Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Washington wolf attacks mount
The wolves in the Wedge Wolf Pack are now dining almost exclusively on beef, according to a northeastern Washington cattle rancher. "The game department told me they're nearly 100 percent beef in the manure piles," Laurier, Wash., rancher Len McIrvin said. "They've taken all the game in this area and are just living on these cattle." There have been two more kills and two more injured cattle, which state officials confirmed to be wolf-caused, on McIrvin's Diamond M Ranch in recent weeks. However, he estimates 40 calves have been killed, as evidenced by mother cows that are now dry. "The wolves are killing about a calf a day or every other day right now," he said. Dave Ware, game division manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said efforts to kill several wolves in the pack are ongoing. The department increased the number of staff in the area to operate on several sites and increase efforts to keep the wolves from the livestock. "We haven't actually been able to take a wolf, but we've been close several times," he said. "We feel we will be successful in the near future." After killing several wolves, the state will evaluate the situation, Ware said. McIrvin estimated the cost to his operation is approaching $100,000 in cattle kills, weight loss, injuries, extra labor and low conception rate. The department has $50,000 allotted for compensation to ranchers, $5,000 per ranch. McIrvin has refused compensation, saying it would be akin to supporting the wolves' presence. He'd prefer to see the entire pack killed. "The next step's to go out of business if we can't eliminate that pack," McIrvin said. "A cattle ranch can't sustain that kind of losses."McIrvin said he still gets phone calls, with the callers seem to be evenly distributed between industrial support and avid wolf supporters. "As long as it's not their cattle, pets or kids getting eaten, everything is great," he said wryly. "One woman in Seattle said, 'I love wolves, I'd just like to take one home to cuddle with.' I wish she would."...more