By Halina Szyposzynski
The military has its “five-o’clock follies.” The Mexican Wolf Adaptive Management Work Group (MWAMWG) has its “quarterly quirks.” Items from the January 27th meeting:
· After receiving complaints from Greenlee County residents, wolf managers are removing the phrase “Wolf Country” from signage advising of wolf presence in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. Apparently, this language has offended the sensitivities of wolf opponents. Shooting sports enthusiasts throughout the Recovery Area will appreciate that the revised signs, as compared to the current ones, are expected to be of equal target practice value. Perhaps greater, being fresh.
· A proposed compensation and incentive plan, currently in its conceptual stage, would establish a non-governmental fund to pay ranchers for tolerating wolves. Its possible structure? A board composed of local residents – none of whom are offended by the phrase “Wolf Country” – would evaluate livestock loss claims and adjudicate compensation amounts. Ranchers would be paid to take proactive measures to reduce livestock predation, examples of which did not include carcass removal or liming. Ranchers would also receive payments for each loss attributed (conceptually?) to wolves. Presumably, the bank cutting the checks would have a board of directors, composed of as yet unspecified parties. The audience was assured that “this is not the fox guarding the henhouse.”
Payments could be made in advance for the anticipated livestock loss increase attributed to wolf presence, above some hypothetically normal rate of loss. Payments could be based on the number of living wolves or pups produced; the problem with this option is that it requires an actual increase in living wolves and pups. Alternatively, payments could be based on the number of cows grazed, on public lands. No word yet on whether rates of lightning, starvation, illness or falling off cliffs, which cause the vast majority of cattle losses, are also expected to increase. Read the rest of this entry »