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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, August 6, 2015

Baby steps up in Washington State with some Ranchers grudgingly accepting the Wolves in their midst............The article below does not delve into Rancher disposal of dead cattle that die from disease and weather and their disposal(boneyards), grazing rotations, etc and their impacts on Wolf/Cattle conflict.........Will we ever turn the corner on co-existence with Wolves, Bears and Cats?

Stuck’ with wolves, rancher says he’ll make the best of it

Don Jenkins
Capital Press

Range-rider Bill Johnson, left, and Ellensburg rancher Sam Kayser field questions Aug. 4 at the Teanaway Community Forest in Central Washington about their efforts to protect cows in a wolf pack’s territory. A cow in Kayser’s herd was killed this summer by wolves. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife arranged for Johnson and Kayser to talk to the media.
Central Washington rancher says one depredation hasn't changed his views on range-riders or living with wolves.

CLE ELUM, Wash. — An Ellensburg rancher who lost a cow to wolves in Central Washington says he still believes his cattle can co-exist with the returning predators.
“I’m not excited about it, but it doesn’t matter whether I’m excited,” rancher Sam Kayser said Tuesday. “We’re stuck with them. I want to think there’s room for all of us.”
Kayser lost a yearling Angus in mid-July to the Teanaway pack in Kittitas County, the state’s most-western pack and one of its best tracked. Three wolves in the pack, which may have as many as six members, have been fitted with collars transmitting their locations.
Kayser’s range-rider, Bill Johnson, gets updates three times day. He said the attack showed the difficulty of protecting 400 cows grazing over 40,000 acres from predators that he called “incredibly smart.”
“I don’t think it could have been prevented, no way,” he said.
Kayser and Johnson met with the media at the Teanaway Community Forest, near where the depredation took place on state grazing land. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife arranged the meeting with Kayser and Johnson as part of a presentation on how the agency is managing wolves.
The forest is about 100 miles east of Seattle and is the western edge of the gray wolf’s dispersal since being reintroduced to Idaho and Wyoming in 1995.
Because the Teanaway pack roams in the western two-thirds of Washington, it’s protected by the federal Endangered Species Act. If Teanaway pack wolves continue to prey on livestock, shooting them isn’t an option, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Four cows were killed in early July by the Dirty Shirt pack in northeast Washington, where wolves have only state protection. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has indicated that if the pack kills one more cow, the agency will offer the rancher a permit to shoot up to two wolves.
WDFW hopes it won’t come to that. Range-riders are WDFW’s No. 1 preventative measure, but they have not been universally embraced by ranchers.
In an interview Wednesday, Stevens County rancher Scott Nielsen agreed human presence can keep away wolves, but the wolves may merely move toward somebody else’s livestock.
“Show me the evidence a range-rider has prevented one single attack,” he said. “It plays well in the press, but I’m just highly skeptical.”
Johnson has been riding for Kayser for 18 years. For the past three years, his wages have been partially funded by the environmental group Conservation Northwest.
He described himself as “pro wolf” and said he hoped ranchers will adapt to wolves. He acknowledged managing wolves won’t be easy. They don’t seem to be afraid of him, and they know where the livestock are, he said. “It doesn’t matter where we run the cattle, the wolves have a way of knowing.”
The Teanaway pack was documented in 2011 and one depredation is “not the end of the world,” said Kayser, who has been compensated by the state for his cow.
“One is a lot different than five or six,” said Kayser, noting the next depredation may occur in 10 years or next week. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he said. “So far, we’ve been successful. But we have enough habitat for the wolves we have.”
Kayser said he sympathizes with northeast ranchers, who graze livestock on ranges with more wolves. “I think there’s a real problem up in the northeast corner of the state,” he said. “The northeast part of the state is carrying too much of the impact.”
WDFW has contracted with five range-riders and Conservation Northwest has shared costs with ranchers to employ seven more.
Budget restraints and the difficulty of recruiting people for the seasonal work have limited the number of range-riders, WDFW wolf policy coordinator Donny Martorello said. “I think we have a need for more.”

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