The blatant disregard for any life but the glorious wolf is what has produced  the lack of success this program is plagued with. The original poor wolf story in this series had a comment about wolves killing “the occasional cow” and blaming this on ranchers unwilling to try new techniques to protect their herds. Well, let’s see. The much vaunted red electric fencing tape costs $8,000/mile and has the wallop of a tickle to a child’s hand.

Connelly: A different opinion on protecting wolves

Commentary:  I’m writing in response to the latest, “oh poor wolf” commentary. Usually you publish verbatim a comment by the Center for Biological Diversity. This commentary, by David Forjan, I suppose is meant to elicit sympathy from city dwelling animal lovers, but it would be nice if they had some facts straight.

First, the poor wolf who lost its mate when it was recaptured was not allowed to choose— it got the mate the well meaning scientists chose for it, probably genetically important but completely missing the point that while a male wolf will opportunistically mate with a she wolf in estrus, that does not a family make. The gov’s own monthly reports often list packs that have split up or been abandoned by one adult. God’s families apparently like to choose their own mates. If your commentators are going to continue anthropomorphizing wolves, let’s let them date and mate as humans and actual wild animals do.

The blatant disregard for any life but the glorious wolf is what has produced  the lack of success this program is plagued with. The original poor wolf story in this series had a comment about wolves killing “the occasional cow” and blaming this on ranchers unwilling to try new techniques to protect their herds. Well, let’s see. The much vaunted red electric fencing tape costs $8,000/mile and has the wallop of a tickle to a child’s hand. A friend’s neighbor’s tot loved to play with it. Then there are range riders, who unfortunately can’t ride at night, when most of the attacks happen. The newest claim by the pro wolf livestock experts is that because only 2% of cow deaths are from wolves that it’s not a problem. Try telling that “occasional cow” story to the NM rancher who lost 13 cows in one year to wolves. It’s this bending of facts, using a national statistic that includes cows in stockyards and all over wolfless cattle country as though it applies here, that delegitimizes the program. How much of that rancher’s time will be spent trying to verify wolf kills and getting reimbursed, replacing cows used to the country with ones who aren’t? What happens to his/her bottom line when the calves all have low birth weights due to stress from the mothers being stalked, if not attacked?

Ranchers, besides providing water and salt to wildlife, are used to predators. If this program had begun with a realistic way for cattle losses to be covered and seen ranchers as allies instead of continually vilifying them and becoming the pawns of the “rewilding” anti-rural people/community zealots, it might have had a chance.

Anyone who thinks ridding the forest of cows is a victory for the land hasn’t really thought through the entire process. Usually, a rancher with a grazing permit who loses it or has to quit ranching because of livestock losses to wolves then ends up selling his private land ranch, and usually the only people who can afford it are land developers. So a ranch with one or two houses, one or two wells and a few roads becomes a subdivision with 10-20+ houses with their own wells, roads and fences, but that’s better for the environment??

It’s always surprised me that the news organization for a land grant university with a such a strong agricultural college publishes this one sided nonsense. God loves cow families too. Where is the concern for the cattle attacked and eaten alive, and their pain? Nope, it’s only the poor wolf. If you actually wrote articles providing both sides of this issue, now that would truly be a service.

Michele Connelly

KRWG

wolfpack

Free Range Report

Comments

  1. You neglect to mention that in the APHIS report done last the predation of cattle was only point one percent, and that doesn’t even apply only to wolves, that .1% would also apply to other predators. So you cannot believe that predation on your beloved (profits) cattle is a serious issue, especially when you receive subsidies for every calf lost. You also forgot to mention the fact that wolves are a native species, and really should still be on the endangered species list, especially the Mexican red wolf. Cows don’t belong in this arid desert ecosystem. Yet we don’t see them being removed, we see the laws change so that bears and wolves may be killed in their dens during hibernation and with recently born cubs or pups. We see our native wild horses (and the science DOES prove their are a native species) being removed because of cattle. We see a fight against listing the sage grouse and their habit because of cows. The most simple solution to these problems is to move the cows to a place more conducive to their diet, where there are less predators, and leave our native wildlife alone. And by the way, if a rancher sells out, no developer is going to build on the small parcel owned because…remember they don’t own the land they use to graze 2.7 million livestock that are permitted on our public lands. So please get your destructive cows off my public lands, the majority don’t want them their supporting corporate ranching outfits! And we don’t want to pay your cost of doing business when you lose an animal to a native animal that belongs there. You are offering them dinner…and then crying when they eat point 1% of what is offered in the entire country, public and private lands!

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