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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, March 4, 2013

So it is possible for Wolves, man and livestock to coexist.................While Wolves in Oregon continue to multiply(still protected under Oregon endangered species act), livestock predation deaths have not increased..."Once the easy option of killing wolves is taken off the table, we've seen reluctant but responsible ranchers stepping up," said Rob Klavins of the advocacy group Oregon Wild........... "Conflict is going down and wolf recovery has got back on track"................The use of bright lights, gunshot sounds, fladry, cleaning up boneyards and the use of GPS tracking to warn of wolf activity seem to be working for Oregon Ranchers willing to adapt to wolves in their midst.................Plenty of naysayers who feel killing wolves is still the best preventive medicine walk the landscape but this Oregon experiment just might tip the tide away from kneejerk shooting and trapping as the go-to option in Rocky Mtn Wolf management

No-kill wolf ban spurs

 nonlethal options

"Once the easy option of killing wolves is taken off the table,
 we've seen reluctant
 but responsible ranchers stepping up," said Rob Klavins of
the advocacy group
Oregon Wild. "Conflict is going down. And wolf recovery has
 got back on track."
The no-kill ban has been in place since September 2011.
That's when the Oregon
 Department of Fish and Wildlife announced it planned to
 kill two members of the
Imnaha wolf pack in northeastern Wallowa County for taking
 livestock. Conservation
 groups sued, arguing that rules allowing wolves to be killed
 to reduce livestock
 attacks did not comply with the state Endangered Species
 Act. The Oregon
Court of Appeals stepped in, prohibiting wolf kills while the
 two sides work to settle,
 although ranchers who catch wolves in the act of killing
 livestock may still shoot them.
At the end of 2012, wolf numbers in the state had risen to
 46 from 29 in 2011,
according to state fish and wildlife officials. Meantime, four cows
 and eight sheep
 were killed last year by two separate packs, while 13 cows
 were killed by one
 pack in 2011.
Wallowa County cattle rancher Karl Patton started giving
 nonlethal methods a try
in 2010, after he fired off his pistol to chase off a pack of
wolves in a pasture filled
with cows and newborn calves. State wildlife officials provided
 him with an alarm
 that erupts with bright lights and the sound of gunshots when
 a wolf bearing a
 radio-tracking collar treads near. He also staked out fladry a
t calving time. The
 long strings of red plastic flags flutter in the wind to scare away
 wolves. The flags
 fly from an electrically charged wire that gives off a jolt to predators
 that dare touch it.
The rancher put 7,000 miles on his ATV spending more time with
 his herd, and
 cleaned up old carcasses that put the scent of meat on the wind.
And state wildlife
officials text him nightly, advising whether a wolf with a satellite
GPS tracking collar
 is nearby.

"None of this stuff is a sure cure," said Patton, who worries the
 fladry will lose
 its effectiveness once wolves become accustomed to it. Such
 measures also
 can't be used in open range.
Seen as a scourge on the landscape, wolves were nearly wiped
 out across the
 Lower 48 by the 1930s. In 1995, the federal government
sponsored the
reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park and
central Idaho.
 They eventually spread to Montana, Wyoming, Oregon,
Washington and California.
With wolf numbers approaching 1,800, the federal government
 Endangered Species Act protection in 2011 in the Northern
 eastern Oregon and eastern Washington, and turned over
 management to the states.
While ranchers are not happy with the wolf comeback,
 the wider public is
. A 2011 survey for the Washington Department of Fish
 and Wildlife foun
 74.5 percent of Washington residents believe it acceptable
 for wolves to
 recolonize their state.
Wolf advocates hope the Oregon experiment can
 spread elsewhere,
 especially Idaho, which had 746 wolves in 2011
. In 2012, hunters and
wildlife agents killed 422 wolves, compared with
 296 for 2011. Sheep and
 cattle kills, meantime, went up from 192 in 2011
 to 341 in 2012.
Idaho Fish and Game biologist Craig White said it
"raised eyebrows" on both
 sides of the wolf debate when the livestock kills rose
 even as more wolves
 were killed. Previously the trend had been for livestock
 kills to go down as
 wolf kills went up. The state plans to continue killing
wolves until elk herds
 their primary prey and a popular game animal _ start
 increasing, he said.
The Idaho numbers show "you can't manage wolves using
conventional wisdom
 and assumption," said Suzanne Stone of Defenders of
 Wildlife in Idaho. "Using
 these old archaic methods of managing predators by just
 killing them is not working."
In "no-kill" Oregon, ranchers disagree. Wallowa rancher
 Dennis Sheehy puts bells
 on his cattle to help scare away wolves. He also spends
 more time with his herd,
 and cleans up old bone piles. Nevertheless, he believes
 a kill option should always
 be on the table for wolves that prey on livestock. The 2011
ban, he said, "really
upset people around here."
Patton has never lost a cow while using the fladry and alarms
. But two were killed
 on the open range and one in a large pasture where such
 protection measures are
impractical. He has also found tracks showing wolves crossed
 the fladry and walked
among his cows without, for some reason, attacking them.
He still believes the only way to deal with wolves that attack
 cattle is to kill the
 whole pack.
"It's frustrating, more than anything, because we have our
 hands tied," he said.
"You can kill a man (who) comes into your house to rob you.
 Wolves are more
 protected than people."

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