Tell Montana Governor Bullock to Protect Bison – Veto HB 194

FROM

Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC)
March 2015

[NOTE from All-Creatures.org: The confinment, harassment and slaughter of bison is because cattle ranchers do not want wild animals “competing for food” with their cows. GO VEGAN and you will help save bison!]

bison and cattle

ACTION

HB 194 is another attempt by special interests to block the resoration of wild bison in Montana. This act must not become law.

Contact Montana Governor Steve Bullock and let him know you stand for recovering America’s wild buffalo. If you live out of state, let him know why you visit Montana and what is important to you. Tell him to veto HB 194.

Sign an online petition here.

And/or better yet,make direct contact:

Governor Steve Bullock
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol
P.O. Box 200801
Helena, MT 59620-0801
phones (855) 318-1330 or (406) 444-3111
fax (406) 444-5529
governor@mt.gov

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

  • HB 194 is an act requiring a forage (range) analysis before wild buffalo (or bison) are released, transplanted, or migrate naturally, onto land in Montana.
  • HB 194 is another unfunded mandate required to be performed before transplanting or reintroducing buffalo as a wildlife species in Montana.
  • HB 194 provides no funding for a required forage analysis by a range scientist from MSU-Ag or US NRCS.
  • HB 194 uses agricultural theories based on livestock grazing principles rather than professional ecological analysis by wildlife and wildlands professionals.
Photo by  Jim Robertson

Photo by Jim Robertson

Stop Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter!

PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE!

Stop Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter! Sign Our One Click Letter No Matter Where You Live! In February 2014, we asked you to oppose the slaughter of bison in America’s oldest national park and you responded by the thousands. We need you to speak up again, because Yellowstone National Park is continuing to kill these majestic and wild animals. Since January 15, approximately 250 bison have been captured inside the park and all, with the exception of five, tragically transported to slaughterhouses. In addition, Montana hunters and treaty hunters have killed at least 150 bison along the park’s borders, raising the death toll to 400 individuals.  The Montana livestock industry wants America’s last wild bison dead. The Montana Livestock Industry has zero tolerance and no respect for wild animals such as bison. These bison are being rounded up and shipped to slaughter to appease livestock ranchers in Montana who unfairly compete with bison for grazing space.  In 1995, the Montana legislature adopted MCA 81-2-120 in response to political pressure by cattle ranchers to stop wild bison from migrating from Yellowstone National Park into Montana. MCA 81-2-120 gives the Montana Department of Livestock complete jurisdiction over migratory bison, which means that bison can be physically removed, hazed, rounded-up, killed by hunters, and sent to slaughter at the will and order of the Montana livestock industry. Click here to take action: https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2709 See this alert on our website here: http://www.idausa.org/stop-yellowstone-national-parks-bison-slaughter/
(Bison Photo copyright Jim Robertson)

Stop Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter!

Sign Our One Click Letter No Matter Where You Live!

In February 2014, we asked you to oppose the slaughter of bison in America’s oldest national park and you responded by the thousands. We need you to speak up again, because Yellowstone National Park is continuing to kill these majestic and wild animals. Since January 15, approximately 250 bison have been captured inside the park and all, with the exception of five, tragically transported to slaughterhouses. In addition, Montana hunters and treaty hunters have killed at least 150 bison along the park’s borders, raising the death toll to 400 individuals.

The Montana livestock industry wants America’s last wild bison dead.
The Montana Livestock Industry has zero tolerance and no respect for wild animals such as bison. These bison are being rounded up and shipped to slaughter to appease livestock ranchers in Montana who unfairly compete with bison for grazing space.

In 1995, the Montana legislature adopted MCA 81-2-120 in response to political pressure by cattle ranchers to stop wild bison from migrating from Yellowstone National Park into Montana. MCA 81-2-120 gives the Montana Department of Livestock complete jurisdiction over migratory bison, which means that bison can be physically removed, hazed, rounded-up, killed by hunters, and sent to slaughter at the will and order of the Montana livestock industry.

Click here to take action:

https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy…

See this alert on our website here:

http://www.idausa.org/stop-yellowstone-national-parks-biso…/

WA legislation proposes relocating wolves

http://www.spokesman.com/outdoors/stories/2015/feb/05/kretz-legislation-proposes-relocating-wolves/

THURSDAY, FEB. 5, 2015, MIDNIGHT

Kretz legislation proposes relocating wolves

Washington’s best wolf habitat is in the southern Cascade Mountains, where vast federal lands support more than 20,000 elk in the state’s two largest herds.

State biologists expect wolves to discover this prime territory and thrive there by 2022, after gradually dispersing south along the Cascade range.

But seven years is too long a wait for state Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, whose Northeast Washington legislative district is currently home to 11 of the state’s 14 wolf packs, as well as cattle ranchers and sheep herders.

He’s again sponsoring what he calls a “share the love” bill that would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to try relocating wolves to other parts of Washington.

“Most of the support in the state for wolves … comes from areas where there are no wolves,” said Kretz, who last year sponsored a bill to capture Eastern Washington wolves and transplant them to the districts of West Side legislators opposed to any controls on the predators.

But the current bill, HB 1224, isn’t a jab at Western Washington, Kretz said. Instead, it’s intended to speed up wolves’ colonization of the state, which would hasten the removal of federal and state protections for wolves and allow for more active management.

The legislation is among several wolf-related bills scheduled for hearings today in the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Relocating wolves would face steep political hurdles, but some livestock producers and environmental groups think the idea has merit.

The Washington Cattlemen’s Association wants ranchers to have more options for dealing with wolves that attack livestock, said Jack Field, the association’s executive vice president. That won’t happen until wolf populations recover to the point that federal protections are lifted throughout the state, and relocating wolves would make that happen faster, he said.

According to Washington’s wolf recovery plan, wolves will remain a protected species until at least 15 breeding pairs are documented across the state for three years. The pairs must be geographically dispersed so there are breeding pairs in Eastern Washington, north-central Washington and a zone that includes the south Cascades and Western Washington.

Environmental groups also support faster colonization.

“The South Cascades has the best wolf habitat in the state because of the prey base,” said Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest’s executive director. In addition to the Yakima elk herd, with about 10,000 animals, the area contains the St. Helens herd, which is infected with a bacterial hoof disease.

“The state is hiring gunners to mercy-kill some of those elk. Wolves would do a better job,” Friedman said.

But the southern Cascades and the Olympic Peninsula, which also has good wolf habitat, are rural and conservative, much like Northeast Washington. Politically, it would be difficult to get the support to relocate wolves, Friedman said.

“There’s a big difference between wolves coming there on their own paws versus in a state pickup truck,” he said.

That’s one of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s concerns, said Dave Ware, the agency’s policy lead on wolves. In the Northern Rockies, anti-wolf advocates have never forgotten the federal government transplanted Canadian wolves into Yellowstone and Central Idaho.

“There’s that stigma that you brought them here, versus them moving in naturally,” Ware said.

The endeavor also would be costly and time consuming, he added. State biologists figure they would need to trap and transplant about 30 wolves – preferably in packs – to end up with several breeding pairs that would stick around in their new location.

Such an action would require thorough state and federal environmental analysis, which would take two to three years to complete. A wolf relocation pilot project, as outlined in Kretz’s bill, would cost about $1 million, according to state estimates.

In a few years, wolves will be establishing packs in the South Cascades on their own, Ware predicted. Wolf tracks have been documented northwest of Yakima, in the foothills of the Cascades, where credible sightings of multiple wolves also have occurred. Last spring, a photo of a wolf was taken in Klickitat County.

“They are bounding around. They’re looking,” Ware said. “It’s just a matter of time before a male and female find each other and decide to start a pack.”

But Kretz said livestock producers in Northeast Washington need faster action to protect their animals from wolf attacks. He and Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, also are sponsoring or co-sponsoring several other wolf bills.

Also on the agenda for today’s hearing are bills that would order the Fish and Wildlife Department to manage wolf problems with “lethal means” under certain circumstances and give the Fish and Wildlife Commission more leeway in changing a state endangered species classification.

Sen. Brian Dansel, R-Republic, is sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate, allowing state endangered species to be declassified by region. If adopted, it would allow the state to manage wolves differently in the eastern one-third of Washington than in other parts of the state.

“We’re putting out a number of ideas,” Short said. “We’re saying we just need some relief.”

copyrighted wolf in river

200+ Yellowstone Bison Sent to Slaghter

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/at-least-200-yellowstone-bison-have-been-sent-to-slaughter-conservation-group/ar-AA8wPh0

Yellowstone National Park has shipped at least 200 bison near the park boundary with Montana to slaughter as the famed tourist destination seeks to reduce a herd by 900 animals this winter, a U.S. conservation group said on Friday.

A park spokesman, Al Nash, could not immediately confirm how many bison may have been handed over to tribal partners and taken to slaughter. But he said 162 bison had been captured and placed into a holding facility as of a week ago.

The Buffalo Field Campaign, which opposes the culling and has been monitoring it, said the bison had been dispatched to slaughter since Wednesday, and anticipated that 55 more could be sent on Monday.

The culling plan allows the bulk of bison marked for death to be transferred to Native American tribes for slaughter and a certain number of the wandering buffalo to be killed by hunters.

The strategy is designed to address worries by ranchers that bison infected with the bacterial disease brucellosis, which can cause miscarriages in cattle, could transmit it to their herds, potentially threatening Montana’s brucellosis-free status.

The plan this winter to reduce the bison population to 4,000 from 4,900 comes as conservation groups are seeking federal protections for a herd that is a top attraction for the 3 million annual visitors to a park that spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Buffalo Field Campaign spokeswoman Stephany Seay called the culling practice “the brutal abuse and slaughter of the only wild population of buffalo remaining in this country.”

The iconic hump-backed animals once roamed by the tens of millions west of the Mississippi until hunting campaigns reduced their numbers to the fewer than 50 that found safe harbor at Yellowstone in the early 20th century.

The Buffalo Field Campaign said that roughly another 100 bison have been killed by hunters outside the park in Montana, while Nash, citing state officials, put that number lower, at 70.

Nash said the park usually engages in culling in winter, when bison migrate to lower elevations in search of food. Federal and state officials on horseback have been capturing animals along the park boundary, both inside and outside the park.

Conservationists petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year to provide federal safeguards for the Yellowstone herd, contending it was the only free-roaming band in the country to retain its genetic integrity.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Can You Be a Feminist and Drink Milk?

http://www.peta2.com/blog/feminism-dairy-milk/?utm_campaign=0115%20Bi-Weekly%20Recap%20EA&utm_source=peta2%20E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert

December 16, 2014 by Liz Weske

Listen up, ladies (and men who care about women’s rights, duh!), because this one’s for you:

As an animal rights activist AND a feminist, I’ve always felt that it’s important for us women and girls to recognize the connection between feminism and the treatment of cows used by the dairy industry. While this may sound like a stretch at first, here’s why:

All cows who are used for their milk are female—in case ya didn’t already know that!

Cows and Calf We animals

Female cows don’t need to be milked. Female cows produce milk for the same reason that human women do: to feed THEIR babies. On factory farms, calves are torn away from their mothers so that the momma cow’s milk can be saved for human consumption (we’re the ONLY species that drinks another species’ milk regularly—so weird!). This is what it looks like:

cows running after babies gif

Cows produce milk only after they’ve been pregnant. In order to get cows pregnant, farmers forcibly impregnate them on what the industry calls a “rape rack.” Uhhhhh … read that again. A rape rack. That’s literally what it’s called. Can you really consider yourself someone who stands up for all females if you condone farmers’ use of RAPE RACKS to impregnate cows—just so they can DRAG their babies away and repeat the whole thing again?

Female cows in the dairy industry are treated as nothing more than baby- and milk-making machines—with no regard for their emotional lives. If they were allowed to do so, mother cows would spend months with their young, teaching, nurturing, and bonding with them. On factory farms, all they can do is cry out for their babies as they’re violently dragged away. For the milk to make it to grocery-store shelves, cows are hooked up to milking machines for most of their lives. No “old MacDonald’s farm” here. When their milk production decreases and the cows are no longer profitable, they’re sent to slaughter.

If you still aren’t getting the connection, let me break it down for you: Women and girls EVERYWHERE are being used and abused. Many of us have grown up in male-dominated societies that tell us what to do with our bodies and how they should be used, and sadly, we’re often seen as nothing more than objects. Many women and girls are forced into situations where they lose control over their bodies—and far too often, other people think that they deserve this control. That’s what’s happening to cows on dairy farms every single day—all for a totally unnecessary and disgusting product. 

dairy torture gif

No moms want to be hooked up to a rape rack, be forcibly impregnated, and have their baby taken away from them. It’s up to us to exercise our “girl power” (the best kind of power there is!) and say enough is enough!

You know that this is wrong, but the good news is that it’s SO easy to help. All you have to do is stick to dairy-free alternatives to milk and cheese, which is easier than ever!

Learn more about dairy products and how you can help cows:

1. Check this page out for tips on ditching dairy.

2. Get the scoop on vegan cheese here!

3. Take action here for cows used for their milk, then share this page by clicking the buttons below.

Read more: http://www.peta2.com/blog/feminism-dairy-milk/#ixzz3OSGPb7Fn

Hung and Christmas-decorated coyote stirs outrage

Hung and Christmas-decorated coyote stirs outrage

Posted by Ted McDermott on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Earlier this week, Christine Svoboda was driving from her home in Thompson Falls to Plains when she caught sight of something strange and disturbing on the side of River Road, near the Sanders County Fairgrounds: a coyote, hanging by its ankle from a tree, with a red Christmas bow. She initially thought it was a wolf.

CHRISTINE SVOBODA

  • Christine Svoboda

“I was mortified by it,” Svoboda says. “I like wildlife. I moved to Montana, because I love living among nature, and then you see sad things. It’s cruelty to animals, is what it is. It’s very disrespectful to animals.”

Sanders County Commissioner Carol Brooker, who represents the Plains area, says she doesn’t know a lot about the offending coyote, but she does know Svoboda isn’t the only one alarmed by bizarre decoration. According to Brooker, River Road is the second busiest thoroughfare in the county. Its traffic, she says, regularly includes school buses.

“It’s really unnerved a lot of people,” Brooker says.

While Brooker says there is an old ranching tradition of hanging dead coyotes to ward off other coyotes from vulnerable livestock, she doesn’t believe this to be the intention in this case.

“This particular place that this is hanging, I don’t think they have any livestock,” Brooker says, adding that the animal is in a yard, not on a ranch.

According to Brooker, the Sander County Sheriff’s Department is aware of the coyote but is unable to do anything about it, since it’s on private property. As for Svoboda, she says she took photos of the hung animal in an attempt to raise awareness.

“I thought maybe I would try to just let them know that somebody knows, that somebody saw it, and maybe it’s not okay to do that,”

http://m.bigskypress.com/IndyBlog/archives/2014/12/11/hung-and-christmas-decorated-coyote-stirs-outrage

Adult Onset Hedonism

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Practically everywhere you look lately are signs of a growing backlash against the progressive vegan movement. It seems people, many who’ve never tried going a day without eating animal products, are tired of being told vegetarian is healthier than flesh-eating and veganism is better still—its carbon footprint being only a fraction of the gargantuan impact of the standard American diet. Plus, vegans have the benefit of a clearer conscience than a person who contributes to animal suffering on a daily basis (assuming said person cares at all about animals). But many are comfortable with their meat addiction and don’t see any reason to ever change. And though they’re still the vast majority and therefore have nothing to fear from the efforts of outnumbered do-gooders, they see it as an attack on their right to be as hedonistic as they so desire and have begun a collective counterattack, just to show ‘em.

A prime example is the subject of a December 4, 2014, article in UT-San Diego. The piece by Michele Parente, cleverly entitled, “Meat trend has some seeing red,”

As in other major cities across the country, San Diego’s current mania for all things meat defies that other growing trend of eating only plant-based food. “I ordered double sausage out of spite,” one diner posted on Facebook, along with a photo of people eating at sidewalk tables, inches away from picketers. “For every animal you don’t eat, I’m going to eat three,” posted another.

Parente started the article out (glibly),

Meat is all the rage in San Diego right now and that’s got some people broiling.

A proliferation of pork-centric places has sprung up all over the county, along with eateries serving up all manner of beef, game, organ and exotic meats. Hungry for a meatier experience? How about a pre-dinner demonstration on how to butcher a whole animal or even the opportunity to slaughter your entrée yourself? And while the current carnivore craze is sating foodies…

What?! Wait a minute. Slow down there and let us un-hipsters catch up; just what the hell is a “foodie,” anyway? It sounds like some kind of baby talk to me. Well, I looked it up and as it turns out that’s not far off. According the Urban Dictionary’s first two definitions, a “foodie” is,

  1. Foodie: A douchebag who likes food.

Douchebag – “I’m a big foodie.”

Non-doucher – “Really? I like food too, but I’m not a tool.” 

  1. Foodie: A dumbed-down term used by corporate marketing forces to infantilize and increase consumerism in an increasingly simple-minded American magazine reading audience. The addition of the long “e” sound on the end of a common word is used to create the sensation of being part of a group in isolationist urban society, while also feminizing the term to subconsciously foster submission to ever-present market sources.

Though the terms “gastronome” and “epicure” define the same thing, i.e. a person who enjoys food for pleasure, these words are perceived by the modern American consumer as elitist due to their Latin root forms and polysyllabic pronunciation

If you’ve ever heard the postpartum cries of a newborn unwillingly evicted from the warmth of a watery womb, or witnessed the incessant tantrum of a terrible two-year old, you know that babies can be a bit self-centered. They don’t really seem to care about others around them; they just want whatever they don’t have, and you’d better figure out what that is—and fast. Meanwhile, in a similarly self-absorbed manner, “foodies” believe they are entitled to make the art of stuffing their gullet an “adventure,” eating whatever they want—or whomever they want—the rights or interests of the victims of their carnivorous quests be damned.

Popular pulp among narcissistic “locavores” is new book touting the alleged virtues of “adult onset hunting.” At the height of hedonism, these nouveau-savage self-actualizers not only find fulfillment in consuming wild animals but also in all forms of related carnage, including (but not limited to) stalking, shooting, snuffing out, dismembering and butchering them first.

Parente’s article continues,

…a small group of animal-rights activists holding “Meat is Murder” signs has been picketing S&M Sausage & Meat each week since it opened in Hillcrest about a month ago.

A recent DIY butchery event, provocatively called Death For Food, was canceled after an online campaign launched by lawyer and seal defender Bryan Pease attracted about 2,500 protesters and threats of a potential boycott against Suzie’s Farm, where the farm-to-guillotine-to-table dinner was scheduled to be held. 

The restaurant, whose logo is a hog on its back, feet in the air and apple in the mouth, is an unabashed haven for adventurous meat eaters, offering everything from kangaroo hotlinks to alligator-antelope Andouille sausage and fried pig ears. “Anything we can find that used to be breathing… Its customers are equally unapologetic.

 “The audience is quite frankly demanding and wants to be part of the experience,” Freeman said. “They want the thrill and adventure of dining they get with whole-animal (butchery).” “…it gives you an experience.”

The otherwise nauseating article does include a good quote from Stephanie Shaw, a PETA spokeswoman, that sums up the vegan message in a nutshell.

“Any restaurant that serves meat, whether it’s farm to table, whole-animal butchers or McDonald’s … is supporting the violent and untimely or unnecessary death of an animal that wanted to live,” Shaw said. “With every meal, we have the opportunity to choose cruelty or kindness.”

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Nt’l Geo: Why Killing Wolves Might Not Save Livestock

[What do they mean “save” livestock. The cows and sheep are all doomed to be sent to the slaughterhouse eventually anyway…]

copyrighted wolf in water

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/12/141203-wolves-hunting-livestock-ranchers-endangered-species-environment/

New study fuels debate over how to reduce attacks on cows and sheep.

Warren Cornwall

for National Geographic

Published December 3, 2014

In late August, a government sharpshooter in a helicopter hovering above a wooded eastern Washington hillside killed the lead female wolf of the Huckleberry Pack. The aim was to end attacks by the wolf pack, which had killed more than two dozen sheep.

But in the long run, a shooting like this could just make matters worse. A new study has found that—paradoxically—killing a wolf can increase the risk that wolves will prey on livestock in the future.

The research, published today in the scientific journal PLOS One, flies in the face of the common idea that the swiftest and surest way to deal with wolves threatening livestock is by shooting the predators. It adds to a growing understanding of how humans influence the complex dynamics driving these pack animals, sometimes with unexpected consequences.

As wolves spread across the West, triggering more encounters with sheep and cattle, and as two states host wolf-hunting seasons, the new research also adds more fuel to an already heated political debate about how to deal with wolves.

“The livestock industry, they’re not going to be happy with this,” said Rob Wielgus, a Washington State University ecologist and the study’s lead author.

Back From the Brink

Shooting wolves is a long-standing practice in the ranching world. It helped lead to the animal’s eradication in the western United States in the 1930s. Since the wolf’s reintroduction in the mid-1990s, government officials and ranchers have frequently reached for a gun to cope with livestock problems—killing more than 2,000 wolves by 2013.

In 2011, wolves were removed from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act in Idaho, Montana, and parts of Washington, Oregon, and Utah. (Wyoming got a similar stamp of approval in 2012, but a federal judge recently overturned that decision.) That has made it easier to shoot wolves—Idaho and Montana now even allow recreational hunting.

But there have never been any large-scale studies of whether killing wolves really helps protect livestock.

Enter Wielgus. He has a track record for turning conventional wisdom on its head when it comes to attempts to control predators. In 2008 he made news with research that found shooting cougars led to more attacks on livestock. When mature adults were killed, Wielgus said, less seasoned adolescents moved in and were more likely to prey on cows and sheep.

After wolves arrived in Washington in 2008, growing to 13 packs by 2013, Wielgus turned his attention to the newest carnivore on the block. He examined 25 years of data on killing of wolves and cases where wolves attacked cattle and sheep in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming—the first states where wolves were reintroduced.

What the Data Say

Wielgus found that when a wolf was killed, the chances of livestock getting killed increased the following year in that state—by 5 to 6 percent for cattle and 4 percent for sheep. With each additional wolf killed, the chance of livestock attacks rose further. The trend didn’t reverse until more than a quarter of the wolves in the state were killed in a single year. Then livestock losses started to decline.

That level of wolf-killing happened several times even while wolves were federally protected, under rules that allowed shooting of wolves that threatened livestock. And it is happening now in Idaho and Montana. Last year, hunters killed 231 wolves in Montana and 356 in Idaho, helping to reduce the population to slightly more than 600 in each state. The Idaho legislature this year created a Wolf Depredation Control Board, a move critics say is aimed at pushing wolf numbers down to just above 150—a cutoff that could trigger renewed protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Wielgus isn’t certain why more livestock die when smaller numbers of wolves are killed. But he suspects it’s tied to changes in pack behavior. Packs are led by a male and female breeding pair. If one or both of those wolves is killed, the pack can break up, giving rise to several breeding pairs—and thus an uptick in the wolf population. Livestock losses decline only when enough wolves are killed to overwhelm their ability to keep up through reproduction.

The theory fits observations made in and around Yellowstone National Park. Wolf packs inside the park—where wolves aren’t shot—are large and complex, with wolves of a variety of ages living together, said Doug Smith, a lead wolf researcher at Yellowstone. Wolf packs elsewhere tend to be just a breeding pair and pups.

For Wielgus, the upshot of his study is that while killing a wolf might sometimes be necessary, as a routine practice it’s counterproductive and unsustainable. Either livestock losses go up or, if enough wolves are killed to reduce livestock deaths, wolf numbers eventually drop so low that wolves wind up back on the endangered species list. If the killing slows to less than 25 percent of the wolf population per year, his study suggests, depredation rates shoot back up.

“It’s a bit of a catch-22,” Wielgus said. “You can reduce them now, but you can only reduce them so far, and when you stop that heavy harvest, now you’re at maximum livestock depredation.”

Is There Another Way?

Reaction to the new study was split down predictable fault lines. Wolf conservationists pointed to it as evidence that shooting wolves to save livestock usually doesn’t make sense. “You have this very archaic paradigm of kill first, ask questions later,” said Suzanne Stone, senior northwest representative for the environmental group Defenders of Wildlife. Overall, people in the livestock industry are “still pretty rigid in their views that the only way to deal with predators is to kill them. And that’s not true. It actually works against them.”

Stone has run a program with sheep growers in one Idaho valley aimed at finding ways for sheep and wolves to coexist. The ranchers there resort to a number of tactics to protect roughly 30,000 sheep: monitoring wolves to avoid grazing the sheep near denning sites, using guard dogs, flashing bright lights to scare off wolves, stringing a wire hung with small strips of fabric around the flock at night, and increasing the number of people herding the animals.

Stone said the program is cheaper than dispatching a gunman in a helicopter. Fewer than 30 sheep have been lost to wolves in seven years, and no wolves have been killed.

Stan Boyd, executive director of the Idaho Wool Growers Association, said his group works with members to help them deter wolves without shooting the animals. But he still sees guns as critical tools, and he says wolf problems have declined recently as the number of Idaho wolves has gone down.

“Wolves get into livestock, we kill the wolves. And that works well,” Boyd said. “The professor can say whatever he wants. We’re not going to just let wolves run wild.”

In Washington state, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which paid for Wielgus’s research, is waiting for him to complete a broader examination of all options for managing wolves, said John Pierce, the agency’s chief wildlife scientist. “In the long run, we definitely would prefer to do nonlethal removal if we can figure out how it works,” Pierce said.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Huckleberry Pack. In the aftermath of the shooting of the lead female, will fewer sheep die in wolf attacks—or more?