate in revenue without the bailout subsidies. I’m sure we’re paying exponentially more than the per pound price we see on the price tag at the store and for little nutritional value not to mention the chemical additives… (is that what you guys mean by “value added”?) It doesn’t contribute to my overall health and well-being in any way that makes sense to me.

      I’m sure I can come up with more but that’s what I see as a good start for the moment.

      • Harley says:

        Ok, so to sum this up a little bit, you don’t want livestock on public lands, just the lands that the ranchers own. Period. And you want to see the government stop the ‘bailouts’ for the livestock owners, let them succeed or fail on their own merits or luck, correct? Your reply was good, I just wanted to break it down to the basics.

        • Salle says:

          I’d say that’s a good summary. But I wouldn’t leave out the “practice what they preach” aspect.

          • Nancy says:

            And I’d say that was an EXCELLENT summation Salle especially this part:

            “I want to go into my National Forests and wild lands with NO chance of encountering livestock in the forest where I have to go far beyond where I want to be in order to avoid livestock and the feces-laden streams and disease-carrying, biting insects that accompany them so that I can set up my camp – in a National Forest/public land of any kind. I want to see the removal of cattle grates and fences and ruts across the landscape that was made by lazy ranchers and their ATVs, and degraded grasslands and riparian zones on public lands accomplished by over-grazing and absence of oversight.

            And no Harley, I don’t want to see “them” go out out business, even though I personally, haven’t eaten beef in years, I’d just like to see some attempt, something close to a level playing field here in the west when it comes to wildlife, their habitat vs livestock raisers (and here it comes again Bob) in what’s left of wilderness areas.

            Harley – have you spent anytime at all out here in the areas that are so often discussed on this site?

          • Salle says:

            Thanks, Nancy.

            I would like to add that the last several times I have gone out to recreate in the National Forests, even in the campgrounds, I have had a hard time finding a place to camp that wasn’t similar to a minefield with all the fresh and stale cow s^*t lying around with accompanying biting insects and fouled water.

          • Harley says:


            No 🙁 I have not had the experience but I want to some day! I think the closest I’ve come is The Grand Canyon and good grief, that was eons ago. I think people who live close to those areas or that have the opportunities to spend time in a national park are very lucky individuals! I see pictures and wish to be there. Of course, those pictures do not include how much national parks can be ‘messed up’ by visitors but I am well aware of how stupid some people can be.

      • Bob says:

        Public land debate aside couple facts for you:
        beef producers receive no money for raising beef no subsidies/tax breaks/welfare.
        we use wildlife services their available to every person. The rules are such that rancher have no power to do what they do when dealing with wolves and grizzlies.
        also I can go in 360 degrees and be on public lands with no cow poop. Yet Nancy and Salle seek it out it seems.
        Most wolf kills come at night so simple right.
        Don’t believe it all heck not even me research.

        • Harley says:

          Thanks Bob. I’ve done a little bit of digging here and there, trying to figure out for my own self where all of this conflict started. It’s such a hot button topic. I have relatives that farm and have ranched and so I am a tad bit defensive, I’ve never heard of them taking subsidies or grazing their cattle where they shouldn’t have been. And wow, they made so much money, the went out business…

          • Bob says:

            Defensive is good just don’t run or show fear, rules of the wild or blogging it seems.

        • Nancy says:

          Okay I’ll bite Bob, you’re pretty much surrounded by a lake right? Cuz I got no problem going on public lands around me and finding lots of cow poop…..Heck, I don’t even have to go to public lands, I can just head down to the end of my driveway and find piles & piles of poop from the cows that just came out of public lands.

          • Bob says:

            I don’t know, we just have different experiences I guess maybe I know my area better. Just get tired of every one being acting like cows are every where when their only on a very small percent public land in Montana. Just find the whole thing strange that you seek cow poop out when there’s so much ground out there. To each their own.

          • Bob says:

            Also public land grazing ended a month or two ago so maybe your confused what land is what. Just a thought, maybe I’am wrong won’t be the first or last.

        • Nancy says:

          Bob – in my area, there are over 10 thousand head of cattle that graze on public lands/forests. So I’m guessing more poop than in your area?

          Have a nice Thanksgiving Bob 🙂

        • Nancy says:

          They got on public lands late this year (because of the weather) and off later than usual. Some are still trickling down from the various association fields.

    • JEFF E says:

      This is an issue that can be approached from many different perspectives.
      My take is what is the cost/benefit of having a public lands livestock industry in relation to the livestock industry as a whole. The things that come to my mind right off the bat is the very small % of product that originates from public lands livestock ranching. In the case of beef that amounts to the about 3% of the national output per year. Estimates are that if the whole public lands livestock production went away tomorrow it would only take about three months to recover from. In regards to if a producer can stay in business, my question would be what makes those ones special over a producer in, say Georgia, or even in another industry. Nothing guarantees me or others that we can stay in business or have a job; why do public lands ranching have the advantage of being eminently unprofitable; propped up by the government?

      An even more pertinent question is why should one very small segment of an industry receive millions of dollars in Government subsidies and services thereby creating a government backed advantage over producers that do not receive that welfare, often in the same state, especially when there is no overriding conditions that would otherwise put the industry as a whole in danger of collapsing.

      What we have is the fact that in Idaho,(and Wyoming, and Montana),it is this minority business enterprise(public lands ranching) that controls the government and dictates to all other stakeholders what will and will not be allowed as far as public land use and resources; both flora and fauna.

  8. Ken Cole says:

    Bob, I really don’t think you know what you are talking about. There are operators here in Idaho who have all of their cattle on BLM lands 24/7/365. Those very same operators have received tens of thousands of dollars, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct government subsidies.

    There are others who may not have their livestock on public lands all of the time but their entire operations depend on having access to public lands most of the year and they also receive huge subsidies on top of the low grazing fees.

    I encourage you to look up the names of prominent public lands ranchers then look up those same names on the Farm Subsidy Database. I think you will be surprised at what you find. I often look up the names of those ranchers who complain the loudest about government and restrictions they don’t like and consistently I find that they are the ones who receive the most subsidies.

    • Salle says:

      I’m willing to bet that Bob doesn’t do his own taxes and, therefore, has no idea what he doesn’t pay in taxes or what the govmint subsidies amount to… then again, not all of those subsidies arrive in the form of cash or check. Aside from the fact that he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about.

    • Bob says:

      I’ll leave the public lands debate to you and others. I also know there are lots of government programs out there my only point is there is no program that pays beef producers. There are no tax breaks for beef producers. If there is a program show me.
      I do my own taxes and I will tell you that your wrong in how WS works and what the government gives beef produces, but whats the point.

      • Nancy says:

        Bob – a rather dated but excellent article:

        ad little has changed since it was written. There are a few paragraphs dedicated to rancher subsidies and if you go to the link Ken provided:

        You can certainly find those ranches (in Montana) where millions are doled out, year after year, to them for loss, damage and control.

        • Bob says:

          I see any time I receive more from the government than I pay it’s a subsidy using your definition. Seems the hospital I was born in to the schools I went to the roads and trails I use all subsidies. Few if any of those dollars have anything to do with beef production. You have to follow government programs to see why the dollars go where they go. Soil and water conservation, weed programs, predator fencing, the list is longer than I know all I can tell you no one I know cashes a check because they raise beef.

          • Nancy says:

            +You have to follow government programs to see why the dollars go where they go. Soil and water conservation, weed programs, predator fencing, the list is longer than I know+

            And it would appear Bob, if I’m relating correctly to the figures available, it all comes back to way too many millions spent in order to prop up….. and raise, a relatively tiny percentage of livestock overall, on public and private lands…. right?

      • Jay says:

        Bob, you’re clearly wrong, so why do you insist otherwise? check out the link Ken provided–if you’re so savvy as you portray yourself, certainly you know a few ranchers names that you can look up and find proof of gov. subsidies paid out.

        • Bob says:

          I followed the link and most those dollars have little to with the fact I raise beef. In fact I could raise turtles and see those same dollar amounts. Friend of mine builds fence he’s listed, another builds houses. If we’re going to use these subsidies as defined here Yes I receive subsidies but it has nothing to with beef production.

          • Jay says:

            Bob, what do these numbers mean to you (cut/pasted directly from the farm subsidy database):


            Payments 1995-2010

            Livestock Subsidies


            You find me a turtle farmer that is getting thousands of subsidy dollars and I’ll eat my hat. Just man up and admit you’re wrong.

          • Jay says:

            More specifics on the “livestock compensation” (i.e. SUBSIDY):

            Federal funding meant to compensate ranchers for lost livestock could soon run dry, a looming financial hit that comes after the summer heat wave wiped out thousands of farm animals.

            The relief programs — which pay ranchers for cattle and other livestock that die from extreme weather, disease and other conditions — were authorized under the 2008 farm bill. While the bulk of that bill lasts through the end of the next fiscal year, the relief programs are set to expire by October of this year.

            “It certainly throws a huge wrench into the cash flow,” said Tom Shipley, policy director with the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

            Read more:

          • Bob says:

            Once again didn’t say ranchers don’t receive dollars, just disputing the why they receive dollars. Most dollars out there have little or nothing to do with the fact if your producing beef and more to do with if you have land or sheep or dairy. I produce beef very few programs for beef producers. I’am even listed because I cost share weed spray. Another neighbor did some creek rehab with Trout Unlimited “no beef.” SO yes rancher receive subs but then so do you.

          • Jay says:

            Horsesh#t–I don’t get a check from the government for anything other than tax refunds for overpayment. Maybe I should buy a herd of cattle and hope the weather kills a bunch, then I could put my hand out and ask for my subsidies.

          • Bob says:

            Been busy but hope you enjoy the tasty hat have to go on the honor system. Just post Tim Thomas Florida, to the link Ken provided. Turtle farmer receives over 1000 dollars. I feel bad using his name. Also look for Ken Cole Idaho. You might even try your own name for a jolly.
            And by all means buy some cattle try sheep.

          • Jay says:

            you’ll have to provide a link–I typed in the name for Florida, and the only name that comes up is a Timothy Thomas, with subsidies for crops (peanuts, cotton, etc.). So I’m not eating my hat yet.

          • Jay says:

            and no, my name doesn’t come up as I don’t receive any gov’t subsidies for raising livestock.

          • Bob says:

            Sorry, was in a hurry, didn’t double check, also different Thomas my bad. You don’t have to raise cattle to be list as I’ve said before.
            did’t figure it was you I know the WWP gets it’s federal money from other sources.
            Anyway the hunt calls me, enjoy life all it’ short.

          • Jay says:

            bob, you keep moving the bar. No, subsidies are not limited to livestock producers. However, that wasn’t the discussion…remember when you said this: “beef producers receive no money for raising beef no subsidies/tax breaks/welfare.”?

            Guess what–you’re flat out wrong! You’d have to be a fool to say otherwise. The only thing “wrong” about being wrong is not being man enough to admit when you are.

          • Bob says:

            I’am sticking with my comment as posted.

            Yes there is a program that pays 75% of value lost for:losses in excess of normal mortality due to extreme weather.
            Maybe a subtle point but I said “for raising” and I don’t know anyone “that raises” beef to let it die and be paid 75% of it’s value.

  9. Ethan Edwards says:

    I don’t begrudge the Wildlife Services full funding if they can control wolf populations which they is not happening.

  10. Steve Damele says:

    We have a family ranch between Mountainhome and Boise Idaho. Last year fish and wildlife counted over 4000 elk in the area and I believe 2000 deer around the immediate area where I live. Our ranch is about 50% private ground and 50% state and federal. Our beef cowherd coesists evidently quite well with wildlife based on the above statistics. Public lands ranching is more than any of you are talking about. It is sometimes the backbone of rural communities. I believe I take care of my deeded and grazing leased land better than any government agency can or ever will.

    The government agencies have their hands tied to do the right things for the right reasons because of their own regulations. Example, Last year our area received 150% of annual precipation. This created an overabundance of grass. Because of regulation more livestock was not allowed to graze this forage. Guess what happened. Probably about 300,000 acres burned last summer. That is really ennvironmentally friendly. How much carbon do you suppose went into the atmosphere. If allowed to we could of “properly grazed” thus reducing the fine fire fuel load. Properly graze is the key words. Sure we have made some huge mistakes in the past grazing management. Those folks were not bad people they just did not know any better. Our grazing plan is simple, Allan Savory.


November 2011


‎"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