Friday, April 22, 2016

Cattle in Grizzly Country

In the aspens of Alberta’s foothills, Charlie Russell carefully positions a dead cow among some boulders. Along a low ridge near the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Karl Rappold and his wife ride horses, whistling and pushing cows and calves to higher pastures. North of Yellowstone Park, Dre Ramirez stretches polywire fencing as Ancient White Park cattle graze nearby. What do these people have in common? They are all trying to make peace between grizzly bears and cows in the Northern Rocky Mountains at a time when conflicts have been mounting. Unfortunately, these practitioners of coexistence and compassion are the exceptions, not the norm. If federal protections for grizzly bears are removed, the states (especially Wyoming) will manage conflicts by tending to kill the involved bear and by sport hunting. The practice of coexistence may continue among dedicated ranchers like these, but overall the landscape for grizzly bears will be deadlier. How can we prevent this from happening and build instead on recent successes?...more

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