Catchalot 1 year, 8 months ago on Ranchers: Wolf Trouble

A few mistakes in this story:

Despite what Nash said, the Oregon Cattlemen's Assoc did NOT walk away from the compromise. They approved it:

NO cattle have been attacked in Wallowa County ever when protected by fladry, and ranchers use it regularly to protect their stock.

All the expense of nonlethal tools is paid for by the state, using funds mostly provided by federal grants. Fladry, range riders, radio-activated guard boxes, shotguns and cracker shells, cow bells, costs of removing bone piles - all paid by the taxpayer. And of course lost, killed and injured stock are compensated at full market value. This includes stock "missing" at round-up. Tax credits are available for the full market value of confirmed stock losses.

All the money spent on collaring wolves, reporting their locations to ranchers, maintaining observation of packs and sometimes lethal removal is spent on behalf or ranchers. Ranchers receive constant text and email messages of wolf locations, some have state-supplied radio receivers to give the alarm if collared wolves are present.

Todd Nash "calculates" a loss of $260/head due to wolf presence but has no basis for such a calculation. No study has been completed or published that has found such losses. Much of the expense he ascribed to wolves is part of the daily routine of livestock producers properly managing their cattle.

Coloring all of Nash's statements is the special status some ranchers feel they are owed by their fellow citizens. They feel they have the right to order the wildlife of our state to their liking despite the opinion of the majority of citizens, who have repeatedly supported a viable wolf population. Cattlemen are not an "entitled" aristocracy in Oregon, they have to abide by the majority. And the majority has bent over backward with tax dollars to ease the transition to a healthy landscape containing its proper bio-diversity. Rather than appreciate the fairness displayed by Oregon taxpayers, they remain resentful and convinced of their entitlement.

Ranchers receive tremendous subsidies from the federal government, including bargain basement grazing on public lands ($1.60/head/month), cash subsidies, tax subsidies, free insurance, and more. Wallowa County, Nash's home, received $45.9 million in subsidies from 1995 - 2012, $642,000 in 2012.

Ranchers willing to try have found they can live with wolves and continue their way of life. But some stockmen are damned if they'll adjust. They want things the way they used to be, when they ran the state, when they exterminated every wolf, every pup, by poison, gunshot, trap, and club, with no thought of the effect on Oregon's ecological health, no conception even of allowing room for all Oregon's wildlife.

Those days are over, things have changed for the better, but these particular Oregonians will resent it 'till their last day.