A recent letter to the U-B from Irene Sette from New Jersey regarding Oregon’s wolf-management deserves another point of view.
Sette praises Oregon for adopting rules directing ranchers to use deterrents for controlling wolf attacks on livestock most of which are barely feasible, impractical and costly to the rancher and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Every time there is a cow/calf kill, which occurs more often than one might think, a wildlife agent is called out to determine the cause. Often, by the time the kill has been discovered, it is too late for positive identification. Even with wolf tracks all around, the steps in making a confirmed wolf kill are stringent. Although ranchers patrol mountain ranges several times a week it is very difficult to be everywhere at all times.
She states man can adjust to wolves and the slaughtering of wolves is purely to appease special interests that prefer spilling blood and inflicting pain and suffering with the intent of exterminating wolves.
What about the special interests that have pushed legislators for years to “reintroduce” wolves without regard to whether they were native in an area to begin with? What about the spilling of blood and inflicting pain and suffering on the calves chased, tortured and killed by these wolves that were planted well within range of rancher’s private mountain lands? Pastures that have been grazed for well over 100 years in many cases.
Speaking to the deterrent methods ... patrolling, removing carcasses, shooting into the air and other methods for the ranchers to adhere to are mostly ineffective at best. Wolves chasing livestock leads to wolves killing livestock. Wolves are teaching their young to behave like wolves.
Devastation of livestock (and elk and deer) will only continue and spread. Wolves work in packs. Livestock and wildlife are no match for a pack of wolves weighing over 100 pounds each.
Sette’s comments that wolves maintain a balance in the environment and are essential to all wildlife and man is unsettling. Wolves have no natural predators. So who and how are we to control their population growth?
Ranchers did not invite this situation but are being forced to deal with it while depleting their own resources in the way of time, loss of livestock and money.
It seems many hold a romantic and unrealistic view of wolves and the fallout and destruction the reintroduction has caused. Let ranchers protect their livestock and their livelihoods.