Wolves Under Tyrannical Control

According to a recent article about the planned destruction of Washington’s Wedge pack, Bill McIrvin of the Diamond M ranch said in an interview in July that he believes radical environmental groups are conspiring to introduce wolves in order to force ranchers off public lands. Yeah right—nice thought—but that sounds pretty paranoid to me.

Most “radical” environmentalists are smart enough to know that cattle ranchers have wildlife and the wildlife agencies by the balls with a death grip that won’t let go until Nature hertself is under their tyrannical control.

If the rancher is this suspicious of environmentalists, how paranoid must he be of the wolves? And why should we blindly accept all his claims of depredation at an almost unprecedented level?

I can just see him laughing under his hat at the wildlife agents he’s duped into doing his bidding by annihilating the entire Wedge pack (he’s stated several times he won’t settle for anything less). Heck, even the presumed wolf-champions at Conservation Northwest (in an obvious effort not to appear “radical”) have turned their back on the pack for the sake of the cattle rancher.

Not only will McIrvin be allowed to keep grazing his cattle on public national forest land, but now he’s got the state sharpshooters’ promise that they’ll spend as long as it takes to kill each and every wolf in the pack.

No, there’s not much chance of crafty extreme environmentalists covertly re-introducing wolves to this crazy cattle-industry controlled world. But we can always hope that some animal ‘extremist’ will usher them back into Canada for now, until the ranchers of Eastern Washington can put their prejudices aside and learn to live with the diversity of wildlife they’re fortunate enough to have in their backyard.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson


Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson


68 thoughts on “Wolves Under Tyrannical Control

  1. Amen Jim. If I had in my power I would spirit them off to a safe place. I cannot believe that a handful of ranchers have been allowed to think that our Public Grazing lands and our National Forests belong to them and them alone. It is my fervent hope that after the election, we can maybe have the attention of a few of our legislators and get back to work on what is important to us: saving our wildlife while we still have wildlife to save.

  2. And now every anti-wolf rancher around the state will figure they can refuse any attempt to avoid wolf predation on their cows and the state will come in and kill the wolves. This is what they want but in the end they will lose and the wolves will win.

  3. You’ve GOT to be kidding? Are supposed to feel sorry for ranchers without education? That is exactly the issue, no education regarding the NEED for predators. This is the first time as an Environmental Science student I have been called a “radical.” I think ranchers with this attitude are the extremists. Let us truly hope someone can get these beautiful wolves to safety.

  4. Thank you again, Jim, for carrying this torch. I’ve grown weary of being “radical” for supporting an agenda of non-violence. It’s obviously a pejorative designed precisely to marginalize those who disagree with and confront the exploiters. I want to find ways to recapture the language and the ethic so that actions like McIrvine’s are hereafter known as the radical ones.

    I don’t usually advocate for dietary changes, although I do my best personally to eat as low as possible on the food chain. But, this is one area where environmentalists, anti-hunters, wildlife photographers, birders and all those who appreciate wildlife could band together and eschew the meat, the industry and the ranchers like McIrvine whose violent and intolerant agenda toward wildlife has been the norm in wildlife “management” for far too long.

    • George Lakoff has a new book out called The Little Blue Book. He is a cognitive linguist ( meaning he understands how the brain works and how to frame your talk about wildlife in moral terms which is what he says all politics is – moral…hard to believe.) But he makes the point that Conservatives have co-opted words like God and Patriotism and Liberty ( the big one) and framed their arguments emotionally against facts to manipulate the public. Lakoff speaks of the difference between Progressives and Conservatives and how we can frame our issues more effectively. I am buying the book and I think we all need that lesson.

      • Do you think it possible to teach “cognitive” to those who do not understand? I have tried. We are battling centuries of ingrained beliefs. Cowboy dogma must take a side step.

  5. Yes, KARMA…and….the results of that Fish and Wildlife study that we’re all waiting for so we can get things rolling on finally being heard by all wildlife agencies. I have great hopes for that.

    • The absolute LAST thing I would do is introduce any species where it wasn’t wanted and where people have been vocal about not having them. Why set the animals up for slaughter?
      Sparrow, I’ve heard about the ranchers in Brazil taking matters into their own hands, but also the loggers, too, have no qualms about killing people or any species of animals who block their way. Same with plantation owners regarding animals who *dare* to venture onto their property. It’s a sad world these days with so little tolerance and the greed factor overtaking everyone.

      • The Indians of Brazil want us to all continue to fight for nature and the animals~ make sure you know whats going on in your local area and contact congress !! The best site I have found is popvox~check it out !

        I know this is not the place but if you want to know about the indigenous plight in brazil here is my blog~ http://forestrivers.wordpress.com/

        We have a war on nature going on ~and the wolves are a big part of it !! We all have to do our part to control the horrors of our time~ we are responsible for nature and animals !!

  6. Don’t want to step on Danielle’s toes, so to speak. Can we as a group come up with some questions for her to consider asking the Earth Justice folks? Personally, I’m inclined (as mentioned numerous time before) to focus on the following:

    WHEN will those who enjoy wildlands and wildlife in a non-consumptive manner be heard?
    WHEN will the Fish and Wildlife Services be prepared to publicize their (supposed) study results?
    DOES Earth Justice have any particular suggestions for us in regard to the 2 above questions?
    (I hope Patricia – madravenspeak – will offer some ideas)

    I’m praying everyone here will weigh in on this potentially great opportunity to get the ball rolling for wolves and all wildlife.

    • CONTACT Earth Justice. They work Pro Bono. Look at the track record. Attorneys are not all bad 🙂 I donate as much as I can. Some weeks as little as $5. If you do not ask questions, you will not get answers 🙂

      • Seems this requires opening an “Xfinity” account…?
        I could not open without doing so…would prefer not to if possible to avoid.

      • I will cut and paste. NO CHANGES WILL BE MADE DUE TO THE LAW, NATURE AND SENSITIVITY of this issue. The Contact will remain anonymous unless otherwise requested 🙂

        Dear Danielle,

        There will be a Q&A session during the event. If you have a question you would like to submit ahead of time to the teleconference, you are more than welcome to send it to events@earthjustice.org.

        The latest news that I had heard was that Washington state agents shot two members of the Wedge pack: http://www.idahopress.com/news/state/state-kills-wolves-in-northeast-wash/article_49848d59-d2f0-55ae-8cee-56f2d8adb553.html. The wolves were gunned down from the air near the Canadian border in Washington. I am unsure of Washington state’s management plan – something you could bring up during the call – but Idaho’s gray wolves were delisted along with Montana in a congressional rider (the first time a species had been legislatively removed from Endangered Species Act protections).

        Earthjustice had reversed previous attempts to hunt wolves in both Idaho and Montana, largely due to the extreme hunting provisions and the fact that the Northern Rockies wolf population was not fully recovered. We hope the same victory will take place regarding Wyoming’s new rule.

        I should let you know that Earthjustice’s court cases tend to focus on the federal and state management policies for the entire species. Some of our clients may be more tuned in to individual wolf populations. Our wolf work is managed out of our Northern Rockies office, which handles Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.

  7. It is too late for the Wedge Pack, but we can only hope that future wolves can be saved. The mindset of 1 rancher has destroyed an entire pack. It is too bad that the almighty dollar comes into play especially during an election year. Perhaps we can inform people of HR 3432 and get ranchers off of public land.

    • It is never too late. Keep calling. The best resource will be the Universities and Those who love Biodiversity. It is easy enough to type. Get out there! Make a wave. I have. I am very proud to be a Whistle Blower. This concept is one of the first things I learned in Enviro Sci. It does not make you popular with the “Main Stream.” Who cares? I have enough info to blow the minds of most. I do not have a Doctorate.

  8. Sorry if I’m breaking the thread .. more or less…still on wolf topic, though.
    Someone just sent me this. Maybe you’ve seen this site – I have not. One suggests a new “technique” for dealing with wolves..omg. Just posting it on a website must be illegal…no?The other is the main website which I suggest we take a look at for obvious reasons.
    For whatever it’s worth, I’m told he has been reported to facebook and law enforcement.

      • Apparently so, Jim. And they’re not only watching Lobo….they have a bead on every politician and organization who dares to threaten their “fun”. If the truth be known, I actually think we could learn something valuable from the site: This guy seems up-to-date on every bill and effort to thwart their intentions. Makes things a little easier for us if we care to investigate further.

  9. You don’t have to look at all the ugly photos….there’s a link on the left (forgot what the title was) that only gives you text regarding THEIR concerns about US…..legislation….etc. Really worthwhile I’d say.

  10. Jim and all….you may have already read this on her website but just in case, I think it’s worth passing along. This was such a good entry. Soothing when I was inflamed with rage. A rather hopeful message I thought. Here it is:

    June 12, 2012 by Beckie Elgin, Freelance Writer
    A Man Named “Wulf”

    Steve Clevidence (rhymes with evidence), also known as “Wulf, ” belongs to a family that has ranched in the Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana since the 1870’s. He was raised with an attitude rare among ranchers. In his words, “We are here as caretakers of the land.” And Steve means not only the land but also the species that inhabit it, including predators. Hunting in his family is done only to put food on the table, unjustified killing is unacceptable. Steve’s elders taught this from the onset, and he absorbed this lesson and is determined to do his part to reduce the unnecessary destruction of that iconic predator, the gray wolf.
    I’ve known of Steve for some time. He is on the Advisory Board as a ranching and livestock consultant for Living With Wolves, a non-profit founded by the wildlife film-making Dutcher family. On a recent Facebook post Steve displayed his support for Predator Friendly Certification, a coalition of farmers and ranchers who advocate the stewardship of wild animals along with the production of their livestock and other products. This type of certification is an interest of mine so I called Steve up and asked him some questions about it. Of course, when wolf supporters talk there’s a lot of ground to cover, so occasionally, we wandered off topic into other facets of wolfdom.
    Steve told me that the Predator Friendly certification program is showing positive results in encouraging human coexistence with wolves and other predators. However, in order to do this, livestock producers “gotta quit being lazy.” Steve went on to explain that simple changes in management practices can make a lot of difference, such as feeding cattle in the evening rather than in the morning as this tends to cause them to bunch up, making them a more solid force against predators in the dark hours, when most predation occurs. Getting cattle to act more like buffalo generally keeps them safer from natural predators. He also shared that donkeys kept alongside cattle will bray a loud warning, one that alerts ranchers as well as scares off predators who hasten to put miles between themselves and the strange, obnoxious noise. Large-breed dogs, such as the Great Pyrenees, are effective predator deterrents when kept among sheep. At least two or three of these impressive dogs are needed to serve as a significant show of force.
    Steve spoke of the progress made with an Alberta rancher’s cooperative in reducing wolf and livestock conflicts. This innovative group of ranchers, with the assistance of Timmothy Kaminsky (also with Living With Wolves) and the Mountain Livestock cooperative, as well as Steve, has successfully implemented non-lethal methods to prevent depredation from wolves. Last year no cattle at all were lost to this group of 40 ranchers, despite the large number of wolves in the area. Similarly successful work is being done on Blackfoot land in Western Montana. I discovered a wonderful place online called The Grazerie in High Prairie, Alberta that boasts of being the first Predator Friendly certified ranch in Canada.
    With a more enlightened public, many of whom do not want to see natural predators eliminated; Predator Friendly certification offers a whole new market. Steve says that the change will be slow, and that we need to get one or two ranchers in a new area to go along, then others will follow. But in his words, “One day this will be the norm.”
    Steve’s optimism was music to my ears. In a world where advocates lose battle after battle in the effort to protect wolves, it’s wonderful to hear Steve say that change is occurring, even in a place like Montana. But he knows “that ranchers have to want to change” and many of them don’t. The compensation program has opened a can of worms in his estimation and it is one many ranchers take advantage of. This money could have been used for education and Predator Friendly measures, rather than handed out to a handful of ranchers who are unwilling to change. Steve is a big proponent of educating youth, believing kids need to learn the facts early on. He cites the upcoming children’s book about the return of the wolf to Yellowstone called “Running For Home,” as an example of the type of text we need to dispel the erroneous mythology that perpetuates a fear and hatred of wolves.
    Coming from a long line of ranchers, Steve has an in. He can walk onto a rancher’s land and speak with them from experience and empathy. His attitude is to use common sense to approach predator issues. Steve sees all sides of the conflict yet he firmly believes there are solutions that can benefit both the human and wildlife element. But he admits it takes a lot of courage to speak up against the anti-wolf mentality. He spoke of when he began to confront these forces in Montana. Because he had the guts to do this, and without showing fear, others who advocate for wolves became more inclined to stand up too. Seems it takes the courage and conviction of a few to propel a movement fraught with as much emotion and controversy as this conflict.
    Along with a positive outlook, Steve has a charming sense of humor. Over the phone I heard him chuckle over the irrational fears some folks have of wolves, and how steadfast some ranchers are against change. Steve has traveled widely and witnessed relationships between humans and predators all over the world. In Africa he studied the Masai people and how they protect their cattle from lions. Steve has seen first hand how people can reconfigure their lives to live side by side with predators, and with his eternal optimism he firmly believes our region will someday do the same. In his words, “If a third world country can do it, we can too.”

    • If ranchers just wouldn’t de-horn their cows they would at least have something to defend themselves with, but they do everything they can to breed out the cows natural instincts so people won’t get hurt when they force cows into situations they don’t want to be in.

  11. don’t understand why when I hit “reply” for a particular post, it shows up under something else! Hmm.
    Re “counter-trolling”. I can understand there are only so many hours in the day and so many brain cells in our heads…it can be overwhelming. I am surprised that anyone would dismiss what the killers are giving away in their sites. They spell out their fears and biggest concerns…what the threats are: What they fear from us….what makes them angriest….what laws they find threatening (aren’t THESE the same laws WE would want to see passed and utilized to help wolves?) Point is, it gives us an opportunity to realize their dislikes and gives us opportunities to work in tandem against them. I didn’t even know one of the bills mentioned in that blog even existed…until I read it there on the “enemy’s” website.

  12. I just found this post by Against-kill all the wolves-page on FB. It contains the phone numbers for Bill McIrvin:

    Jim, I posted it to your wall too.

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