The real animal danger to recreationists now back in the high country

Sheep guard dogs return to central Idaho for summer-

The Idaho Mountain Express has an article today about how recreationists, bikers especially, should be aware of and deal with danger of sheep guard dogs. And we thought the danger was wolves! 😉

Domestic sheep return to local ranges. Recreationists should be prepared for possible run-ins with grazing bands. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.

The Mountain Express circulates in south central Idaho.  The danger from guard dogs is, of course, general throughout the mountains of the West.  One biologist I knew in Eastern Idaho always walked with pepper spray in one hand and a club in the other when near bands of sheep.

In Loneliness, Immigrants Tend the Flock

Sheep Ranchers Claim Paying Minimum Wage to Workers Would Put them Out of Business.

Domestic sheep carry disease dangerous to bighorns and humans

Domestic sheep carry disease dangerous to bighorns and humans

This is an important article :

In Loneliness, Immigrants Tend the FlockThe New York Times

* Also, check out Captive Labor.

Environmental Costs

Domestic sheep ranching on public land is subsidized in many ways – environmental costs associated with the activity are largely covered by you and I – our tax dollars to slaughter predators that feed on untended sheep, blade otherwise unnecessary roads, build fences, abate weeds etc;  Our public lands leased at remarkably below market value, our bighorn sheep herds decimated by disease spread from domestic to wild sheep, our stream-waters rendered undrinkable, our public landscapes denuded precluding/depreciating habitat that might otherwise support untold numbers of wildlife – including big-game.

There are also the direct subsidies collected by sheepman – millions of tax-dollars for wool and other Ag subsidies.  But despite all of the ways that you and I prop up this destructive use of public land, their industry groups continue to maintain that if held to the same environmental and fair-market standard as nearly any other industry – even minimum wage for workers – they’ll go under.

Costs to Human Health, Safety, and Dignity Read the rest of this entry »

Alpine tourists attacked by Pyrenean dogs brought in to save the sheep

Alpine tourists attacked by Pyrenean dogs brought in to save the sheep [from wolves]. The Times on-line.

You always have to be careful around sheep guard dogs. They are not bred to be friendly to anything among the sheep.