Wildlife officials in N.M. shoot wolf after her third cattle kill

Federal government continues to push recovery program toward failure.

The story below, which originally appeared on the website of KVOA Ch. 4 in Albuquerque, shines a bright light on the Federal government’s compromises on behalf of the livestock industry, and on how such compromises are allowing the livestock industry to bait wolves so that they will be killed. All of this is playing out to the detriment of Mexican wolves, one of the world’s most imperiled mammals.


ALBUQUERQUE — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday shot a female Mexican wolf in Catron County, less than a week after cattle killings that subjected the wolf to a three strikes rule.

The program to reintroduce endangered Mexican gray wolves into the Southwest requires the permanent removal of any wolf linked to three livestock killings a year — either by trapping and keeping it in captivity or by shooting it.

Historic photo of wolf caught by a bounty hunter during the early 1900s.

The wolf, designated AF924 for alpha female 924, had killed two head of livestock before being relocated to Catron County on April 25. The day after her release, county officials demanded she be removed before she had a chance to kill another cow.

Fish and Wildlife said at the time it had no reason to remove her under the program’s three-strikes rule.

The agency issued a lethal order for the wolf Tuesday night after the weekend killings of a cow and calf.

Catron County Manager Bill Aymar said Thursday he’s not a fan of the wolf program, “I couldn’t be with seeing all that happens down here” — but it was a shame Fish and Wildlife killed the wolf.

“If they had actually acted upon our first request and removed that wolf, that wolf might still be alive,” he said.

AF924, the alpha female of the Durango pack, was pregnant when released. Elizabeth Slown, a spokeswoman for Fish and Wildlife, said Thursday her pups are old enough that they are eating solid food. She said the agency will provide supplemental feeding for the male to feed them.

A landowner in the area told agency officials there are four pups, she said.

Late last month, Catron County issued a notice of intent to trap the wolf and turn her over to Fish and Wildlife because she was stalking the Adobe Ranch in southeastern Catron County where the Mike Miller family lives. The county’s wolf incident investigator did not immediately trap the animal, however.

Then last weekend, wolves killed the cow and calf.

Wildlife Services, a federal agency that investigates reports of wolf depredation, confirmed that AF924 and her mate, alpha male 973, were involved.

Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Services and other groups made the decision to credit the wolves with one depredation each — a third strike for the female and a first for the male.

Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity in Pinos Altos said Thursday the female wolf was killed “because the Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish all refuse to require the ranching industry using public lands to clean up their dead livestock that attract wolves.”

Robinson has long criticized the government for not requiring ranchers to remove cattle that die for whatever reason on their grazing allotments. “The wolves scavenge on cattle carcasses and eventually switch to killing cattle,” he said.

Slown said the wolf program’s current rules do not allow Fish and Wildlife to order carcass removal. “That’s an excellent topic for people to contemplate” as the agency considers changing the rules, she said.


63 responses to “Wildlife officials in N.M. shoot wolf after her third cattle kill

  1. The Gila National Forest and the Apache National Forest, in New Mexico, within the Mexican wolfs recovery area currently have grazing leases for privately owned livestock of up to 40,000 cattle per year. The money paid by ranchers for these grazing privileges is so small it does not cover the Forest Services cost to run this outdated program.
    During these ten years since the Mexican wolfs release back into their historical territory, Defenders of wildlife have compensated cattle growers for 81 animals at fall market value. That shows livestock depredation in New Mexico is less then ,01%.

  2. Bob J. Laybourn

    I found this blog while trying to find information about the Casper Star Tribune srticle that said a Angela Dassow had resigned her job ( I believe w/ NM’s Game and Fish or some sheriff or wildlife agency ) after being threatened by USDA Wildlife Services. I am interested in contacting Angela to bolster her claim of being threatened. The USDA Inspector General is asking this of me. But I also find that this blog is clogged by the rabid opinions of an individual named or using the identity Marion. I hate to see her hatemongering in another venue as I am accustomed to her attempts to have any reasonable discussion. She must be a very troubled woman; I feel sorry for her.

  3. Fun site. Have you ever considered the toll on human life and $ cost of DEER? Go to the State Farm Insurance internet site. How many farm animals in $ do the wolves decimate? Some comments are outright childish. The dialogue will never end or be resolved. Wolves were once the second largest population on planet earth, after humans, what is the ratio now? If you read the laws of the 50 states you will understand the misinformation that abounds regarding wolves. You can expand that politicaltalk by looking at laws around the world.
    What do you suggest I do with the dead racoons and possums (fresh kill) I see on my way to work every day? Maybe there should be a bounty on humans that kill wildlife twentyfour hours of every day every year. Seriously, how many people kill PEOPLE every day? Now add on the wars going on today alone. There are about 40,000 people killed in automobile accidents in the USA every year. How many people are killed by wolves compared to deer every year? Much more importantly how many humans die every year of starvation when Americans throw away enough food every day to feed the world and rodents eat better than most of the world’s population. We have the luxury of discussing all this ‘stuff’ when the world is in dire straights because of mans’ inhumanity to man. How can we expect man to care about wildlife when man doesnot care about man? The veneer of civilization is thin and crumbling. Have fun. Joe Anderson, casual observer.

  4. Female lions hunt in packs marion. There are also wild dogs in africa that hunt in packs. I think I learned that in kindergarten so i wouldnt expect you to know it.

  5. One problem would be that the predators you mentioned hunt alone, whereas wolves hunt in packs and sometimes huge packs up to 20 members and above. Not much can stand against them.

  6. I recently learned that livestock farmers in Africa are having great success by employing an Anatolian Shephard with their herds. These amazing dogs have an ability to scare and/or fight off large predators in Africa, such as leopards, lions, and cheetahs. They are being used successfully to help ensure the survival of beautiful predators. I would like to see the Wolf re-introduction program begin to investigate this elegant solution to the problem. Please contact me if you would like more information about how the Anatolian Shephards are being used in Africa.

  7. Steve,
    Can I offer you some ibuprofen?

  8. In the first place Steve, it is me that has pointed out the subsidized recreation. Of course you profit at the taxpayers expense, you save (earn) the money that you don’t have to spend on entertainment that is paid for by the American taxpayer.
    As for foreign taxpayers, I doubt they spend any more or better money than Ameerican taxpayers that also support the sNP system with their tax dollars. And I doubt they would reciprocate in their own country. Except for the very wealthy who come and go on their own, mostly it is big tour operators who benefit from thsi subsidy.

  9. Receiving/using something at a cost that is less than it would be without external forces bearing part of the cost to maintain said “something”. (The government bearing the cost of managing water, killing predators, killing bison etc. and then renting the land out at a price that does not come close to repaying their initial investment in the land).

    Lets say I need a vehicle for my business to make a profit. The government has a “public” vehicle that they will rent me for 3 dollars a day. They pay for all repairs and upkeep, all I have to do is keep it clean, pay for auto insurance, and pay for gas. My friend down the street is not fortunate enough to get to use a public vehicle even though we are both in the same business. They must compete with me and pay for everything. Unlike me, they are not subsidized.

  10. Steve,

    What is your definition of subsidized. I worked on a ranch for years and have never known the livestock owner to be subsidized in the true sense of the word. Just curious what your definition is.

  11. I have heard this “recreation subsidy” argument of yours dozens of times before. Does the individual using the land for recreation profit off of the land at the taxpayer’s expense? We pay taxes so a portion of them will maintain our public lands for the use of the public. There is a HUGE difference between that and half a billion of our tax dollars subsidizing people using our lands for profit. A public lands rancher can also hunt/fish/hike in a national park, so I guess they are double subsidized. I guess you could still have a complaint about those free loading foreigners having their national park trips subsidized (i have heard you make that argument before). They of course don’t spend any money and pour money into local economies when they vacation…

  12. Steve,

    You said, “The problem is that the individual rancher does not lobby to get laws made and changed, it is the stockgrowers associations who have a decidedly anti-wildife agenda and they wield all of the power in matters such as elk farming, elk feed lots, and killing of bison outside of yellowstone.”

    Interesting observation! Your observation is very similar to the one I share below but along the lines of wolf restoration by the big dogs (conservationists, wolf advocates) and the little, itty, bitty stockgrower having very little say in the matter because the big dogs were too powerful

    This is nothing more that the environmental, conservationist groups lobbying for wolf restoration when the individual livestock/landowner could not get the laws changed against wolf restoration even though it affects them financially. It was the environmentalists/conservationists who decidedly pushed the wolf restoration agenda and wielded all of their power over the individual landowner/livestock owner trying to financially make ends meet. What happened? Those groups whom probably never owned a piece of land in the three states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana wielded their power just so they can have the joy and opportunity to hear and see a wolf in the wild while the livestock owner suffers financially from the power of the conservationist groups.

    Steve, there is no difference between your assessment and mine. Just two different scenarios.

  13. Steve, the reason ranchers are the small guy is because most ranches are owned and run by individual families, no matter how big the industry inself, is. If you worked for an automaker, does that make you a big automaker? If you are a Wal-Martstore clerk does that make you a part of the giant Wal-Mart corporate industry? Get real.

  14. Steve, subsidized recreation is taking an even bigger bite out of the national budget. So many things are slipped into “grazing fees, that are not related. An isntance, I called a contractor for some work and he is building several miles of trails in the Big Horns, last year crews were closing all sorts of roads up there and in some cases trees have been felled across them opening to keep folks out. Try to find those items as a recreation expense….and it certainly is. If I could get an itemized breakdown of the expenditures, I would be very surprised if they haven’t found a way to include them in the grazing “cost”.
    As my uncle aged, I helped him with his grazing papers every year, he paid the fees, and the total expense to the government was the bill and the cost for office folks to record and deposit the money. Since the vast majority of ranchers have held their leases for years, most of the expenses are going to be the same. However there have been trails built, trailheads built, remote campsites cleaned, trailhead maintenance, including toilet cleaning every year. Where do those costs show up?

  15. Marion, that 2.5 million cost is a drop in the pan compared to the cost to the american taxpayer of public lands ranching. I can’t wait to hear how this is biased… or how the people who compiled these numbers are incompetent… or any of your other tired excuses…


  16. Wolfen, my points were made based off of a “wish list” of wildlife goals of the montana stockgrowers association. It is not, and I have never claimed it to be a scientific publication. It is however documentation that the publicly stated goals of this association fly in the face of your claims that ranching is wildlife friendly. I do not disagree with you on the fact that there are many good ranchers who do a great deal to support wildlife. I have a great deal of respect for those ranchers who do not only take from the land but who allow wildlife to use their land as well. The problem is that the individual rancher does not lobby to get laws made and changed, it is the stockgrowers associations who have a decidedly anti-wildife agenda and they wield all of the power in matters such as elk farming, elk feed lots, and killing of bison outside of yellowstone.

  17. Since when is the multi billion dollar livestock industry the “small guy”?

  18. Good points Marion. As a former individual growing up on a ranch whom my brother still owns, I could not agree with you more. However, wolf advocates can only see everything negative about livestock and so they use this as their ‘scapegoate’ to divert attention away from the real problem livestock owners face – reintroduction of the wolf.

  19. Wolfen, I would have to disagree with you on one point, the ranchers have been forced to give a great deal willing or not. On the other hand environmentalists are demanding ever more day by day.
    Today Ed Bangs estimated the cost for the state of Wyoming to manage the wolves will be approximately 2.5 million, and he made it clear, that FWS and ESA funds will not help in anyway with that once they are delisted. What do you call it when a big guy forces a small one to do his will? Bully is the word that comes to mind, and I’m sure that is why small population states were chosen so we actually have no say to anything big environmental business wants to do to us.
    Part of the problem is organizations know how to make money (even non-profits or perhaps especially non-profits), but they actually know nothing about wildlife and what it takes to keep it. You certainly can force ranchers off the land, there are enough of you to push us into the ground if you decide to, but you can’t keep them from selling their land to developers, and if you think housing developments are going to be as environmentally friendly or as wildlife friendly as a rancher, you are wrong. You cannot imagine how much wildlife any rancher feeds routinely. He would have preferred being spared the wildlife that is eating his livestock. Unfortunately that is the preferred livestock of environmentalists.

  20. Steve,

    Here is also another article you may want to look at which is as credible, if not more so than the public lands ranching site from 7/13/07 at 22:44:11. At least this one has references and articles cited while yours did not. Some of the references cited are interviews with biologists, scientists and others are from articles by biologists and scientists. Rob, I presume in your mind this article is not credible either even though scientists have been interviewed and scientific articles have been cited. You can click on my name to be linked directly to this site.


    [Editor’s Note]: No, Troy Mader’s “article” is not credible, and it is not science. Citing other works does not, alone, make something scientific. Subjecting an article to peer review, and then having that peer-reviewed work appear in a credible scientific journal is the only way to gain scientific credibility.

  21. Rob,

    And the articles submitted by Steve do qualify as ‘Science’? I question the accuracy of them also. Your comments just prove that anyone can post whatever and claim it to be fact? Those references are not more truthful than the one I posted. Like I said, you guys are too biased to look at all the facts let alone really go out and talk to livestock/landowners to see what they think. Instead, you base all your opinions submitted by articles highly biased heavily toward wolves, etc.

    Livestock also have an ‘existence value’ that goes beyond human economic calculus. What is needed is for both sides to reasonably discuss the facts and reach some compromise. However, neither side, the wolf advocates or the livestock industry, are willing to do so partly because they are too busy tearing each other apart becauseof all the negativity associated with either side. I recognize the need for livestock owners to continue their business in a way that they continue to meet their financial interests and I also recognize that their is a need for wolf restoration.

    What I am also confident is that wolf restoration should have been removed from the endangered species list some 600+ wolves ago and ranchers need to be more conservation minded with respect to public land. But each side wants all and does not want to give an inch with respect to the other. This is unfortunate.

  22. Wolfen, the article that you posted does not qualify as “science” by any stretch of the imagination. Had that article appeared in a peer reviewed journal, I’d view it with less skepticism. The fact is, there’s good economic science out there about the economic costs and benefits of ranching, and likewise for the economic inputs of wolf reintroduction. More importantly, it shouldn’t come down to money. Wolves, and the ecological services that they provide, have a right to exists across as much of the landscape as possible; that is, they have an “existence value” that goes beyond human economic calculus.

  23. wolfen, I would not call the official position of the montana cattlemen’s association a biased source for me to use. I could not find the official goals of the idaho or wyoming associations. If anyone could help me out with those it would be much appreciated. I am sure that a majority of individual ranchers are responsible and care for wildlife but the truth is that the cattle associations are the ones who spread money around to get laws changed like any lobbying group. They are the ones spreading unfounded disease fears in montana to get bison killed even though I am sure individual ranchers would not mind bison on their land for example. Frankly, their position makes sense from a moneymaking standpoint. More elk on the land means less grass for cows to eat.

  24. Steve,

    You also might be aware that articles you post such as the ‘public lands ranching stating that ranching is a welfare opportunity is gathered by the likes of defenders of wildlife, western watersheds project and does not even involve the cattle association folks. All I am trying to point out is that you can find anything on the internet for or against anything you want to support but you must exercise judgement and the data gathering information must NOT be biased to one group or another. If this article by the above included the National Cattle Association, ranchers, as well as defenders of wildlife and western watersheds project then their would be more credibility and I might be more likely to beleive it but when I see ranchers where I grew up supporting wildlife projects and willingly accept wildlife grazing on their private land then I am more likely to believe them then these biased articles.

    By the way, here is another article, which may be biased which shows all the negative economic impacts of reintroduction of the wolf. Remember you can support whatever you wish.


  25. Steve,

    I do not have to check with Montana Cattle Association. I check with my brother who literally owns 3000 acres in the middle of central Idaho and with many of the local ranchers in that area where I grew up with. It is unfortunate because folks like you try to brand the livestock owner as disliking everything wildlife. I much rather trust speaking to local ranchers, and grew up on a ranch, and have worked with livestock owners all my life and know there thoughts and intentions better than you ever did. It appears to chose to blame the wrong person here. You should choose to interview ranchers first hand and maybe you will find the truth that ranchers would rather choose to coexist with wildlife. On another note, what the montana cattle association does may be completely different than the Idaho cattle association where I live. Get your story straight.

  26. Jeff, The more I read to counter marion’s 5 recycled points the more I learn. It isnt a complete waste of my time. Don’t forget “One flew over the cuckoos nest” ended with a lobotomy… sometimes when i argue with a brick wall I feel like I might have had one!

  27. Steve,
    So when does debating with an amusing eccentric and/or (listen to me laugh) member of the scientific community become a realization of being in a real life “One Flew Over The
    Cuckoo Nest”?

  28. For some reason the drought, the cold, etc have not killed off the elk in the areas where there are no wolves, just in the wolf infested areas. Then of course folks like me think that the wolves have something to do with it, can you believe?

  29. Marion, seems that the montana cattlemen’s association thinks there are too many elk… I thought the wolves ate them all???????????

  30. Marion, once again, what do you think I claim as fact in my long post above? You said it about me now answer the question. I pointed out the absurdity of your economy argument with my opinion.

    Found an interesting page outlining the montana cattlemen’s goals for wildlife management. Maybe you should check with the official ranching organizations before you claim that ranchers want to coexist with wildlife. The following is just about elk, but the page has a trend, all wildlife should be reduced to benefit ranching. This is a pro-ranching site that undermines what you say above…

    “ELK – 2005
    WHEREAS: Elk are free ranging creatures that do not respect property lines. And they are the property of the state of Montana, and its citizens, under the management of the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; and
    WHEREAS: The land owner and Federal allotment owner are adversely affected by the increasing numbers of Elk, without compensation to the landowner; and
    WHEREAS: Increased pressure is put on the range by the current Elk population forcing undue pressure on the existing demand to private cattle operations; and
    WHEREAS: Proper range management benefits both the ranch and the wildlife. Appropriate action is needed to manage the range to its proper grazing capacity, ensuring that existing grazing rights are maintained.
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: Montana Cattlemen’s Association encourages the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to issue a sufficient amount of hunting permits to reduce the Elk numbers.”


  31. Speaking of disease, I belive an elk killed by a hunter in Montana was infected with a wolf disease.
    I jsut came back from spending a night in the Big Horns, and the cattle are turned in. Are they going to eat some of the flowers before they fade on their own? Almost certainly. But thanks to the cow poo next spring the meadows will be covered with wild flowers. The Big Horns are also a great place to see wildlife, lots of deer, and moose (which are pretty scarce in Yellowstone).
    Environmentalists tend to make up their own reality, and they refuse to accept that ranchers are contributing far, far more to the plethora of wildlife we enjoy today than all of the enviro groups and their bevy of lawyers.
    A guy on Ralph’s site is trying to stir things up by saying he is “afraid” to go the Cody wolf meeting next week. Worse he is saying Ed Bangs states he is “nervous” too. Now Bangs may hate to face a lot of questions from ranchers who know a pile of BS when they hear it, but I am sure he is not physically afraid, like this guy is implying. I am going to email him and ask him to nip this in the bud before a lot of ugly rumors get started by some guy that probably lives in NYC. He couldn’t have been at the last meeting if he thinks the ranching and hunting community is anything but calm and at least cooly polite. The guy is comparing a meeting in Cody, WY to Nazi Germany!

  32. Steve,

    Contrary to your disagreement with Marion on the cattle/elk coexisting the fact remains that they coexist very readily. As mentioned earlier, my families ranch in central idaho is frequented routinely by elk, sometimes almost a hundred hed, and they mingle and feed in the fields right along with the cattle. In winter, they feed on the grasses under the snow that the cattle do not get and they sometimes can be seen eating hay that have been fed to the cattle on a cold winter morning. They do eat alot of feed so I guess even though you folks claim that cattle on private lands is highly subsidized this is our contribution to make up for that difference. We do not go out asking the government to compensate us for all the free feed the elk get on private land. That is why I always have a big laugh when Jeff and the likes complain about the public land grazing being highly subsidized. That is a bunch of crock.

    Contrary to your belief or understanding, the landowner/livestock owner does contribute significantly to the overall health of the ungulates. The interesting thing is most of the fishermen/hunters and sight seers observe more elk on the private property than on public land even though the cattle have not even hardly touched the grasses on the public land. Wonder why that is?

    There are no documented cases of disease either, unlike on the Jackson, Wyoming feed grounds.

  33. What do I claim as fact? My observations in silver gate? All that I said was my informed opinion. Unlike you, I do not try to masquerade my opinion as fact. how do ungulates and cows coexist? By spreading disease to one another?

  34. Oh and by the way Steve, the Gardiner restaraunt owner blamed the shut down and the lack of business from the loss of hunting during th late hunt. From 2400 to 100 permits. Since I’m sure many were out of state hunters, I suspect that is a big chunk of change lost to the state too.
    He did not blame wolves per sey, the interview was trying to find out where all of that 45 million was going, Gardiner and Cooke City would seem to be the most likely recipients, or do you disagree?
    You know for all of your ranting and raving, you never provided one iota of facts to dispute anything I said.

  35. I do go thru Cooke City on some of my trips to and from the Park. I haven’t actually stopped to see how many rooms the renovation will add, have you? There seems to be no disagreement that business in Gardiner was negatively impacted by the loss of the late winter hunting season. My argument in this regard rests soley with the contention that the wolves have brought in lots of money, and have benefitted the economy. That simply is not true. What you guys don’t like is when I point out these things adn ask just what benefit the wolves have had, no one can come up with an answer.
    I have never, ever objected to anyone using public land, whether it is to play or to produce food. You folks are the ones that want it all to yourselves, and you do not always know the difference between what is private land and what is leased land, either way, you want it for your exclusive use. Of course you want someone else to pay for it.
    Have any of you ever compared the amount of wildlife in areas where cattle graze and where wolves prey? Ungulates are much more compatible with cattle than wolves.
    Instead of telling me how dumb I am, why don’t you point out the benefit to the ungulate herds, and to the private ranchers from the wolves?
    There is a study that has just been released showing that the elk are not hiding in the trees, which has long been the story as to why we don’t seem them much in Yellowstone. Guess that is another computer model down the tubes, facts are so much different.

    [Editor’s Note:] The “study” that this article refers to has not been released in any peer-reviewed publication, and in it’s current form, it likely will not be. Marion will hold tight to this “study” being the last word on the topic, because that fits his world view. However, what the Casper Star Tribune article actually reports on is a “talk” that one University of Wyoming researcher gave, and his opinions about what his study was showing. There’s a reason that we insist upon peer-reviewed published data, Marion: It’s how science is done.

  36. I like hearing how negative and uninformed the other side is. It keeps me motivated to donate as often as I can to defenders of wildlife. And arguing is so much fun…

  37. Rob/Steve,
    As you both realize trying to have any type of discourse with Marion based on facts and sound science is doomed to failure. It is like the movie that stared Drew Barrymore “50 First Dates”. No mater how much facts, law , or data is presented on any given day, the next day is back to square one. Just for your personal information Rob, if you e-mail Ralph Maughan and ask why he ran off Marion months ago I bet he would say about the same thing. I can’t speak for him but I believe that played a large part in that decision as well as also running off Wolfen–twice. With all due respect I believe that going out and having a conversation with a fence post would be way more intellectually stimulating and informative than wasting even one more syllable on either one, which I won’t.

  38. Also, have you actually been to cooke city and silver gate? There are more than enough stores and eateries there to service everyone. Do you know anything about how busy they are in the winter etc? Things can improve or decline without new businesses opening. Business could be up 50% for all you know at the soda butte lodge for example and by your standard the economy is failing because nobody has built a new lodge across the street. You simplify and generalize way too much. Show me some HARD FACTS and numbers before you shoot your mouth off about an anecdotal story about someone closing down in gardiner. All of these unverified stories you continually present could be caused by wolves and they also could not. They are all your opinion. If i showed you a picture of a roadkilled animal a few days after it was scavenged you would probably blame its death on wolves. This is the unfactual world of exaggeration that you come from.

  39. Marion, I know that the main motel in silver gate has and is undergoing an expansion since my first visit there in 2003. Coincidence? A resteraunt went out of business… must have been the wolves! Of course you know that there arent 1000 other reasons someone could go out of business. I am sure if they are as simpleminded as you they would scapegoat the wolves. I am sure if my business failed, i would come up with excuses too.

    Ranchers suffer because of wolves and others suffer because of ranching. What about fishermen who have to fish downstream from grazing areas? What about hunters, hikers etc (not just in wolf areas) who can’t use thousands of acres of their own public lands because private parties are using the land for profit. What about water being diverted for farms? That takes water away from people who need it and from fish that people need to catch for food. Maybe the enviros arent the only greedy ones. And the government didnt put something on someone’s land to kill their businesses. They put something on OUR land. You own it and I own it. That is why there should be hunting, ranching, and wildlife on our public lands. The american people own it so as many people as possible should get what they want on the land. Are you more of an american than I am? Is that what you are saying? Are your wants more important than my wants?

    Talking to you is really a waste of time. It is like beating a dead horse (a wolf must have killed it). Your all or nothing negative attitude is really sad. Normal practical people see that wolves, hunting and ranching can coexist, especially with private parties helping to defer the cost of wolf losses (the government should step in and compensate people more but then again they want wolf conflict and hysteria. If they spent 10% of what they spend killing wolves each year on compensation this debate would be over and everyone would be happy.) I had a great deal of respect for hunting and ranching before i heard people like you whining about wolves. I doubt you hunt or ranch so maybe you should shut up and let them speak for themselves.

  40. No, Rob, I know of no “scientific evidense” of a benefit to the livestock industry, nor to wildlife by the wolves. I do know of a “study” done by a guy in Montana the purported to show a 45 million financial benefit to the state. How this could be I do not know, 2 towns are primarily the beneficiaries fo wolf watchers. Neither has built a new restaraunt nor motel since the introduction. And in fact a former restaraunt owner in Gardiner was interviewed on Billings TV. He had to give his up because of the declining business since the wolves eliminated the late hunt. The gift store on the north end of the main street is now empty too, I don’t know what happened.
    I am confused by your statement that land belongs to nobody, does that mean I or someone else can come take your home and let you continue to pay for it? What about your car, tv, computer, etc? Are those fair game too?
    As for the government breaking their word, yes some of the white settlers that did not have enough where they were had sheep and cattle, sometimes one or two milk cows. Many were miners, some were rich city guys that saw a way to come out and fleece other people.
    Those who destroyed the wolves that were eating their means of surviving were not that different from the eastern folk that killed wolves for the same reason…so they could survive.
    And yes, it is very much like the treatment of the Indian, what they said they would take was never enough, just like the 300 wolves that enviros said they wanted is not even a drop in the bucket to what they are are demanding now.

  41. Yes, my brother is very familiar with defenders. What is irritating is that defenders does not always compensate at the full value of the loss of livestock. But only partially compensates. Anyway, since most of his livestock losses from wolves occurr on private land then I have no problem with the killing of wolves that harrass, caught in the act, or have killed his or any other ranchers cattle. I would hope every rancher or livestock owner use this method.

    In speaking with livestock producers they hardly consider this private compensation program as an unprecedented olive branch held out to ranchers. They see it as a hinderance for a protected species that was once removed for the very problems they now face. In fact, they see it as as the wolf lovers idea of populating the western states with a predatory animal just so they can hear them or see them once in a while and go back to their city jobs to reminisce and tell their friends about this wonderful creature all the while those who live off the land are facing an uphill battle trying to protect their livelihoods and financial interests for your enjoyment and benefit.

    So you are correct. They do face risks of turning or not turning a profit because the elements do play a major role in success or failure. However, the sad thing about that is the government got rid of wolves almost a hundred years ago because of this very reason. Those in the livestock industry know about mother nature. All they need is another ‘introduced’ element that was removed for the very reasons we have discussed.

    Since there are now more elements against them the rancher should work to adequately protect their assets against the elements (removal or killing of the wolf comes to mind).

  42. Pingback: Ralph Maughan’s Wildlife News Wolf Tug-of-War in the Southwest «

  43. Marion, unless you are an “Indian”, I think you ought to think before you make such stupid statements. This land belongs to nobody. We all belong to it, all of us–including the wolves. Moreover, the “white men” who moved West and destroyed the indigenous cultures here included, in large numbers, the cattlemen and sheepmen. The destruction of native peoples went hand-in-hand with the destruction of the Wild.

    As far as the benefits incurred by wolves, Marion, you’ve been around these websites long enough to know that there is scientific evidence aplenty to demonstrate the benefit of wolves to their native ecosystems. Likewise, there’s scientific evidence aplenty showing the ecological devastation wrought on the Western landscape by livestock grazing. So, spare me the indignation.

  44. Name one other industry where someone deliberately does some thing to cause harm and calls it “nature”. Again it is useless to argue this, because pro wolf people feel entitled to have the wolves on someone else’s land and for someone else to protect them or face the wrath of the law. There is not even any compassion for the hardships caused to ranch families by these things.
    Would any of you care to explain to your kids how wonderful it is to have their dog or bum lamb torn apart? Or their pony? And how lucky they are? Of course not that is why you want to put them in someone elses yard.
    The list of harm caused by the wolves is very long, can you name one benefit? And please do not tell me the BS about killing the sick, lame, etc. You only have to look at Yellowstone itself to see how elk and moose have benefited, single digit calf survival rates for one. My heart breaks when I spend a day and never see an elk there, except for those hugging the buildings at Mammoth for protection. Is that really nature?
    I can understand why folks like to see a wolf, I do not understand the hatred of those who had them imposed into their lives. And I do not understand the wanting more and more of them. I have noticed that they are keeping pretty quiet about the number of pups this year, and knowing that one pack was supposed to be having 7 litters, I can imagine they do not want folks to know jsut how many are still not enough.
    It is kind of like when the white man told the Indian he only wanted a little of his land….then a lot more….then a lot…

  45. Wolfen: Ranchers do receive compensation for confirmed and even likely losses to wolves, from a private fund managed by Defenders of Wildlife and to which Sinapu has contributed; all they need do is request an investigation of the depredation and apply for compensation.

    Notably, this private compensation program is a unprecedented olive branch held out to ranchers. Name one other industry, besides agriculture, that insists upon compensation from the public for losses incurred by Nature. Seriously, ranchers do not have an inherent right to turn a profit. They are in a business where the elements play a major role in success or failure. If they don’t want to incur that risk, they should: 1) work to adequately protect their assets against the elements (herders come to mind); 2) get out of the business. They should not insist that they be provided with a risk free landscape. Doing so simply perpetuates the confounding image of the big, rough-and-tumble cowboy whimpering softly at the public teat.

  46. If I own a 90 acre ranch and run 1000+ cattle on 70,000 acres of public lands, then my entire livelihood depends access to those public lands. This leads to distortions and outright propaganda in order to maintain access to those public lands.

    Am I the only one who thinks this is a strange system? I mean, public lands grazing is suppose to supplement grazing on private land — but in the Gila there is NO private holdings of any consequence. They are all completely dependent on the public trust — yet show no respect to the multiple use that is the basis of National Forest lands.


  47. Marion, I have no illusions about how wolves get their food. I have a question for you. Do cows suffer when they go to slaughter? Do they suffer when they have to drink filthy bacteria filled water because of neglegent ranchers? (http://wolves.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/dead-and-dying-cattle-litter-gila-region-drawing-mexican-wolves/#more-1274) I like the comment on your site about wolves “torturing” elk. I always laugh when people pretend to feel sorry for elk when wolves kill them but then they go out and shoot/”torture” them themselves. Does an elk suffer less when it is shot and perhaps never retreived when it bleeds to death and/or dies of infection? Your “ranchers do no evil” attitude is really getting old. Here is a link. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/PRESS/gila-cattle-07-02-2007.html If a rancher is doing everything possible to prevent wolf kills and to keep their ranching operation clean then they have by all means earned the right to graze on public lands and to have problem wolves removed and to be compensated for losses. Otherwise, if they are found to be sloppy they deserve NOTHING and they should lose their right to lease public land.

  48. And if I get it right this time. It is not the last two wolves but the last two years.

  49. Previous comment should state New Mexico and not Wyoming

  50. Rob, you only want to believe those opinions that favor your values. Others, that live off the land do have wolf problems and it is greater than you think. I am not one to say that the ranchers in wyoming are making up a big story as you make it sound like. Why? Simply because my family has a cattle ranch in central idaho of 3000+ deeded acres surrounded by forest and BLM. They have been seeing wolves for the past 6-years but the last two wolves have really been causing problems and yes, killing livestock on private land. Lanowners/livestock owners should not have to worship this predator for killing his cattle. FWS removes the wolves and more just come back in and establishes new territory and it starts all over. Since you love the wolf how would you like to reimburse my brother roughly $15-20,000 in proven wolf kills. Unproven kills are likely 7-8 times this much.

  51. And all of the wolf sites are not tools for whipping up hatred against ranchers and trying to convince folks that your point of view is correct? As polarized as this issue is there is no way that any site presenting information is not going to be presenting the situation how they see it. That is to be expected when one side has all of the benefits and the other side all of the problems. There is absolutely no benefit to anyone actually dealing with the wolves. The “predator friendly” (does that mean they lay down and die fast?) cattle only stay that way until the rancher owning them actually gets hit too. Remember the guy last year that was so predator friendly? He wanted wolves killed when it was his livestock killed.
    Rob, the plain truth is wolves will come into the yard or anywhere else if they see something they want. They are not and have never been afraid. A dog was attacked near Dubois while being walked to the barn by it’s owner in the first couple of years of this. If you want to say it doesn’t matter if animals or property is destroyed near a house that is fine, admit it, but don’t try to pretend it doesn’t happen, it does, and it will increase, you can keep me or anyone from mentioning it, but that does not mean it isn’t happening.

  52. Wolfcrossing.org is nothing more than a tool for whipping-up fear of wolves. Reading that website would leave the uninformed thinking that wolves are hiding behind every tree, just waiting to rip the ass out of a cow (or kid)–but why should facts matter?

    Wolves kill a relative handful of livestock each year. I don’t know how many times we need to retrace these facts, Marion. You should be ashamed! With all of the time you spend trying to incite people to riot over wolves, you could be out there actually taking care of livestock, immunizing them from the intestinal and respiratory diseases that kill tens-of thousands more livestock each year than wolves. Then again, perhaps whining is simply more satisfying.

  53. Steve, sorry if it upsets you to be reminded that wolves are not the shy retiring animal in the wilderness that you have set in your mind. They are opportunistic killers and will take down anything they can, either to eat or to practice killing.
    Try googling wolf kills on private land. It is pretty significant. Here is just one.

  54. Oh Jeff. Always good to hear from you. We have gone the rounds on this subsidy issue before but it does not seem to sink in. Just remember that before you complain about the public land rancher being a subsidized program that he pays his taxes too plus his AUM.

    You only pay taxes for the use of public land. In the true sense this makes the human use of public lands a completely 100% subsidized program. All people pay their taxes so you can enjoy public lands for camping, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, 4-wheeling, boating, etc.

    So jus remember that before you write something like your last comment that you are eating your own words because your use of public lands is 100% subsidized. Obviously, the Feds valued the use of public lands at a much lower value than private land when it comes to livestock use. However, by definition, this is not a subsidy.

  55. Steve,
    not to mention subsidising the cattle themselves on the public land that is maintained by the tax money.

  56. Marion, I love how every wolf kill you refer to occurs right next to the house or right on the front porch. You are so dramatic! There really is no place where any predators can exist without getting into trouble, especially when they are near ignorant human population who want to do nothing to try to adjust their lives to live with them rather than killing and competing with them. The city wolf lover pays taxes that pay for both the mexican wolf recovery program and pay for the public lands that the wolves and cattle exist on. I dont know how many thousands of times you can be reminded of that and still ignore it.

  57. And how many wolves have been killed on each of those ranches. A fair number of those affected are American Indians, now you would have to ask them why they as well as others were raising livestock probably before you guys were even born. A better question might be why the wolves were planted where they could not help but get into trouble, right in the midst of ranches and livestock. The horse killed recently was by the house.
    Here is a link to an article about the whole “reintroduction” of the wolves and some of the problems. I will be upfront and state it is sympathetic to ranchers.
    I worry about the numbers of Mexican wolves growing to the point that they start impacting the Navajo sheep, they could destroy a families entire livelihood in one night. Not that it would matter to the city wolf lover at all, he is entitled to whatever he wants and no cost is too great for others to pay.

  58. Y Canyon Ranch, deeded 80 acres, public lands grazing 52,667 acres

    Hacienda del Espirito Ranch, deeded 79 acres, public lands grazing 14,120 acres

    CrossV Ranch, deeded 58 acres, public lands grazing 14,000 acres

    T Bar Ranch, deeded 120 acres, public lands grazing 77,200 acres

    and the list just keeps going ………..

    again, you would think that since the entire livelihood of ranching in the GILA requires the ongoing use of public lands grazing that they would be grateful for the PRIVILEGE.

    and also, again, Marion: you don’t seem to have the facts about ranching in the Southwest. Maybe you should stick to issues closer to your home until you take the time to do your homework.


  59. I laughed out loud at your first point, Todd. Marion, how about the dumb humans who put themselves into business in an industry with KNOWN RISKS. Do you feel that predations on cattle did not occur prior to wolves being introduced? Were there no caues of mortality whatsoever to cattle before wolves (you sure act like a cow that dies of natural causes is somehow not as much of a loss as a wolf kill.) If someone is making thousands off of a government program (using public lands for ranching) and they do not do everything necessary to prevent then they should accept minor losses from another government program (wolf reintroduction).

  60. Can you document them leaving their dead cows delibertly? The small amount of land you claim (I have heard the same claims here that were absolutely not true).

  61. Marion,

    For years when we discussed wolves in WY, you continued to say “you don’t live in WY, so it is not your business.” Am I to assume you live in southern NM now? Do you have any experience ranching in NM?

    The ranchers in the Gila refuse to clean up their cattle carcasses. They even refuse to allow FWS to do it (the dead cattle are private property, even on public land). The ranchers are going out of their way to get their cattle killed by wolves — with the hope of getting rid of the wolves.

    The ranches down there are tiny — most are deeded at about 80 acres. But many have public lands allotments of 70,000+ acres that they run cattle on year round. You would think they would have a little more concern how they use the public land — since their entire livelihood depends on the privilege of public lands grazing.


  62. Do you have even the slightest concern for the family that had a couple thousand dollars taken from them by an animal that was known to eat beef, and was still put in the position to do it by dumb humans?

  63. It appears that the Kempthorne Interior Dept. has declared all out war on all the re-introduced wolf segments in the west.