Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans

Like many ranchers, Bill Jensen drives a pickup, shoots a high-powered rifle and loves to talk about sheep, cattle and the outdoors. But unlike many ranchers, he no longer relies on the federal government for predator control. Nor does the Marin County rancher have a choice. Ten years ago Marin, known for its environmental activism, halted lethal federal control and launched a program emphasizing nonlethal methods. Jensen, initially skeptical, has turned the program into a success with miles of electric fencing. "We've pretty much learned how to control coyotes on our own," said Jensen, whose losses to coyotes have declined 60 percent to 70 percent – from about 50 lambs a year when a federal trapper worked there to 15 to 20 today. "Anything that can help you 24 hours a day, like electric fencing, is a good thing." What's happening in Marin County shows that ranchers can co-exist with predators without lethal federal control. It is part of a broader and varied spirit of reform aimed at finding new, less destructive ways to live with predators and other wildlife. The target of that effort – a little-known division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture called Wildlife Services – has long specialized in destroying animals considered to be a threat to agriculture, the public and the environment...more

The above is part 3 of a three part series at the Sacramento Bee.  For full coverage go here.

Here's a video of the interview with the rancher.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lethality is the ONLY cure for a sheep killing coyote. Everything else is pure nonsense!