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cowgal's picture
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Colorado Wolf Working Group Recommendations
stillhunter wrote:
cowgal, I have lived in NE Minnesota for about 5 years now, and grew up east of the Twin Cities in rural Wisconsin. I have seen some "city folk" try to impose their ideas on the people in the north country and think that it will always be a problem. I agree with MN Hunter in that it is just accepted, for the most part, that there are wolves around- and quite a few at that!

Colorado is divided as well. The eastern slope of Colorado is dominated by cities and the largest population numbers, so consequently they are heard more. The western slope is still mostly ranching and farming with small towns. The western slope population often feels that the "city folk" don't understand or care about our issues. But they have no problem recreating over here.

stillhunter wrote:
There are issues with pets and livestock. Most people who live here keep a close eye on their pets and don't let them run wild, but they realize that if they lose control and their dog runs away, it might never come back. It's about learning to take precautions, and personal responsibility. We have gotten too used to having no fear/respect in the wild. Although in reality I don't think about wolves much when I am in the woods. I see sign all the time, but they have a natural fear here, which is not the case where they have been reintroduced. Around here, even with them being protected, there are plenty that get killed by folks. It keeps 'em honest.

Do you have multiple predators to deal with? Or only the wolves? Part of my concern is that we already have lion, bear & coyote to deal with. Its funny when a lion or bear wanders into the Denver area its big news, especially if a pet is involved. But I never see coverage of the damage predators do to livestock, and its not a rare occurence. Daily some rancher is dealing with having his animals being torn to pieces. Its not a pretty sight. And anyone that believes a wild animal only kills what it eats is mistaken. I believe predators make sport of tearing up a flock of sheep.

stillhunter wrote:
Though there really isn't much ranching around here anymore, there are still some around and they do have livestock losses. But again, if they could protect their property instead of having to call wildlife services and have them set traps(which rarely work), there would probably be less problems. And let me just say, there are plenty of folks who feel the only good wolf is a dead wolf, but they tend to be the old-timers. Luckily, the next generation is a bit more level-headed.

Ranching is still the largest industry on the western slope of Colorado. Most ranchers would just as soon not have to deal with more problems.

stillhunter wrote:
My biggest worry is that people won't be able to protect their property after wolves are delisted, since the "greens" feel any killing of a wolf is bad, and that killing problem wolves will reduce the population. Unfortunatly, if we have problems with getting sane laws here, where we have had wolves for awhile, I feel for you folks that are just starting out.

We first need to have some control over the wolf situation here in Colorado. Right now they're still protected by the feds. Colorado has not introduced any wolves, what we're going to be dealing with are wolves that have migrated into our state from re-introductions in other states. We've had multiple sightings in the northwest corner of Colorado. In fact just a couple days ago we heard of 2 wolves sighted between Craig & Steamboat Springs. I haven't heard or read anything official about that yet. I guess when another one gets run over on the highway, then we'll know. :-?

Thanks for your input stillhunter.

Don Fischer's picture
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cowgal, I was told by one of our resident sheep rancher's that with the coyote, they kill lamb's as they do to teach their young to hunt. That's why you'll find wholesale slaughter in the herd. Seem's it only happen's at certain time's of the year.

We've had a couple errant wolve's come over here from a pack established in Idaho along the Snake River. Haven't heard about them lately but I assure you, one sign of trouble and they will die.

The biggest problem I see is that these thing's are usually the doing of your state Fish & Game and funded primarly with your license and tag dollars. Just one more reason why those fee's just keep going up and up. And who benifit's from all this re-introduction crap? Eh,, Fish & Game that now can justify higher fee's to cover more personnel to monitor these animals. Hell, it's a lucky thing they can't find Jurastic Park!!!!!!

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Colorado Wolf Working Group Recommendations

cowgal, we also have quite a few black bears (30,000 at last count, mostly in the northern half of the state) and coyotes. Lions have been seen, but the population is minimal and unknown as far as I can tell. I couldn't find any info on bear depredation on livestock in MN. I have never really heard of any to speak of, though it happens. I think bears here have plenty of other food in the forest so they don't target livestock. In fact, some years there is so much food that hunting over bait (the only leagal harvest method in MN) is largely unsuccessful.

Here is an interesting link I found on wolf depredation in MN.
http://www.mnforsustain.org/wolf_and_farms_assessing_factors.htm

It is fairly long and technical in some aspects, but you can read the abstract and skip to the end and get the gist of it. Seems inconclusive in some ways but still interesting.

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Colorado Wolf Working Group Recommendations
Don Fischer wrote:
The biggest problem I see is that these thing's are usually the doing of your state Fish & Game and funded primarly with your license and tag dollars.

True, usually. But one of the recommendation of the wolf working group was that management of wolves should NOT be funded with hunting license dollars.

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Colorado Wolf Working Group Recommendations
cowgal wrote:
Most ranchers would just as soon not have to deal with more problems.

Most PEOPLE would just as soon not have to deal with more problems! I know I'd like to have fewer problems in my life to deal with!

But life in our world is complicated, and EVERYONE has to deal with a variety of problems. Ranchers in Colorado, like it or not, are going to have to deal with wolves eventually. And there is absolutely no chance that they will be able to deal with them like they did 100 years ago, which was to just shoot them all. So, some sort of compromise is going to have to be worked out.

I think the Wolf Working Group that was put together is a positive sign and has done good work. They are being realistic in that they recognize that keeping wolves out of Colorado altogether is not a possibility. They also recognize that the concerns of ranchers and hunters have to be taken into account. To what extent their voice will be heard at the federal level remains to be seen, but it's got to be better than nothing.

I really don't see any reason that the wolf issues can't be worked out. As long as we don't allow the extremists on either to end dominate the discussion, I'm sure acceptable compromises can be reached. Of course, the way things go in the U.S. these days, keeping the extremists on either end from dominating the discussion is a pretty tall order.

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Well said, donmillion. I have been trying to say the same thing on another thread, but maybe haven't said it as well! Good to hear there are others with a level head on this subject.

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Quote:
But life in our world is complicated, and EVERYONE has to deal with a variety of problems. Ranchers in Colorado, like it or not, are going to have to deal with wolves eventually. And there is absolutely no chance that they will be able to deal with them like they did 100 years ago, which was to just shoot them all.

Here's the problem donmillion, they will deal with it just as they did 100 yrs ago. As cowgal said; a preditor walks into a city once in a while and it's big news. They enguage in wholesale slaughter, out of sight of the masses, and it's not their problem. Next you hear that they chose to live that life, pretty much tuff. The people in Denver and the Springs, just to use Colo cities, are not concerned because it doesnt touch them personally. Someone in another place complained about iilegal activities of poaching these animals. Yep,
shoot and shut up, How you gonna deal with it when every rancher keeps his/her mouth shut about it? You can't! Better to just not try to stuff something like that down their throats.

It is best that some animals exist in zoo's or even in areas where they can be controlled. Most of those people that complain about these things will never make the effort required to see them anyway. The Artic Wilderness is a good example. How many people that rally for it will ever even make or attempt to see it? Not very damn many but, it does give them a cause doesn't it?

While I lived in Alaska, they passed a law that you couldn't cut firewood anymore in the Brooks Range. The few people that lived there had to have their firewood flown in from Fairbanks at a cost of $1500 per cord; that was 1985. What do you think it costs now and who really was impacted by that stupid law?

The bottom line is that in issues like the wolves, the only ones who want them there are the people that don't live and make their lining there. Then those same people complain about the price of meat when the moneys not even going to the people that don't want the preditors in the first place.

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Don Fischer wrote:
Here's the problem donmillion, they will deal with it just as they did 100 yrs ago.

Well, if they do they'll risk large fines or jail time. I guess that's up to them.

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The bottom line is that in issues like the wolves, the only ones who want them there are the people that don't live and make their lining there.

Simply and completely not true. Maybe you'd like to believe it, but it just isn't so. There are plenty of people who live and work in the Colorado mountains who are not opposed to allowing wolves to live there again, so long as there are some reasonable controls on them. More than half the members of the Wolf Working Group that this thread is all about live and work in the very habitat where wolves are eventually sure to live.

This train is coming down the tracks whether we like it or not, and we all have only two alternatives open to us. Step off the tracks by accepting that wolves are coming and by being willing to compromise on the issues, or get run over. The choice is up to each of us.

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Quote:
This train is coming down the tracks whether we like it or not, and we all have only two alternatives open to us. Step off the tracks by accepting that wolves are coming and by being willing to compromise on the issues, or get run over. The choice is up to each of us.

We will see what we'll see. Little misunderstanding here. The people I'm talking about are mainly the livestock growers. I've lived around them in Montana, Colorado and Oregon. They spend a lot of time, a lot of time, in the country where these animals are goinr to be put, they might not say much, but they will handle it like they did 100 yrs ago. Face large fines? How you gonna catch them? I'm on their side because I don't think it serves any useful purpose to bring back these kinds of preditors.

Mind if I ask about you? Where do you live, what do you do, how long where your at and where did you come from? I ask because you don't seem to have any idea that this will fail and you seem to think that the law can stop what is sure to happen. The best you can hope for in this is to catch a few guy's poaching them but you won't touch the guy's protecting their livestock. Weather you agree or not that thats what they're doing, thats what they will do. And for what? To reintroduce a wolf? You might introduce them, they'll be killed.

One more question for you, you may have already answered it, I forget. Why do you want them back and if they do turn into stock killers, will you be alright with eraticating them then, or do you think it's alright to just spend tax dollars paying for dead stock?

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Here in Colorado a rancher by law is allowed to protect his livestock from predators, if you catch the predator in the act of killing your livestock. Coyote can be eliminated without questions asked. However, most ranchers I know choose to contact the government trapper with bear and lion kills and allow them to trap or dispatch them, just to avoid any problems. Often times after assessing everything and determining that a problem bear or lion does exist in the area, they will give the rancher permission to dispatch the predator(s). I assume the situation would be similar with wolves, but I'm not sure if their federally protected status changes that.

So right now a rancher already has the right to shoot whatever is harming his/her livestock, regardless of whether its domestic dogs gone bad or wild animals.

Where ranchers can get into trouble is if they shoot a predator (except coyote) without just cause. You have to be able to prove that it was that animal that caused your losses, that's why calling a government trapper to assess the problem is best.

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