Imnaha pack’s breeding pair to be protected in Oregon control action

Wildlife Services authorized to kill only two uncollared wolves after pack kills 5 head of livestock-

The state of Oregon seems to be to be taking a reasonable, measured bit of action after that state’s only confirmed wolf pack killed a handful of livestock in the upper Wallowa Valley.

According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, “The lethal action is aimed at killing wolves that are showing an interest in livestock, not wolves simply in the area, and will be limited to an area where three of the confirmed livestock kills are clustered. Under the terms of the authorization, the wolves can be killed a) only within three miles of three clustered locations with confirmed livestock losses by wolves and b) only on privately-owned pasture currently inhabited by livestock. ODFW’s authorization will be valid until June 11, 2010.”

If Idaho and Montana took this kind of approach, the wolf controversy would be much less.

ODFW authorizes lethal removal of wolves
Breeding pair to be protected

News Release from ODFW

74 Responses to “Imnaha pack’s breeding pair to be protected in Oregon control action”

  1. jon Says:

    Why should the first solution always be kill kill kill? There should not be hunting seasons if wildlife services are still allowed to kill as many wolves as they do. If you really think about it, with the quota for the next wolf hunt in Idaho if it happens being most likely higher than 220 and with all of the wolves that wildlife services kill, there is no doubt in my mind they are trying to kill as many wolves as possible. The first solution should never be killing wolves. Wolves are being killed to cater to ranchers.

  2. Ralph Maughan Says:

    jon,

    Maybe I misunderstood you comment above, but this is in Oregon.

    • jon Says:

      Yeah sorry Ralph, I was venting about Idaho for a minute. Ralph, do you have any idea how many wolves are in Oregon?

    • Save bears Says:

      Not Ralph,

      But last time I heard there are 14 confirmed wolves in the state of OR…it has been posted here a few times Jon..

  3. Ralph Maughan Says:

    The Imnaha Pack once had 11 wolves, but with the control and natural losses, it must be less. However, there might be pups!

    I think there is a lone wolf collared and a couple more are probably out there.

    • jon Says:

      With the so few wolves in Oregon, what would happen if all of the wolves in Oregon attacked and kill a farmer’s livestock? Would the 11 wolves in Oregon all be given death sentences by wildlife services as well? When will this bs end. So few wolves and ws are still executing wolves. Does ws even attempt to find solutions (non-lethal methods) before resorting to the gun?

    • Ryan Says:

      Jon,

      They did attempt non lethal solutions prior to issuing the kill order. These wolves have been killing livestock for over a year, Everyone has been very patient up to this point.

    • JEFF E Says:

      Wm,
      the wolves reintroduced into the NRMRA had in essence shepherds 24/7/365.
      those moving down the Cascades did not.

  4. ProWolf in WY Says:

    I agree with Jon. There should be other solutions looked at first. That is what worries me about a hunting season on wolves.

    • jon Says:

      Hunting season + wildlife services=many wolves dead pro wolf in wy

      This is 2010 and we have agencies like ws flying around in helicopters massacring animals all for the benefit of the farmer. It sickens me.

  5. Rita K. Sharpe Says:

    It also worries me.

  6. JEFF E Says:

    In my opinion there are wolves moving down the cascade range.

    http://www.conservationnw.org/pressroom/press-clips/wolf-sightings-on-rise-in-oregon-cascades

    notice that Wikiup Reservoir is on the east slope of the Cascades quite a wayes south of Portland and only ~350 miles south of North Cascades National park Where wolves including pups have been sighteds as far back as 1990.

    http://www.nps.gov/archive/noca/wolf.htm

    and there would be nothing to stop them from going right down the Cascdes for the last 20 or so years.
    anyway that is my considered opinion

    • JEFF E Says:

      Consider: as far back as 1994(14 years ago) it was thought as many as six packs inhabited the Cascades in Washington state; ranging as far south as Mt. St Helens
      http://wilderness.nps.gov/document/stephen_mather.pdf

      Consider: Mt. St. Helens is about 45 miles from the Washington -Oregon border. (an afternoon hike for any self respecting wolf)

      The columbia river IS NOT an insurmountable barrier to a wolf; probably not even a significant one.

      Thoughts?

    • Save bears Says:

      I reported wolves to the Washington Game Dept in the early 90’s and was told there were no wolves in WA, That was around the Willard area, just south of the Mt. Adams area..despite their denial, I know for a fact wolves have been moving down the Cascades for years now…

    • JEFF E Says:

      SB,
      I would take your word as more credible.
      Why do you think that there is the denial especially in light of the overwhelming documentation otherwise?

    • Save bears Says:

      Jeff,

      I believe most game depts in the US are afraid to admit their are wolves in their state, look at what has happened in the Northern Rockies..also remember that was right before the re-introductions in Yellowstone and Idaho, I think admitting there were wolves migrating on there own, some felt it may have messed the re-introductions up, there is a whole lot of politics going on with wolves and has been for at least the last 30 years..

    • Save bears Says:

      Another thing I will mention, when I took my hunters safety class and that was over 35 years ago, in SW Washington, our instructors talked about wolves in WA and we got a cursory course on how to tell the difference between them and coyotes, and were told we could not shoot wolves. As I said, this has been going on long before the re-introductions and longer than many of the current wolf advocates have even been alive…

    • JEFF E Says:

      ..that dovetails with my documentation….

    • WM Says:

      Jeff,

      I would tend generally to agree with you (and SB). The Wildlife/Game Departments of both WA and OR will be conservative stating the numbers they believe to be in their states for at least three reasons: 1) they need confirmed sightings (genetic evidence too) with 100 percent proof 2) they do not want the wolves bothered by even benevolent and curious viewers 3) the do not want to overly alarm affected user groups who might do harm.

      I tend to agree the Columbia (or Snake) would not be insurmountable waterbodies if swimmed at the right spot, but could to some extent affect dispersal. My wife used to be an open water swimmer, and has crossed the Columbia at the White Salmon (town in WA) mill, across to the beach motel at Hood River, in OR. It is about a mile and the water is pretty calm, there. I have done it in a sea kayak as a spotter for her in an organized swim, in less than 15 minutes. The biggest lethal obstacle to crossing would be I-80 Freeeway on the Oregon side, again not insurmountable. If wolves chose to use a bridge, most have toll takers, if I recall, and so if one walked across, it would have to pass within about 40 feet of a human at the booth, which is manned 24-7.

      I have hunted the area north of St. Helens down to the Green River) in the mid to late 1990’s, but not seen sign or heard from anyone regarding wolves. The designated St. Helens Monument itself is still pretty open and the elk are doing extremely well there. There are enough observers and scientists of various types from many organizations continually combing that area doing research. It would be hard to keep quiet if wolves were present, notwithstanding silence from wildlife officials, IMHO.

      There are lots of places for wolves coming down from the north, into the North Cascades, west of Winthrop, which is where that idiot killed a wolf in the last couple of years and tried to mail the hide to Canada for taxidermy work. Many places for wolves to travel and go unnoticed as parts are not used that much by humans making a good corridor south. However, as one moves south of Lake Chelan the area gets pretty well used by humans (including deer and elk hunters) and if there were wolves in any numbers they would be noticed – and believe me on this – reported, or maybe even 3S’ed (low probablity but still possible). I am not optimistic that the Steven Mather Wilderness report you cite from 1994 is true. Six confirmed or even suspected packs back then would mean a whole lot more today – pretty simple math and biology on that one, in my view.

      Of course, all these areas are OUTSIDE the boundary for the delisting of the NRM wolves which is about 50-100 miles to the east.

    • JEFF E Says:

      outside the fact that this document is a line of shit about a mile wide it would be interesting to do an FOIA….

    • Save bears Says:

      Jeff,

      I guess I lost the train of thought? Which document is a piece of shit a mile wide, did I miss something?

    • JEFF E Says:

      Wm,
      when taking in to account the earlier documents I cited referencing the NCNP, the stephen mather document , authored four years later, does not seem too much of a stretch.
      It has always been my contention that there are far more animals of all types with wider ranges that is generally accepted.
      Of course I spend a significant amount of time roaming at night, so my opinion is probably biased.

    • JEFF E Says:

      http://wdfw.wa.gov/wildlife/management/gray_wolf/response_guidelines_feb2010.pdf
      sorry,
      I work graveyard so it is waaaaay past my bedtime

    • WM Says:

      Sorry, Jeff I don’t catch the meaning of your comment following my long post.

    • JEFF E Says:

      Again ,
      WM sorry, while you were writng I was falling asleep, check my last cite…

    • WM Says:

      Jeff, SB,

      No way to easily verify it, but I am going to take an educated guess that the wolves in Eastern OR and Southeast WA (confirmed and susupected) as of today, originate from ID and are not genetically connected with the N. Cascade/Okanogan area wolves coming down from Canada. It would appear the wolves north of Spokane in the Pend Orielle area are also Canadian (or NW Montana wolves which also originated from Canada) and heading south and maybe east and west, habitat permitting.

      I just don’t know what to say about SB’s belief of wolves in the St. Helens/Mt. Adams area. I believe they are discontinuous from any of the N Cascade/Okanogan/Pend Orielle wolves for the reasons I stated in thei earlier post above. My sense is if there were wolves there in the 1990’s there would be many more today, and they would also be present on the Yakima Indian Reservation to the east of Mt. Adams. To conclude otherwise seems counter-intuitive and contrary to the logic of biology. These wolves are going to want to expand territory to accomodate increasing population and searching for diversely genetic mates.

      SB, or anyone, have an opinionr or explanation, or any verifiable information in that regard?

      And, Jeff, my sense is some of these papers like the Mather status report of 1994 was prepared by junior park planners and not carefully reviewed, reflecting wishful thinking, rather than hard data. Same argument here on dispersal as the St. Helens area.

      Please, somebody prove me wrong on this.

    • JEFF E Says:

      Respectfully disagree WM,
      wolves were photographed in the NSNP in the 1990’s. that means they were there some time before that. When wolves disperse they will go in any given direction.
      the path of least resistance is south, along the cascades

    • Save bears Says:

      WM,

      You can doubt all you want, as a biologist, I can assure you, I know what I have seen and what I have reported and there are other that have seen and reported the same as I have…

      I did my final field studies in this area when I was getting my biology degree studying elk, there is a lot more in that area than most are willing to accept or even contemplate..

      I can also tell you, where my property is in NW Montana, there are a heck of a lot more wolves that the generally accepted official reports…

      I really don’t understand, why, people have such a doubting nature about this because their is no official government reports, but yet, when an official government report comes out about wolves predating, those are also doubted…

      Believe me, I have nothing to gain, or loose by reporting what I have seen with my own eyes, it is simply information I am passing on, based on my personal experience..

    • JEFF E Says:

      sorry,
      meant NCNP

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Where did these wolves come from?

      It isn’t speculation, but known that the currently identified Oregon wolves originated from Idaho, although the Imnaha Pack is mostly wolves born in Oregon to Idaho born parents.

      The Washington wolves near Spokane also migrated from Idaho, but the now well know pack near Twisp,WA migrated from Canada. Not only that but from the coastal B.C. wolves, not the interior wolves.

    • JEFF E Says:

      all that is true Ralph,
      but what seems to have been …..sidetracked……is the early accounts of wolves in NCNP; 1990 and earlier, plus accounts of wolves in the Oregon cascades as far south as Wickiup reservoir.
      My considered opinion is that wolves are moving down the cascades independent of the NRM recovery area, which I believe the historical evidence supports.

    • WM Says:

      SB, Jeff,

      I am just trying to reconcile the reason for the slow expansion from what you or others have observed, which appears to go back nearly twenty years.

      Despite what I have said generally, I am not so much doubting the observations (SB, I do believe you to be a truthful biologist and person). The real issue is, exactly what constraints are holding back expansion in the areas where wolves have been reported?

      The mystery is confounded by comparison to the extremely rapid dispersal from the NRM into WA and OR. Again, at least for WA, why aren’t they moving to occupy prey rich habitat from areas they have been observed fifteen or more years ago. Is it a question of generating “critical mass” for reproduction and genetic exchange?

    • R.N.T. Says:

      If what SB and JeffE say is true, which seems logical, it would actually be similar to what occured in NW MT. If you were to have asked my Grandpa he would have told you that wolves were never exterminated in NW/NC MT, of which I also saw wolves frequently growing up in this region before the reintroduction. For whatever reason wolves never seemed to expand at a rapid rate until the wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone and central Idaho. The reason for this I cannot say….

    • JEFF E Says:

      sorry different conversation so this is a double post
      Wm,
      the wolves reintroduced into the NRMRA had in essence shepherds 24/7/365.
      those moving down the Cascades did not.

    • WM Says:

      Jeff,

      Would that be a euphemism for 3S?

      As the crow flies, it is only about 190 miles from Indian Heaven Wilderness to Wickiup Reservoir. Pretty good corridor path for one or more adventurous wolves to head south, generally tracking a swath along, or even on portions of, the Pacific Crest Trail.

      Jeff, the more I think about it, your theory seems plausible. I keep coming back to the stealthiness of it all, combined with the very low numbers and lack of conflict with livestock or hunter/hiker/motorist observations, and that keeps the skepticism factor fairly high for me – at least for now.

      And, just to be candid, I too believe there are a fair number of wolves out there that are not reflected in official counts, wherever they may be, or on their way to. I have consistently expressed that view with all the wolf populations we have been talking about, most particularly the Great Lakes wolves, because so many are not tracked electronically (MN especially) and the estimation techniques have multiple biases that tend to under-estimate.

    • JEFF E Says:

      WM,
      wolves have been moving south from Canada for ever.(At least after the North was repopulated from the South after the last Ice Age, but I digress) The numbers increased in the early/mid eighties as Canada (Alberta, BC) scaled back the “scorched earth ” policy of predator control which was more intense in the Southern areas.
      http://www.class.uidaho.edu/kpgeorge/issues/wolves_reintroduction/reintroduction_recolonization.htm

      (think livestock industry,on both sides of the totally imaginary, to animals, border)(I know I am preaching to the choir but there are lurker’s which go into an absolute conniption when confronted with facts).
      So….. to your question; it is my belief that the now popular term of SSS as always been the predominant factor. and that applies not only to wolves.
      When I was growing up there was never a second thought of killing what ever,or any, animal that was considered as being a threat, most often a very nebulous concept at best. That would include wolves, coyotes, badgers, fox, weasel’s, hawks, eagles, cougars, bobcats, lynx, …(fill in the blank).

      to cut to the chase; I work in a “very” blue collar industry. Daily, I speak with and enjoy the conversation with those who live in remote locations of the Rocky Mountains.
      there are two very predominate themes in regard to wolves;
      “there have always been wolves coming through” (think about this quotation, it IS significant.)(and it is verbatim in 99+% of the conversations), and “we always shot them when we saw them”(curiously this last quote dropped off to non-existent after 1973).
      draw your own conclusions.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Jeff E,

        I think the reduction in predator control in southern Alberta and B.C in the 80s, as you said, allowed wolves to migrate south and reinhabit NW Montana.

        The big growth in wolves, however, did not occur until reintroduction because there is a take-off point in numbers. It’s like getting a campfire started. If the fire goes out, it is at first when the flames are small. Idaho, western Montana and western Wyoming are naturally good wolf habitat. Once started, their numbers grew rapidly, and federal protection helped a lot.

        I think it was WM who wondered why wolves don’t automatically expand into the very best habitat. I think it is because wolves explore somewhat randomly. They more or less stumble onto good areas. I was amazed how long it took Yellowstone wolves to find Jackson Hole. Of course, they found it so long ago, comparatively speaking,that few remember that about 4 years had to pass before the first solid packs formed in Jackson Hole. At the time, it seemed like forever to me. I was fond of saying it was my god-given right to eat a hamburger next to Elk Refuge while I watched wolves dine on elk. However, I quit eating beef and the wolves were almost never seen hunting the Refuge fenceline

    • JEFF E Says:

      I agree Ralph. the reintroduced wolves had shepherds 24/7.
      but I also believe that the same thing that happened in Montana as far as natural expansion also happened in Washington in the cascades.

  7. Nancy Says:

    Gotta figure Oregon is probably now taking their cues from Montana and Idaho and, their little contribution overall, to livestock numbers when it comes to this part of the country.

    But, as we all know …….money talks, and lobbyists for the livestock industy are crawling all over Washington, propping up the “Where’s the Beef?” mentality, even if it abuses land and wildlife.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      I think it will be interesting to see how Oregon and Washington act when the populations increase. I hope that the wolves not being actively reintroduced won’t make them as controversial as the ones in the Northern Rockies. Just so they don’t get like Utah…

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      ProWolf in WY

      Unfortunately the Oregon Cattle Association, which has always seemed particularly shrill, is actively trying to stir up fear and hatred in the Eastern Oregon area.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Sadly, I’m not surprised Ralph.

  8. Imnaha pack’s breeding pair to be protected in Oregon control action « The Wildlife News | Write Wallowa County Says:

    […] Imnaha pack’s breeding pair to be protected in Oregon control action « The Wildlife News. […]

  9. Si'vet Says:

    So here the endless circle continues, the Inmha pack, we have wolves killing livestock, and it’s the ranchers fault, or the WS or whatever. And by the way calling a rancher a farmer jon is the same as calling a fisherman a hunter. So we’ll go round and round, and it will either be the hunters or the ranchers fault. What’s interesting is when CRYING that wolves are going to be anniliated, or wiped out or slaughtered beyond extinction. And ranchers should be protecting their livestock even though they haven’t had to for almost a hundred years, you get the interjections of, they should be using flandry or dogs. Then when you challenge flandry for 25 miles or dogs for 25,000+++ acres it all gets quiet, then a few weeks or months down the road Jon makes another post and it’s the same thing over. And it hunters doing all the crying. Whats the definition of insanity, doing or crying about the same thing over and over and expecting different results. YES Cobra I’ve had a b-tt full for now. Good thing Jonny shared the address to the Black Bear Blog, as T-bone I’ve had my share of rifts there as well, why, because I’m a hunter, who try’s to see the whole picture, but even though I don’t agree with everything, at least when someones challenged they are adult enough to share there mind. I’m going to time out for a bit.

    • Taz Alago Says:

      Just to set the record straight, there are 14 known wolves in Oregon, all in Wallowa County. Ten are at the south end, the Imnaha pack, four at the north end, the Wenaha pack. The Imnaha pack has a breeding pair (probably now with new pups), not known if ditto with the Wenaha pack.

      The first confirmed depredation occurred 3/25 in the Imnaha pack area near Joseph. The total now stands at 5, all in the same general area, and all assumed to be by the Imnaha pack. No collared wolves are implicated. The Imnaha breeding pair and two others of the pack are collared. No Wenaha wolves are collared. No Wenaha wolves are implicated in attacks.

      Although ranchers are reported to be burying their bone piles, there are unburied carcasses within a few miles of the attack sites, but they are old.

      No wolves have been reported killed to date.

  10. jon Says:

    Supposedly having cowboys on horses watch rancher’s cattle has been known to keep wolves away. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Can anyone think of good solutions that will keep wolves from killing livestock without them being killed for it? There has to be other and better alternatives than ws gunning wolves down.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      jon,

      It definitely helps.

      Of course, sheep are usually attended, but far too many cattle operators just turn out the cattle and check them just on occasion, or maybe not at all. Some come back in September to collect them, expecting the range be made perfectly safe, with almost all of them ready to be rounded up.

      In recent years, failure to find some are frequently blamed on wolves despite finding no remains.

    • WM Says:

      jon,

      It is my understanding that fladry works – for awhile and then becomes ineffective (studies seem to prove this). Riders on horses, especially at night, for cattle means a huge labor cost, because they would have to be out there in fairly high density, and I also suspect it becomes ineffective after awhile as well. What is a rider in the dark going do in a wolf attack and be very effective.

      And, of course, there are the large dogs, which seem to work for sheep, but are impractical for cattle, and did we mention they are expensive to buy, train, and wolves seem to be able to kill or injure them pretty readily.

      Haven’t we been over this several times the last few weeks?

    • JEFF E Says:

      Ralph,
      I have hunted that area you and I have talked about up mink creek,across from cherry springs, in mid October, and have come across “missed” cow’s, several times.
      although tempting I did not succumb.
      LOL

  11. Barb Rupers Says:

    symhttp://www.bluemountaineagle.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=12&ArticleID=24101posium

    There is an article in the Blue Mountain Eagle, Grant County, OR that covers an event sponsered by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and Eastern Oregon University Range Club. The featured speakers were Jim Beers and a ranch manager from Idaho, Casey Anderson. Mr. Anderson claimed that his cattle had fecal tests which were positive for tapeworms and suggested they were being spred by wolves. The important point is that cattle do not carry adult tapeworms in their digestive tract, therefore, they can not have eggs in their feces nor is there a fecal test that will show whether the animal has the encysted form of the tapeworm. Crying wolf again?

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Barb Rupers,

      You are absolutely right. If cattle have tapeworms in their feces, then it cannot be the same tapeworm that the wolves and other canids have. It would be in their flesh as a cyst.

    • JEFF E Says:

      careful Barb, you are using definable facts.
      that does not fly well in certain locales….

  12. Taz Alago Says:

    I think the way cattle are managed will have to change. Cattle will have to be attended by cowherds or where practicable in enclosures protected by fladry (like during calving). In some terrain this may not be possible, so maybe cows shouldn’t be there. Should these measures also apply to private land? I don’t know.

    Attending cattle on the range will cost more. Ranchers hate the idea. They eliminated wolves in the first place so they wouldn’t have to guard their stock.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Where is one going to get cowboys? Monday, I was in Jackson, Montana and stayed at the hot springs lodge, when I worked in the Big Hole Valley in 1966 at 15 years of age there were cowboys. I was sitting at the bar and told the bartender that when I was 15, I sat at this bar and drank beer and no one cared. He replied “it is different today and there is a rumor about an underage sting that might go on this weekend”. Today, the town of Jackson which was once a cowboy and ranching outpost is now a summer gathering place of Harley Davidson’s, modern day cowboys on their “horses”.

      There were a number of trucks hauling in yearlings for summer fatting before fall finishing in a feedlot for 30 to 90 days. A good share of the land is private and there are only a few real cowboys left, not enough to do the job. I do not think anyone one in that community or the motorcyclists could careless about wolves. There is only so much tolerance for wolves. No one is going to change there animal husbandry practices and wildlife services is going to continue shooting wolves, ranchers are going to continue shooting wolves and others are going to continue shooting wolves. It will be interesting tonight at the wolf quota meeting.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Elk275,

      A goal of Western Watersheds Project is to change grazing practices (animal husbandry practices).

      WWP would like to see more cowboys out there. These ranchers all want to go around with their hats and boots, and have us honor them as the true citizens of the West, but they don’t want to do the work.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Ralph

      I do not think there are very many cowboys left. Not enough for the current demand.

      The Paddock Ranch is Eastern Montana has gone to 4 wheelers because there is not enough cowboys/girls available. Four wheelers just do not cut it in certain areas. How many people know how to work cattle from the back of a horse; it has been a long time since I rode, roped and chased cattle from the back of a horse. It is too hard of work for no pay.

    • Angela Says:

      There are thousands of high school kids out there desperate for work. I’m sure they could learn the job and would love the chance to work outside. Grade horses are available for next to nothing these days and lots of teenagers already know how to ride, young women in particular.

      Personally, I believe having some riders on horseback and three or four large dogs accompanying the cattle could go a long ways to deterring predation. Having a 200-lb livestock guardian dog guard stock is probably most effective just by barking, because often predators are deterred by realizing that there is another large predator there. Same with firing a shot into the air or near a wolf. Wouldn’t it be more effective to train wolves to avoid attacking livestock rather than continually killing them? That way, the trait would be passed on within the pack.

      There are people already breeding large livestock guardian dogs in the states now and trying to import some of the central Asian breeds that are known to be quite able and willing to kill wolves. I don’t think the cost would be prohibitive. They are expensive to buy, but may be good guardians for ten years and can reproduce on their own. Like I said, livestock guardian dogs are natural at guarding; “training” them is not a huge effort and you don’t hire someone to train a LGD.

      Compromise needs to go both ways. Ranchers have benefited from degrading and destroying our public land, wildlife forage, and trout streams for long enough. The more people want to go out and enjoy public lands for camping, hiking, photography, etc., the more pressure there will be for resource management changes to suit all stakeholders. The larger urban areas grow and populations increase, the more city people will be voting to protect these areas.

      Ranchers should have to modify the way they manage cattle just like every other person involved in resource use or extraction has had to do over the last few decades. Fifty years ago, we thought nothing of damming a stream and preventing salmon from accessing their spawning grounds or dumping enormous amounts of DDT into a lake to control mosquitoes. These days, there are numerous regulations controlling what private companies can do to protect public resources. Plenty of other ways of life have gone by the wayside and I expect large-scale cattle ranching will become less and less common. There are other ways of making money if you have large amounts of land that don’t involve raising cows. I just don’t think this type of ranching is going to remain economically viable or desirable in the long term.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      People can get sheepherders, why not the same for cattle?

  13. Linda Hunter Says:

    Wolves down to the Columbia River? Probably. My own reports of wolves in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest met with the same denial as Save Bear’s. In 1992 I saw unmistakable wolf tracks of three individuals traveling together. The Forest Service told me they were traveling through and not to worry about them (they were about 12 miles from the Columbia) . . more tracks in snow in 1994, not reported by me why bother . more tracks in 2005, a wolf sighting by me in 2006, one possible wolf track last summer. .wonder what I will see this summer.

    • Save bears Says:

      Linda,

      Are you familier with the South Prairie area? and the Big Lava Bed?

      I used to hunt that area all the time and that was our huck picking area, I have seen evidence of wolves in that area many times over the years and talked with many of the Native American’s that use the Indian Heaven Wilderness area for Native Rituals and have heard many reports of wolves.

      About the same time I saw the wolves near Willard, we also spent the opening weekend of bow season in the wilderness area and came upon wolf tracks in the Indian Race track clearing as well as scat…all denied by the Game Dept.

  14. Si'vet Says:

    Elk, never rode range, just pushed and gathered. What would be a best guess the number of range riders needed for 500 head spread out over 25,000 acres, for round the clock surveilance for 4 months. In typical to moderate rough country, say that country west northwest of Lima.

    • Taz Alago Says:

      If cows are going to be managed to reduce wolf depredation, they’re not going to be spread over 25,000 acres. They’re gong to be concentrated by cowherds or cross-fencing and moved often. I’m not talking about providing cowboys to drift around the range, but to actively control the cattle in an actual herd. That’s what I meant by changing management practices. Of course most ranchers resist this, but I’ve read some accounts of ranches that do business this way. It also can have the advantage of allowing more intelligent use of existing forage and of reducing damage associated with intensive grazing.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Se’vet

      ++Elk, never rode range, just pushed and gathered. What would be a best guess the number of range riders needed for 500 head spread out over 25,000 acres, for round the clock surveillance for 4 months. In typical to moderate rough country, say that country west northwest of Lima.++

      I have never rode range either and all I did was push and gather and tried several times to rope a cow, never caught one at least I have all of my fingers. The ranch that I worked on was a small operation in the Big Hole. Our ranch was on the valley floor of the Yellowstone and I chased and corralled an casual wayward cow.

      The one consideration is not only the number of cowboys, but the number of good quality Quarter Horses per cowboy. In 1980, I guided hunters in the Centennial Valley for several weeks. One the guides had worked the previous summer for the Matador Ranch which is northeast of Lima. Scott had five horses, that summer and used all five horses many days. When really pushing and riding a horse would last approximately 2 hours before you needed a remount. Then there is the question of range riders and where are you going to get them and what are you going to pay them with. They is very little money in cattle ranching and why people do it is beyond me. Within a generation or two the cowboy has disappeared, things have changed –computers.

      (Side note) I got an email this morning from the Caprivi Strip in Namibia from a big game booking agent “”In Caprivi it is still good hunting for all the dangerous stuff. The sad thing is that they have all this country blanketed with cell towers and even the poor bushman now have phones that go off when tracking. All the bushman are texting non stop. PH’s use cell phone instead of radios. I would say investing in overseas cell is a real good bet.” One day there will be no more bushman or trackers.

      Soon we will be a mono culture with only the Internet, Walmart and Macdonald’s.

      The question is how many range riders does this hypothetical operation need? I do not know. This is steep country and it would take a very good horseman and horses to effectively operate. But cattle will scatter and they need to be within a mile of water or there will be no weight gain. Then there will be different types of graze on that 25,000 acres that will be used different times of the year. I would be against fencing the land into smaller parcels due to the cost and impediment to wildlife crossing. Regardless whether or not we prevent wolves from killing cattle, there will be the wolves reducing there prey base which will decease hunting opportunity. This is not going to go over well with hunters or outfitters or the local people. I so not feel that the pro wolf people are going to be able to implement ideas on the locals regardless whether it is private, state of federal lands.

      Save bears said that there are more animals out there than we know, which is a very astute observation. My opinion regardless how hard pro wolf people work and the number of court cases they win the tri state area will only support 150 wolves and 10 breeding pairs per state outside of national parks. This will be governed by the tolerance of the populous of each state.

      Now, I must do some work the mortgage was due yesterday and I have a 15 days grace period.

    • jon Says:

      Range Riders: Keeping wolves and livestock out of harm’s way

    • Angela Says:

      I spent a month camping in the Caprivi Strip only five years ago and never ran across any evidence of this, but I have heard rumors. I know that trophy hunting is used to get rural residents to protect the indigenous wildlife and habitat. One trophy hunter pays more than a hundred wildlife tourists, if not a thousand. So it’s a trade-off. But it makes me sad to hear that everything is so changed by technology.

      However, I highly recommend going to the Caprivi area if you want to see what Eden might have looked like.

  15. Si'vet Says:

    So if you have cattle spread out over 39 sq. miles, could each rider, cover 5/10 sq. miles per shift, I would think the night riders would have to go a little slower, to keep from having a wreck. I know a rider on horse back can ride up pretty close to most game animals/and coyotes without spooking them, so probably a few dogs with each rider would either help or hurt, depending on wolf territorial issues.

  16. Si'vet Says:

    Taz, fencing and herding is another issue all together, and not something that can be accomplished overnight. So hold that thought, while we work through something that “could” be put in place now. Since fencing cross fencing and hauling water via trucks over the amount of country we’re talking about is a huge time and $$$ consuming task. I personally have issues with fencing in regards to other wildlife, hopefully you read my post on the elk/barb wire fence.
    Some real quick math and these are general figures nothing concrete and have tried to keep them skewed to middle, please feel free to adjust.
    Cow calf operation = 250 cows and 250 calves and the calves are where the profit comes in.
    Summer graze on 250 @ 400 lbs. gain per each = 400lbs x 250 = 100,000 lbs. x 1.10$ = 110,000 $ gross.
    110,000$$ — less the following
    ( 1000.00 graze fee) I don’t recall guessing 2.00 AUM
    ( hay for cows/calves 4 months= 20,000)
    (1 hired hand @ 30,000)
    ( vehicle and farm equipment maintenace, 7500.00)
    EBITA = 51,5000 $
    The cattle market and hay markets continually move fluctuate, so many year to year variables. But as a starting point to try and work out the range rider approach. I would figure range rider wage just above minimum.
    So in order to make a decent living on the above net what would be a reasonalbe number of riders a rancher could afford.

  17. Nancy Says:

    Wonder what would happen if ranchers threw a few mules in with their cattle herds? I hear mules really despise canines. If they were raised with cows maybe they’d take on a protective mode, like llamas do with sheep.

    Grasping at straws? Don’t recall hearing any feedback from the posters here about Europeans using bells on their livestock to ward off predators.

    Or just maybe, piss (one of nature’s many ways of establishing boundaries) could be another approach?

    I’m sure a few of us remember the movie Never Cry Wolf?

    “Contact with his quarry comes quickly, as he discovers not a den of marauding killers, but a courageous family of skillful providers and devoted protectors of their young. As Tyler learns more and more about the wolf world, he comes to fear, along with them, the onslaught of hunters (Brian Dennehy) out to kill the wolves for their pelts and exploit the wilderness”

    When you take into consideration how many wolves, especially around these parts, who’ve been darted, drugged, collared and handled by humans, it can’t be much of a stretch to think they’d make great attempts to avoid any future contact.

    I can see it!!! A brew and piss party. Invite a few neighbors over (like at brandings) ply them with spirits and then run them around the fence posts, every hour or so.

    • Angela Says:

      I never had a coyote visit my pasture and sheep until the last llama died on my neighbors property. I often wonder if there was a true correlation or not.

    • Jeff B. Says:

      Mules despise canines? Clearly you haven’t been around mules much. This comment is just absurd.

  18. Phil Maker Says:

    If wolves, not the breeding pair, are to be killed in OR, let’s hope that WS personnel in OR are better than those in ID, where they seemingly routinely kill the radiocollared wolves in packs when the State specifically asks them not to.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      I would be surprised if any state has Wildlife Services personnel who are not zealous. We can hope this about Oregon.

  19. Jeff B. Says:

    I must say I would have thought most of you pro wolf folks (and especially Ralph) wouldn’t be so ignorant of wolves in Oregon.

    Have you even read the Oregon wolf plan? it’s available via the Oregon F&W site.

    Do you subscribe to the daily F&W digest? I think not or you would know the full story on the Joseph pack and be up-to-date on the current status.

    Did any of you attend Russ Morgan’s talk in Portland on wolves on Oregon? (or any of his talks in the last 12 months?) based on so many ignorant comments here I’d have to say you didn’t. The talk he gave this spring was great, details on all wolves in Oregon to date, including lots of photos (confirmed, partially confirmed, and speculation). BTW, the Imnaha pack is the only confirmed breeding pair, not the only pack. If you kept up on the publicly available news you’d know that. He also discussed in detail problem wolves and how they will deal with them (following the wolf management plan)

    Did you know all the landowners impacted by the Imnaha pack are surrounded by vast amounts of wildlands? All are very close to Joseph. The pack has all the wild areas to hunt yet they come to people’s homes to hunt. These aren’t ranging cows, these are cows right in the pastures near the landowners homes!. You notice how I say landowners, that because not all are “ranchers”. If you have a few steers in your pasture you’re not a rancher but these wolves don’t seem to play favorites.

    Did you know that wolves are confirmed thoughout eastern Oregon? based on the comments it doesn’t appear so. Yet just keeping up on public news and you would know.

    Did you know they have confirmed tracks and scat on the west side of the cascades? Well they have. The F&G won’t “confirm” a wolf or wolves in an area until they can verify visually but they acknowledge the data supporting they are on the west side.

    Did you know the F&G expects wolves in the Willamette valley as early as summer of 2010 and assumed almost certain by 2011 based on their current ranging.

    Russ Morgan and crew seem quite open with information and facts (supported facts), if you all have such an interest why don’t you spend a few minutes of your precious time actually looking at the facts. Getting the daily digest or reading the updates on the web site is pretty painless.

    So… if you’re going to whine about Oregon wolves, please get your facts straight first!

  20. Jeff B. Says:

    For those with so precious little time as to go look it up… here’s a couple of the daily e-mail digest’s I received.
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    ODFW authorizes lethal removal of wolves–Breeding pair to be protected

    May 31, 2010

    ENTERPRISE, Ore.—ODFW is authorizing USDA Wildlife Services to kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack, which are responsible for five confirmed livestock losses in the past few weeks.

    Wildlife Services has been authorized to kill only two uncollared wolves. This selective removal is meant to protect the alpha male and alpha female, Oregon’s only known breeding pair of wolves at this time. Protecting the collared wolves will also help ODFW, USDA Wildlife Services and ranchers continue to monitor wolf activity. (The alpha female was collared in July 2009 and the alpha male was collared in February 2010.)

    ODFW confirmed two additional wolf-caused livestock kills in the upper Wallowa Valley area on Saturday, May 29. (The other three confirmations occurred May 6, May 21 and May 28.)

    The lethal action is aimed at killing wolves that are showing an interest in livestock, not wolves simply in the area, and will be limited to an area where three of the confirmed livestock kills are clustered. Under the terms of the authorization, the wolves can be killed a) only within three miles of three clustered locations with confirmed livestock losses by wolves and b) only on privately-owned pasture currently inhabited by livestock. ODFW’s authorization will be valid until June 11, 2010.

    Through these specific terms, ODFW aims to protect the breeding pair and the Imnaha pack’s den site, where the alpha female may be caring for new pups. (Wolf pups are typically born in mid-April, though ODFW has not visually observed any new pups this year.)

    The authorization for lethal removal is consistent with the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and associated Oregon Administrative Rules, which guide ODFW responses to livestock losses by wolves. After non-lethal measures have been used and there are two or more losses on adjacent properties, the department may authorize its own personnel or Wildlife Services to kill wolves.

    The non-lethal measures tried include removal of livestock carcasses and bone piles that can attract wolves; radio telemetry monitoring of wolves; use of radio activated guard box; aerial hazing of wolves; the hiring of a wolf technician to haze wolves and monitor wolf activity nightly; and increased presence around livestock.

    ODFW has also issued two additional “caught in the act” permits to the landowners with losses confirmed on Saturday, May 29. The permits give landowners the legal authority to shoot wolves “caught in the act” of biting, wounding or killing livestock. Last week, ODFW issued five of these permits.

    The Wolf Plan, first adopted in 2005, is currently undergoing a five-year review. Ranchers, conservationists and others with comments about the process for responding to livestock losses or other issues may provide public comment.

    To comment, please send an email to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us. Comments received by June 30, 2010 will be considered for the draft evaluation, which will include any recommended changes to the plan. The draft evaluation should be available for preliminary review by the public in August. ODFW will present the results of the evaluation and any recommendations to amend the plan to the Fish and Wildlife Commission (the state’s policy making body for fish and wildlife issues) at their Oct. 1 meeting in Bend.

    For more information on wolves in Oregon, visit

    http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Third calf killed by wolf in Wallowa County

    May 28, 2010

    ENTERPRISE, Ore.—A domestic calf was killed by a wolf or wolves in Wallowa County yesterday, marking the third confirmed wolf kill in the area this month.

    The incident was first reported late yesterday. ODFW and USDA Wildlife Services investigated and confirmed the kill today.

    The calf carcass was discovered on private ranchland that first experienced wolf activity in late March, when wolves were found within a small fenced cow pasture near the ranch’s house. The ranch is in the upper Wallowa Valley area, which has been part of the territory of the Imnaha wolf pack since spring.

    Since that time, the agencies and livestock producers in the area have tried a variety of non-lethal measures to avoid wolf-caused losses, including: removal of livestock carcasses that can attract wolves; radio telemetry monitoring of wolves; use of radio activated guard box; aerial hazing of wolves; the hiring of a wolf technician to haze wolves and monitor wolf activity nightly; and increased presence around livestock.

    ODFW responses to wolf-related livestock losses are guided by the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and associated Oregon Administrative Rules. After repeated livestock losses from wolves and use of non-lethal measures, ODFW can issue permits to landowners to kill wolves under certain circumstances.

    Earlier this week, ODFW issued five of these “caught in the act” permits to the two landowners that experienced wolf kills on May 5 and May 20 and to the three landowners that live between those two properties. The permits give landowners the legal authority to shoot wolves “caught in the act” of biting, wounding or killing livestock. One of the permits went to the landowner that experienced today’s confirmed wolf kill.

    Four members of the Imnaha pack are radio-collared, including the alpha male and alpha female, which are Oregon’s only confirmed breeding pair of wolves at this time.

    ODFW is considering next steps to avoid more livestock losses.

    Comment on the Wolf Plan

    The Wolf Plan, first adopted in 2005, is currently undergoing a five-year review. Ranchers, conservationists and others with comments about the process for responding to livestock losses may provide public comment.

    To comment, please send an email to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us. Comments received by June 30, 2010 will be considered for the draft evaluation, which will include any recommended changes to the plan. The draft evaluation should be available for preliminary review by the public in August. ODFW will present the results of the evaluation and any recommendations to amend the plan to the Fish and Wildlife Commission (the state’s policy making body for fish and wildlife issues) at their Oct. 1 meeting in Bend.

    For more information on wolves in Oregon, visit

    http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////


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