Kudos to Oregon for Funding Non-Lethal Work to Prevent Wolf-Livestock Conflicts

Oregon Fish and Wildlife hires a rider to keep wolves and livestock apart-

This worked in Idaho and Montana back in the days before state wolf management. The states don’t even try.  Defenders is still doing something a bit like this in Idaho with the Phantom Hill Pack under the grudging toleration of Idaho Fish and Game.

Kudos to Oregon for Funding Non-Lethal Work to Prevent Wolf-Livestock Conflicts. Matt Skoglund’s Blog. NRDC.

14 Responses to “Kudos to Oregon for Funding Non-Lethal Work to Prevent Wolf-Livestock Conflicts”

  1. jon Says:

    This is a great idea Ralph, but I believe someone on here said there aren’t enough riders. It is definitely a step in the right direction in order to provide protection for both wolves and livestock. I think some are quick to dismiss any ideas like this and just go for the simple solution and that is calling ws. It sends a bad message that some don’t really want to try and co-exist with predatory widllife.

    • Taz Alago Says:

      One rider can’t cover the wolf area because it’s riven with draws and canyons, even though he has both horse and atv.

      Right now, he is working 4 days/week and his job is to look for dead cows/calves and to report the proximity of wolves. He has a proximity receiver only, not a directional receiver. He’ll haze wolves if he finds them too close to cows. He’s advised by ODFW where the collared wolves are. The cost/day is $150 including all equipment and the horse. He is employed by the ranchers, not ODFW, but Defenderss and ODFW cover the cost. A separate ODFW contract worker works some evenings doing the same thing. Anybody here want to contribute to another rider? If so, contact me through Ralph.

  2. Angela Says:

    There are plenty of young people out of work who could be riders–a couple per ranch? The ranchers should be paying for it to offset the taxpayers’ money that goes to subsidizing public lands grazing.
    Keep Oregon Green🙂

  3. Elk275 Says:

    Angela

    You just do not put young people on horseback and send them out on the range trying to kept wolves away. Horses are dangerous and the handling of cattle and horses take skills that takes time to learn. Very few young people want to be on a ranch earning ranch wages.

    • pointswest Says:

      It might have worked anytime before about 1950, but nowdays every kid’s parents have lawyers. Geese, here in California, I get nervous just having kids over to my house.

  4. Nancy Says:

    The tradtion around here (just 10 years ago) was to hire kids out of the bigger towns to work on hay crews. Some were as young as 13. Ranchers didn’t have any problem putting them on tractors and buckrigs and working them 10 hour days and parents didn’t have a problem dropping their kids off for weeks at a time. Kind of like a summer camp.

    • Salle Says:

      Well, there are a variety of nonlethal methods to protect livestock from wolves, among them are the range riders. I feel that it takes more than one per…

      But, to follow the conversation about having young people out working toward that end, they could perform ground operations, like the “Guardian” program that was employed in central Idaho years ago and is somewhat the same methods used in the Phantom Pack operation ~ using portable pens, night howling and noise making and generally providing a human presence in the area is something you can do without everyone being on a horse. Young people like camping and hiking, at least some do. I think if you offered them some kind of pay for camping out (with an objective) would be a good thing all around for ranchers, wolves and the social fabric that is constantly unraveling.

      I honestly think one rider per ranch is likely to have minimal positive results due to lack of personnel, or not nearly enough personnel. The rationale behind the one rider policy seems to be the start of a self fulfilling prophecy of securing limited success to outright failure.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Nancy,

      ++The tradtion around here (just 10 years ago) was to hire kids out of the bigger towns to work on hay crews. Some were as young as 13. Ranchers didn’t have any problem putting them on tractors and buckrigs and working them 10 hour days and parents didn’t have a problem dropping their kids off for weeks at a time.++

      Nancy, you are living in a different time period. I have said before where I think you live. Have you notice that the beaver slides are rotting in the fields and the valley of the 10,000 haystacks now has only a couple of hundred haystacks at the end of haying season. The ranchers have gone to round bales; one person can put up the entire hay crop instead of a crew of seven. Round bales can be fed with a tractor instead of a team of horses.

      The Big Hole Valley has gone from a cow/calf operation to summering yearlings. The yearlings are turned out on pature in early June and shipped to feed lots in September; the average cow/steer will gain two pounds a day on the native grass in the Big Hole Valley. Most of the yearlings are on private land which has the best grass.

  5. Linda Hunter Says:

    From the article it looks like the riders will be given the ability to radio track wolves . . one person on a horse with that ability should be able to protect a whole area of several ranches and I don’t think it is a job for a group of kids as the radio frequencies should be guarded. I do believe that a young person say just out of college with a vested interest in wildlife as a career choice would be an excellent person to do this job. Sounds like a great job to me and a good solution, the only thing that worries me is that it is yet another government funded way of helping ranchers and I do think that ranching is one industry I would hate to see under total government control or under the control of big corporations probably for purely sentimental reasons but it seems smaller, family run ranches seem to do less damage.

    • JEFF E Says:

      From the article: “People don’t understand how they kill,” Wright said. “They’ll hamstring an animal. They’ll cut both hamstrings on an animal.”; which has what to do with what. I would like to see how this person goes about killing something that can weigh as much as six times his weight using only his teeth and claws.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Jeff E,

      Thanks. This Dennis Wright, of Coalville probably doesn’t know a damn thing. Wolves hardly ever hamstring their prey because it is too dangerous. However, I can’t see what different it makes whether they do hamstring or don’t.

      It is good news, however, if wolves have made it to Coalville, UT. That is getting close to being out of the 10j zone and into the deer rich Book Cliffs!

    • Ryan Says:

      “It is good news, however, if wolves have made it to Coalville, UT. That is getting close to being out of the 10j zone and into the deer rich Book Cliffs!”

      Ralph,

      They will not do well in the Books, that is probably one of the best deer and elk units in Utah and is a highly coveted tag. They will meet the SSS crowd in there big time.

  6. Nancy Says:

    ++Nancy, you are living in a different time period. I have said before where I think you live. Have you notice that the beaver slides are rotting in the fields and the valley of the 10,000 haystacks now has only a couple of hundred haystacks at the end of haying season. The ranchers have gone to round bales; one person can put up the entire hay crop instead of a crew of seven. Round bales can be fed with a tractor instead of a team of horses.

    The Big Hole Valley has gone from a cow/calf operation to summering yearlings. The yearlings are turned out on pature in early June and shipped to feed lots in September; the average cow/steer will gain two pounds a day on the native grass in the Big Hole Valley. Most of the yearlings are on private land which has the best grass++

    And I said just 10 years ago Elk. I’m well aware of the shift in haying methods but I totally disagree with the gone to summering yearlings on most of these ranches. From Bannack on down to Wisdom, I see nothing but cows in winter on the fields that are now under hay. First week in July, a good majority of those cows & calves are pushed on to public lands unless the ranch is big enough to rotate pairs around and still hay.


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