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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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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Outdoor writer, ecologist, Trail guide and common sense thinker George Wuerthner depicting the idiocy of the Montana Fish and Wildlife folks as well as the near lunacy of the the livestock ranchers, hunters and Outdoor Magazine writers in this state regarding their making the Wolf out to be the boogeyman and the cause of all things bad and hurtful as it relates to economic conditions there............In 2014, 35 cows, 6 sheep and 1 horse lost due to wolves within the context of a likely 133,000 overall loss of livestock(all causes, 2011 source)-----The Wolf furor is not about livestock depredation or competition with hunters............It is about local Montana residents resenting the fact that they are Americans and not just Montanan's(I believe that is a word)----having to live by federal rulings as well as local statutes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,That is just a fact,,,,,,,,,,,,So now what??????????????...................

From: George Wuerthner []
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 1:20 PM
To: Dickson, Tom
Subject: A little perspective on wolf depredations might be useful (please print as LTE)

Tom Dickson
Montana Outdoors
Helena, Montana

Hi Tom

I just read the article Wolf Numbers and Livestock Depredation decline in 2014 in Montana Outdoors.Confirmed livestock losses by wolves in 2014 were 35 cattle, six sheep, and one horse. 

I think MO does a disservice to predators by focusing on just those numbers. Without context we can't judge how serious such depredations are for the livestock industry. Certainly the management of wolves by the state emphasizes how wolves are somehow a major concern of the ranchers. But in reality, wolf depredation, even considering that not all losses are confirmed, are almost non-existent.

Idaho hunter thinking that she has done a good deed?

For instance, Montana cattle producers lost 90,000 cattle/calves to all causes in 2011  ( I could not find more recent numbers). and 43,000 sheep/lambs in 2012 to all causes or around 133,000 animals. 

Worrying about the loss of a few dozen animals is barely worth noting--except to make the point that the livestock industry exaggerates the importance of losses attributable to wolves. 

I acknowledge that not all depredations are found, and that the presence of wolves could reduce livestock weight gains for some producers. But at least producers who have a confirmed loss to wolves are reimbursed--which is more than they get if an animal dies due to poison plants or a birthing complication. 

Nevertheless, justifying the trapping, shooting, etc. of wolves because of livestock losses seems to beg credibility when you realize how few domestic animals are lost annually attributable to wolves. 

Maybe next time you can just add one sentence listing total livestock losses so people can get an idea of how truly insignificant the threat and reality of wolf depredation is to the livestock industry.


George Wuerthner 

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