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View Diary: Two years after hunting was legalized half the wolves are gone (263 comments)

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  •  One of the problems with Wolves (1+ / 0-)
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    in Montana was them coming out of Yellow Stone and poaching on the cattle ranches.

    My uncle owned the oldest working ranch in Montana when the wolves were introduced. They felt at that time the whole thing was forced down their throats by people who had no idea of the reality of life there.

    They were told nothing bad would happen, they believed differently and turned out to be correct. A couple of them were jailed for killing wolves that were killing their young calves. Their anger became a political hot potato that the government of Montana could not ignore.

    They are still angry. My uncle owned that ranch for over 50 years. He worked it until he was 75. While he owned thousands of acres it was a struggle to make a living the loss he had a couple of years from wolves was signifigant.

    Most people who live in rural areas and do this kind of work do so because they love it and accept a life of barely making ends meet as a sacrafice this kind of life.

    It is just more of the widening gap between rural and urban dwellers. Things that look good on paper are often ot so hot in practice. When wolves roamed these areas there were millions of Bison and part of their food source which have now been replaced by cattle the wolves just see food.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:02:09 PM PST

    •  bullshit (5+ / 0-)

      they knew predation would be a problem, so predation compensation programs were set-up before the re-introduction and were the key to its implementation.

      they were not told "nothing would happen".  that's a flat out lie.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:45:54 PM PST

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      •  That is what they were told (2+ / 0-)
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        Samulayo, ivorybill

        that the scientists believed there would be very little loss to the farmers. O the off chance that happened they would be compensated.

        It took a few years but losses on the ranches went up signifigantly/

        The government also claimed in more than few cases that the deaths were not the result of wolves and denied compensation. The problem was these folks often witnessed the attacks or could read the tracks and knew exactly what killed their calves.

        One of my uncles neighbors had 4 calves killed by the wolf pack, the government denied the claim so the next time he shot one of the wolves they promptly fined him for killing an endangered species and deied his claim on the calves.

        And people wonder why they were upset?

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:18:31 PM PST

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      •  wolves mainly prey on Elk, not bison (3+ / 0-)
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        giddy thing, Kevskos, squarewheel

        And any of the bison that try to winter outside of Yellowstone in Montana are usually shot because Montana has a hunting season on bison.  The ranchers make another bull shit claim that the bison pass brucelloses to their cattle, even though there's never been a documented case of a bison passing brucelloses to cattle.

        There are some good ranchers in Montana that know that there are many ways to prevent wolves from bothering their cattle, like having dogs around, but many of those ranchers are simply gun toting, fox news following, nature conquering red necks who have no business running a ranch anyway.

        And don't forget, many of those cows that get attacked by wolves or bears, are grazing on OUR public lands for unbelievably cheap prices.  Rancher welfare from corrupt politicians of over a hundred years ago.  Those are OUR lands, and I want to see a wolf on MY public lands rather than a damn cow!

    •  Now this is an argument (3+ / 0-)
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      Onomastic, Kevskos, giddy thing

      about which I'm actually very sympathetic.  Most of us would like to see traditional lifestyles preserved in the west, for ranchers to be able to make a living, etc.  We're upset about overgrazing on public land, and we want ranchers to understand that BLM land belongs to all of us.  But speaking personally, I can understand that a rancher might not want to invest in a pack of fancy bred dogs to protect his herd or pay for the losses incurred by wolves.  And I freely admit that wolves are much more likely to cost a lot more money than other apex predators like Mountain Lions.  Wolves by and large eat only large animals - and they are both smart and adaptable enough to really go after cattle.  Mt lions are more opportunistic, more adaptable, and more fixated on killing deer, therefore less of a risk to cattle ranchers.  

      If I had my way, I would increase predation payouts to ranchers, by quite a bit.  If we can spend as much as we do on harmful agricultural subsidies, I don't mind paying ranchers top dollar and loosening requirements for documentation.  I don't mind granting big tax breaks or outright tax credits for ranchers to start doing here what they have done in Eurasia for years - use trained dogs to protect herds.  I don't want your uncle to lose his livelihood or way of life.  I would ask in return that he understand why it is we consider wolves important - and why we also have an interest (and ownership) in the federal land.  But there's no disagreement from me on the fact that it will take some healthy funding to make it easier for ranchers to cope.  

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:17:49 AM PST

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