Last chance for the Lobo

Mexican wolves caught in the crossfire of the battle over public lands.

  • Last chance for the lobo

    MEXICAN WOLF REINTRODUCTION PROJECT
  • Shawna Nelson of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project releases a wolf into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area

    MEXICAN WOLF REINTRODUCTION PROJECT
  • Project staff maneuver a Mexican gray wolf into a custom pannier

    PHOTO COURTESY ARIZONA GAME AND FISH
  • Val Asher transporting two Cienega pack wolves

    PHOTO COURTESY ARIZONA GAME AND FISH
  • Rich Bard of Arizona Game and Fish examines the carcass of an elk that's been stripped clean by wolves and coyotes in the Mexican wolf recovery area

    COURTESY ARIZONA GAME AND FISH
  • The Miller family at their home in Catron County, New Mexico

    JOHN DOUGHERTY
 

Debbie Miller, a hardy brunette with a butterfly tattoo on her right arm, walks past the family shooting range just outside her kitchen door. She is talking about a recent visitor to her isolated ranch house in the high desert rangeland of Catron County, N.M. "She had been in the yard 10 times in eight weeks," Miller says on a sunny July afternoon. "This was like home for her."

It would, it turns out, be the visitor's final home. Miller's guest wasn't exactly welcome: It was a female Mexican gray wolf that was rearing at least one pup in a den not far from here. The alpha female and her mate and offspring made up the Durango pack, which was released last April onto the national forest as part of a 10-year effort to re-establish the endangered Mexican gray wolf in the wild.

Miller's husband, Mike, was none too happy about the Durango pack's visits. Tall and lean with an ever-present Marlboro protruding from beneath his waxed handlebar mustache, Mike Miller is a cowboy on one of New Mexico's largest spreads, the 275,000-acre Adobe-Slash Ranch. His task is to keep track of several thousand cows scattered across some 64,000 acres for the ranch's owner, Eloy S. Vallina, a wealthy Mexican businessman.

Miller keeps an eye on predators that may threaten livestock, especially the Mexican gray wolf. After being hunted to the brink of extinction, the wolf is once again roaming the grasslands, mountains and streams of western New Mexico and eastern Arizona.

So Miller was concerned when the Durango female showed up near his house about a dozen times. Yet instead of trying to scare it off, he did the opposite. On June 21, he branded cattle less than a half-mile from the wolves' den, the enticing aroma of seared flesh surely reaching the pack's super-sensitive nostrils. Miller was, in essence, offering up a cow as a sacrifice.

The government's Mexican gray wolf reintroduction rulebook says that a rancher cannot shoot a wolf simply because she threatens his livestock. But if a single wolf kills three cows or sheep or other domestic animals in a single year, then federal officers may kill or capture the wolf. The wolf Miller had his eye on already had two strikes against her; Miller was hoping for a third.

"We would sacrifice a calf to get a third strike," Miller told High Country News, candidly revealing a tactic that could help ranchers get the upper hand in their protracted, bloody war against the endangered Mexican wolves.

Like similar conflicts across the West, the one over the Mexican gray wolf is part of a much bigger struggle for control of the public lands, a battle that pits the "old" users, such as ranchers, against environmentalists and the federal government. But this battle is bloodier than most, and it takes place at the heart of the seething larger war: Catron County, a rugged, remote place where resentment of the federal government is an integral part of the local culture.

Environmentalists are equally unhappy about the situation, angry at the way a consortium of state, tribal and federal agencies led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is handling the wolf reintroduction. They say the authorities are more concerned with pacifying ranchers, who collectively lose a handful of cattle each year to wolves, than ensuring the successful reintroduction of one of the rarest mammals in North America. Currently, the program has been shooting or removing wolves from the wild at about the same rate as cows are being killed. "You can't recover the Mexican gray wolf with guns and traps, the same measures that were used to nearly exterminate it," says Michael Robinson of the Tucson-based environmental group Center for Biological Diversity.

Ranchers say they have no intention of letting Mexican wolves again roam the landscape to prey on livestock, horses and pets, and maybe even their friends and family. They say environmentalists are using the wolf as a terrorist tactic to force ranchers off public lands they have controlled for decades through grazing leases. "We're not saying kill the wolf. We're saying remove the wolf," says Catron County manager Bill Aymar. "It's not going to end well if they don't remove the wolf."

However you look at it, things aren't going well for the wolves these days. That's partly due to the vehemence of local aversion, which has helped inspire tactics such as Mike Miller's. But critics blame the wolf reintroduction program itself, or at least an aspect that lies at its very foundation. By following political rather than biological protocol, they say, the Fish and Wildlife Service is sabotaging itself: It's dropping genetically weak packs into a hostile landscape where only the strongest have a chance to survive.

The Mexican gray wolf once roamed freely throughout the Southwestern United States and deep into Mexico. But human settlers and wolves have never mixed well. At the behest of ranchers early in the 20th century, the U.S. government began a campaign to exterminate the wolf. And by 1950, all but a handful of Mexican gray wolves had been wiped out.

The killing didn't stop at the border: U.S. officials exported poison and sent American hunters to Mexico to continue the slaughter. By the late 1970s, there were less than 50 wolves left. Absolute extinction was staved off in 1976, when the Mexican gray wolf was listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The listing triggered plans to bring the wolf back from near-extinction through a captive breeding program. Between 1977 and 1980, five wild Mexican gray wolves were captured in Mexico. The progeny of three of those wolves, plus four other purebred Mexican gray wolves already in captivity, have provided the breeding stock for the entire reintroduction effort.

The first 11 wolves were released in March 1998 into the 7,000-square-mile Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, which includes portions of national forests and wilderness areas in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, as well as the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona.

Northern Rockies gray wolves had already been successfully reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park in 1995. There, however, the wolves were protected from conflicts with ranchers. In contrast, the Mexican gray wolves were released directly onto public lands long controlled by the livestock industry. Soon after the first release, the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, seeking to stop the program. The ranchers lost that skirmish in the courtroom, but in the wild, the wolves seem to be losing the war.

Wildlife managers have issued orders to kill or permanently remove 59 wolves. Most were removed or shot because they were caught feasting on cattle, even though the dead livestock constitute only a tiny fraction of the animals that graze in the wolf recovery area.

Poachers, meanwhile, have shot and killed another 25 wolves. Only two of the shootings have been resolved: One was ruled self-defense and the other resulted in a successful prosecution. The other cases remain under investigation. Meanwhile, last month, another three wolves disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

 If the wolves removed by wildlife agencies and those deliberately killed by poachers had remained on the land, the Mexican gray wolf population would have likely achieved the recovery program's goal of 102 wolves and 18 breeding pairs by the end of 2006. Instead, there are about 40 mature Mexican gray wolves and less than seven breeding pairs.

David Parsons, who once led the wolf reintroduction effort for the Fish and Wildlife Service, says the government is violating the Endangered Species Act by not making progress towards re-establishing the wolf in the wild. Instead, he says, the agency is taking the "path of least resistance," and bowing to the demands of angry ranchers.

"The government should have been looking for innovative solutions that focus on keeping wolves alive and allowing them to survive in the wild rather than focusing on wolf control," says Parsons, who is now the carnivore conservation biologist with The Rewilding Institute, an Albuquerque environmental group that advocates the reintroduction of wolves to their natural habitat throughout North America.

It's nothing short of a miracle that any Mexican gray wolves still exist. By the late 1970s, the subspecies' best hope for survival came down to a single female wolf. The wolf, known as Nina, was pregnant when she was captured in the spring of 1978. She delivered five pups in captivity; the four males survived but the only female pup died. Nina failed to breed during the next three years, and by the spring of 1981, she was almost 9 years old. Biologists feared her reproductive days were over. But Nina gave birth to three female pups that year, saving her species from extinction.

In the mid-1990s, two additional pairs of Mexican gray wolves were added to the breeding program after scientists confirmed that they, too, were pure-blooded stock. There are now approximately 350 Mexican gray wolves held at 47 facilities. But successfully breeding captive wolves is merely the first step in returning the subspecies to the wild. The fact that all the Mexican gray wolves are descended from only three distinct lineages is causing serious problems.

Most of the wolves bred in captivity and released into the wild are Nina's direct descendents. These highly inbred wolves, known as the McBride lineage, typically bear litters of two pups, compared to an expected average litter of five. Three of the nine wolf packs on the ground in late 2006 were pure McBride lineage.

Crossing the McBride line with the other two lineages, the Ghost Ranch and the Aragon, creates healthier wolves that will produce more wild-born pups with each litter, says Arizona State University biology professor Philip Hedrick, who has conducted extensive genetic studies on Mexican gray wolves and played a key role in developing the captive breeding program.

"All Mexican gray wolves are not created equal," he says.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, however, has been slow to release mixed-lineage wolves into the wild; only five, all belonging to the Aspen pack, have been released into the recovery area in the last three years. Officials say the low number is the result of a management rule that restricts the initial release of wolves to a relatively small area in Arizona. Only after that initial release can a wolf later be recaptured and re-released directly into New Mexico.

The cumbersome rule resulted from a political compromise in the mid-1990s, when the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission announced that it would oppose wolf reintroduction if captive wolves were released directly into the state.

John Morgart, Fish and Wildlife Service Mexican wolf recovery program coordinator, says the rule makes it difficult for the agency to release new wolves. Because there are already established packs in many of the best release sites in Arizona, there's simply not enough room for any newcomers.

At the same time, the Fish and Wildlife Service continues to remove the few high-value, mixed-lineage wolves that kill cattle, or simply stray beyond the recovery area's boundary. "The genetic mix of a pack does not enter into our decisions to remove animals," says agency spokeswoman Elizabeth Slown. This has raised doubts over the government's commitment to successful reintroduction. "Sometimes I wonder whether they have the best interests of these wolves in mind," Hedrick says.

Morgart says his agency is working to get genetically valuable wolves into the wild as soon as possible. But he acknowledges that it has yet to establish an optimal genetic mix of wolves. "We have been slowly changing the genetic representation," he says. "We are just not where we should be today."

Anonymous
Dec 21, 2007 01:52 PM

Congratulations to High Country News and John Dougherty for shedding some light on this dark corner of New Mexico. For too long, these land-trashing, environmentally misplaced factory animals have been valued over the original inhabitants of the landscape. Last time I checked, cattle were not on the endangered species list. Why shoot the wolves? Seems we are aiming in the wrong direction.

Thanks again;

Gary Cascio

KILL THE WOLVES
Kelsi Dawn
Kelsi Dawn
Nov 20, 2008 03:11 PM
if people want to try to keep these horrible predetors alive put them in alaska or iraq where hunters and ranchers dont have to deal with them!!!!
Anonymous
Dec 21, 2007 01:52 PM

I made a comment last night and now can't access the comments to see if there is any further discussion. Is this censorship? John Dougherty's article is so far from presenting a dispassionate, true sense of the situation it should be balanced with a little on the ground reality to deflate the malicious hype.

Anonymous
Dec 21, 2007 01:52 PM

HELP THE ENVIORMENT!!!
NO ENDANGERED SPECIES!!!

Anonymous
Dec 21, 2007 04:34 PM
John
We could really use some evidence to refute the claim that the "baiting" part of this story was fabricated. Miller is disavowing the whole episode -- what else can he do, it is a federal crime. Were the interviews w/ Miller recorded in any way? Any supporting evidence that can be provided would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the great story. Cheers, Todd
Anonymous
Dec 21, 2007 06:03 PM

This ranch needs to have their grazing rights taken away at once! not all this
story can be a lie,even a little truth in this is very bad. And if their daughter has been traumatized (can not see why she would) then they need to move out and find another way of living. I and alot of other folks are in the process of contacting FBI, and the Forest service about this, it will be investigated!. And to brag about what they have done is just afwle. No wonder their children are afraid of the big bad wolf, with parents like that! Millers, in my book you are one family that needs serious counseling!!!!

Anonymous
Dec 22, 2007 01:44 AM

It's unfortunate that the above comments were made by uncaring/unthinking individuals with too much time on their hands. I lived in the city most of my life and like the rest of the city folks heard and believed most the lies handed to us by the "enviroMENTALists." I now live among the ranchers and have horses. I moved here to enjoy this beautiful countryside while riding my horse. Now I fear my hiking/riding days are minimized by a few who think they know what is best for those individuals who have homesteaded and live here for generations.

I have first hand seen these families traumatized not only by the wolves themselves, but also the people who keep threatening them with lawsuits and huges fines if they try to protect their land and livestock (their livlihood). Yes, folks here are getting really sick and tired of those who don't even live here of shoving these unwanted (unendangered) experimental introductory animals in every orafice in their body. We can hardly wait for their releasing two other deadly killing machines here, the grizzly and the jaguar. It does my heart real good to hear that animals now worth much more than human lives. Ask Carnegie how he felt about the wolves while they were ripping him apart or the folks who found him afterward and were intimated by the wolf lovers and had their credibility ripped apart.

Better yet, ask the folks in Russia and neighboring countries about all the wolf attacks they have and are still enduring because the government has taken away their right to protect themselves. When the government then takes the men for fighting wars, and other programs, that leaves only women and children and some old folks defenseless against habituated wolves. Children are easy prey and wolves are notoriously opportunists. Of course you won't see these reports in this country.

I do love wild animals!!! That is why I moved here from Phoenix, AZ. We provided water and still do and enjoy watching the animals come near. We don't interact with them because, of course, we want them to remain wild and have a healthy fear of humans so they will continue to live. I feel for the wolf's plight, because now they are paying a big price. So tell me, "When Do Animals Quit Paying the Price for Stupid People."

Another observation, "Idealism without a measure of realism cancels all good intentions." One more thing, ask Ted Turner why he has removed all the wolves from his land (some of them killed). Could it be they were killing too many of your precious Bison calves? I am sure if asked the reply will get lost somewhere along the way. Employees of his have already started talking about it.

I was an avid subscriber of High Country News, unfortunately because of this biased coverage of a way of life now being seriously threatened and not having all the facts before spreading it to your thousands of subscribers/readers, we no longer wish to have this paper. I wish you well, but not at the cost of people's way of life and livlihood.

Like the rest of the cowards that respond to this media and are afraid to give their names, I will say from Marnie Ashby, resident of Catron County and proud of it, I hope and pray this program fails miserably.

 

Anonymous
Dec 22, 2007 12:35 PM

Ignorance is running wild in the ranchers that claim to be "making a living" by sucking resources from Federal land. This is all US citizens land. Don't try making it about "your living".. REVOKE GRAZING NOW!

Anonymous
Dec 22, 2007 12:35 PM

After reading about this artical in the Silver City Sun News I had to look it up on the web and read the whole thing. What garbage ! I don't know the Millers but I can't believe any one in his right mind would say he did something to bait a"Wolf"and do it to a vocale minority , radical , eco reporter . I knew this must be so when I saw all the radical , opinionated . remarks made by Mr. Robinson in PA. Get a life and let the people trying to make a life and a living alone .

From a member of the silent majority, John Moore

 

Anonymous
Dec 22, 2007 12:36 PM


Well, Well, Well, so the U.S. Forest Service is on the side of the ranchers in Catron County?? Is this a surprise to anyone? For years they have bent over backwards to accomodate the ranches that could never survive if not for absurdly low grazing fees they pay. The same people who complain about "city folk on welfare" are some of the biggest per capita receivers of federal dollars, irony is not a stong enough word to describe it. As a former New Mexico citizen who ,often travelled in the wolf recovery area, I found the silly folk who were against wolf recovery the biggest bunch of cowards around. They were well armed and ready to give sound bite answers, but if it came to a serious argument, or god forbid a bit of mano y mano they left, ran, or went to the pickup and roared away. The disdain I feel for chickenshit ranchers( employees, & owners!!) does not come close to the disdain felt for the Federal Administrators whose career protecting instincts come before the instincts of the very Lobos they are being PAID to reintroduce and protect. The reason places like Catron county are at the center of this issue is that they are the historical center of the Lobo's territory in the U.S.A. It makes no sense to have the program in Wisconsin!! The goverment must stop killing wolves, grazing permits must be reduced and most of all cost market value compared to private land, and the lobo must be given fair chance it has never got before. The human population of the recovery area is a vital part in helping and nurturing the lobo along the road to sustainability, that a few reactionairies stand in the way is simply wrong.



Best wishes to sound minded people everywhere;



Jimmy M.



Former resident of New Mexico





Anonymous
Dec 22, 2007 06:17 PM

 

WHAT AN INTERESTING ARTICLE,, THERE IS NO WAY THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER CAN KEEP SUBSIDIZING THE USERS OF OUR PUBLIC LANDS. IT COSTS US UNTOLD MILLIONS TO SUPPORT AN INDUSTRY THAT SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM ALL PUBLIC LANDS. WE DON'T NEED THEIR BEEF, THEY ONLY PRODUCE 3 OR 4 % OF THE BEEF CONSUMED IN THE US. THEY CONTROL 450, OOO, 000 ACRES OF OUR LAND. GIVE US A BREAK..

POSSIBLY YOU KNOW MR. RON MARVEL, OF HAILEY, IDAHO . HE IS PRESIDENT OF WESTERN WATERSHEDS .. THEY HAVE OFFICES IN 8 WESTERN STATES. BELIEVE ME HE IS WORKING HARD TO RID THE PUBLIC LANDS OF THE RANCHERS. I HAVE SEEN THIS MAN IN ACTION, HE IS GOOD AND HAS THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE, TO GET THE JOB DONE..

WE, THE TAXPAYERS ARE TIRED OF SUPPORTING THEIR WAY OF LIFE. IT'S TOUGH, BUT IT HAS GOT TO BE DONE

THANKS,

LARRY SHERBURNE

POCATELLO, IDAHO

Anonymous
Dec 23, 2007 09:29 AM

Hope your staff have a contingent of attorneys after that malicious bunko peice.

rjlaybourn
rjlaybourn
Dec 23, 2007 09:56 PM

The USDA's so-called  "wildlife services" has engaged in fraud and deception in the case of many of these 'removals' and have colluded with the livestock industry.       Their 'investigations' are nothing but cover ups by corrupt agents. 

Anonymous
Dec 24, 2007 12:46 AM

Sometimes a few folks that can rely on their daddy's money talk like they have the wolf solution - everyone must just live in the cities and let the wolves have everything else. But in this case they are only showing their racist side against our American pioneers, Mexicans, and Indians. Did you note the average income of $14,000/year? A journalist with better investigative skills would have noted the high quality of life - clean air, water, and human habitat. I sure wish I lived there too!

This ranch lifestyle is pure American Indian-type and not full of latte shops to buy coffee for $6 ... but only a fool would pay over $1 for a cup of coffee in my opinion. One proposed solution is if you want beef then buy the South American cattle that were raised with their governments' subsitites and they are still running off the indigenous people and clear-cutting rain forests. Bad social and ecological solution! What happens to those rare animals that depended on the rain forests? Out of sight, out of mind is a good excuse if that is what your answer requires to solve this issue. But that is a terrible global solution.

HCN publishes many articles that would never in a blue moon pass the scientific peer review requirement ... but why waste time listening to qualified scientists? Most non-scientists will hear what you want to hear. Sad for our planet.

I have some gray wolves that spend time on my small ranch. I go years without having to even kill a coyote ... but once in a blue moon one that learned to kill livestock moves in and since coyotes are not a "game animal" there is no compensation for livestock killed, and even worse, other coyotes learn how to get an easy meal by watching for a cow to go off to a secluded area to lay down in labor. What happens is a very savage attack because those prairie wolves rip apart while alive two cattle at a critical "ecological" moment while many natural prey animals are available. Pregnant cows do need around two safe hours to birth last time I checked.

The bottom line for successful predator reintroductions: Most wolves can live around civilization. A few domestic animals will be killed. BUT if those FEW predators that start killing pets, livestock, and humans are allowed to train the pack then the wolf, grizzly bear, mountain lion, lynx, and other reintroduction programs are going to shoot themselves in the foot with rural landowners. A good example, Sinapu's predator reintroduction program in Boulder, Colorado demanded that the Division of Wildlife arrest a man for shooting a lion in October 2007 that was killing livestock, pets, and stalking humans. This 150 lb male lion had a family's chained dog by the throat and was ready to fight the owner ... but he had a rifle. The owner shot and solved the problem. Several months have now passed without a single attack by a lion - so do you think that was the rogue lion? Depends on if you are a deluded little monkey when it comes to large predators.

LESSONS LEARNED: Many bridges with landowners have been needlessly burned over a rogue lion, bear, or wolf that was ready to kill humans too. Due to the huge conflict between animal protectors and rural landowners now there are more rural people that will likely "shoot, shovel, and shut-up" when a predator problem occurs.

So, a few that thought they were helping predator reintroduction efforts ran their mouths and created a lose-lose situation for the predators. The predators would do a lot better without the so called "advocates." And livestock producers need to appreciate that as long as you have bear, lion, wolf, and coyote habitat then realize that if you are lucky enough to have mostly predators that are not causing problems - leave them alone - because the next one that moves in might be the devil. I hope we can live together without all the finger pointing.

I also hope we can all do a better job protecting habitats from more subdivisions that have zero wildlife value. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous
Dec 27, 2007 10:01 AM

I am sorry that people in the Catron County area, like Marnie Ashby, wish the wolf reintroduction program to fail. The noble wolf was there long before she was certainly, and long before any of the residents there set up shop with their welfare ranching operations on public lands that belong to ALL U.S. citizens!

As a person who doesn't even eat beef, I wonder why we as a nation should sacrifice our wildlife and ecological heritage for this bunch of lone rangers who feed off the government tit and can't even manage their livestock by actually taking care of them, by herding them with what used to be known as Cowboys before they degenerated into drunk sap-song singers and Hollywood types? Who else but irresponsible parents who loose their kids on the internet without supervision consider this any way to do business? Pure stupidity if you ask me. And their only response is to fondle their firearms and bait their enemies instead of studying up on what real cowboys do. And what's with this rich Mexican landowner being allowed to utilize federal grazing leases, rack up more suspicious predations and payouts, and in effect, hogtie our entire federal wolf reintroduction program in the United States? Hey, I don't care if he's from China, I think our grazing permits are a form of welfare and it ought to stay in the citizen's domain here like the rest of the assistance.

Meanwhile though, gals like the one above just keep shooting off the misinformation about wolves killing all over the planet and making statements like, "i like animals but . . . " as if a membership to the zoo and feeding the chipmunks is her idea of appreciating wildlife.

I hear only 3% of beef comes from this area but it's 3% too much. A good boycott of beef to starve these yahoos out of their bullets is the only sane citizen's response to this madness. Give an inch and you may as well sign up for that zoo membership 'cuz that's the only place these folks are ever going to agree to allow wildlife if they or their representatives have any sayso.

Save a wolf and your arterial health- eat yer veggies.

Anonymous
Dec 27, 2007 10:02 AM

It is so sad that humans can not live beside other beings without having to control the every move or action of it. Animals, at times, are more humane than some human beings. At least animals; on a large scale, only eat that which is necessary to survive and leave the rest. However, human beings want to conquer and destory all that are in their path and those that resist their control.


Since the public land is for everybody and it is evident that a large percentage of animals were there in existence before human took control, then it stands to reason that it should be shared equally by all and and not only by humans.



Yes, I have lived in the wild with other animals, and it is, 99% of the time, about respect, compassion, and space rather than control and $$$ bills.



Much success with the Mexico Grey Wolves (which are very beautiful and awesome beings) Project and it is to my trust that earthlings learn very soon about harmony and sharing, than $$$ bills and selfish love with greed.

Anonymous
Dec 28, 2007 03:42 PM

I lived and raised a family in Silver City, now live in ABQ. Grazing allotments are corporate welfare -period. There's nothing "individualistic" or "mystical" about the ranching lifestyle; only a disproportionate few having too much impact on too much PUBLIC land for corporate profit. I've spent a lifetime in the area and know the reality. Anyone been down in the riparian areas on the forks since the USFS pulled the grazing allotments? Absolutely beautiful. FYI, the Cooney Prairie Restoration funded by taxpayers dollars via Habitat Stamp now allows grazing. The cattle are not tagged and the brands are vague, flies and cow crap down in the canyon bottom -go figure.

It's far too valuable to have people from Reverse, Cartoon County calling the shots.

Evolve or die, cowboy!

 

Anonymous
Dec 28, 2007 03:44 PM

An excellent article, and John Dougherty a fine writer--- HCN deserves praise for publsihing this analysis. Just what is wrong with this picture? The invasive species that should be extirpated from the landscape are not the wolves, but rather the destructive and subsidized cattle and their human wardens. These ranchers are nothing but a bunch of socialists, after all, claiming rights over what is not theirs. When a man has a farm in New England, it is his property, purchased at market prices, and upon which taxes are paid. These wolf murdering cowards, fast with their mouths and guns, and faster yet with their hands out to the government for subsidies and "protection" paid for by the American taxpayer, are nothing but a pack of greedy know-nothing windbags running their animals on our public lands ans foisting their hypocritical pseudo-communism on us under the guise of some sort of "independent way of life" that would soon disappear were it not for the subsidized use of public lands and direct government cash payments.

Most outrafgeous is that not only do we have American ranchers and agribusiness corporations, but absentee hobby ranchers, foreigners for crying out loud, also getting federal handouts! GET AWAY FROM THE TROUGH, STAND ON YOUR OWN TWO FEET, AND LEAVE THE WILDLIFE ALONE.

(Shoud you ranchers have one of your literate neighbors from town read this to you, don't let my address fool you into thinking that I am one of those so-called "eastern elites" as I am from rural northern Nevada.)

John T. Burridge
East Providence, Rhode Island










Anonymous
Dec 31, 2007 07:40 AM

Thank you so much for your wonderful article. I have been working very closely within this program for many years now as a volunteer. I am often on the ground working for wolves in Catron county. I have no idea how you got the Millers to talk to you so freely, but I am sure it is true. In Catron county there is currently a small group of people that feel they are completely above the law. They are currently at work spreading their campaign of hatred and anger to other countys in New Mexico. Otero county has an anti-wolf resolution. Luna county recently past one fashioned after Catron countys. A Luna county rancher actually lied about the only wolf encounter ever in Luna county during the Commissioners hearing. Although one Mexican wolf has found in Luna county, it was not recent as was claimed and not nearly as gruesome as was portrayed. Word is that the Catron county ranchers are now working to get an anti-wolf resolution on the agenda in Hidalgo county. Folks in favor of these wolves should be talking to their representatives NOW.

The disturbing disappearance of the Durango pack of Mexican wolves from our National Forests is just the lastest in a long line of anti-wolf activities perpetrated by the lawless few. When you look at the Adobe Slash and Schneberger Ranch grazing leases in the Gila National Forest you will find a black hole for Mexican wolves. Filled with everything they search for naturally in good wolf territory, except angry, irrational, hateful, armed and lawless wolf hunters.

Anonymous
Dec 31, 2007 07:41 AM

Use of public land the right of the ranchers? What the ...? A "traumatized" young girl because of seeing one too many wolves? what a crock! You are only traumatized if you have been brainwashed into seeing the boogey man in wolf clothing. Of course you are going to be terrified if you see a wolf, if your ignorant parents have instill this fear in you for 16 years! It is to be expected. She is not a victim of wolves, but of her ignorant parents upbringing!

Ranchers, it takes way too many resources to produce one miserable pound of beef. i am not a vegetarian yet, but you people have put me 100 steps closer to it. I plan to stop consuming beef, as my young daughter did many years ago, before this year is up. Thank you for making my mind up.

Anonymous
Dec 31, 2007 07:41 AM

I think we all owe a big thank you to John for writing this article and the wolf biologists/volunteers who have to work with these unbelievably unreasonable Catron Co. locals on a daily basis. The fact of the matter is the Millers were offered multiple types of hazing options which they refused. They even had their very own nightly watchmen for a week and guess what no wolves came by. I don't doubt that from time to time a wolf has walked through their property, but you can't base that off of their dogs barking. Dogs will bark at any predator walking by and there are plenty of bobcat and at least one mountain lion on their property. Bottom line is their home is in the middle of the wilderness and if you want to live in the wilderness you better expect wildlife to walk across your property. As far as Miller taking his daughter out looking for wolves, I agree that it is hard to miss them if they actually are by your house(which is very seldom), but what is your excuse for driving all over the countryside with your supposedly traumatized daughter 3 times a day actively looking for them? If she is that traumatized then why are you forcing her to see them even more? Nice parenting and way to habituate the wolves even more.

Anonymous
Dec 31, 2007 07:42 AM

This madness has got to stop! Ranchers and cattle have been living off of taxpayers money and public land for way too long! They claim they like this type of lifestyle because they don't like the city etc..and for the peace and quiet. The peace and quiet that they want is to wipe out every species that isn't human or cow so they can have it all to themselves without having to worry about losing a cow or a dog. Commonsense; if you have dogs, keep them indoors and when outdoors, not on a chain. They are your responsibility. It is rare for a wolf to eat a dog unless it is very hungry and it is an easy catch. If they owners are responsible, they will make sure they aren't an easy catch. As for humans being eaten/attacked by wolves..that fear is a joke. Look at the statistics from the beginning of recordkeeping. My god, one man's carcass is eaten by wolves (or any animal for that matter..it's natural) and everyone is freaking out and afraid of a little mexican wolf. I live in Timberwolf land..N.E. Minnesota..we never have problems. This is ridiculous. If you are so afraid of the animals that belong to this land..move a city where you belong and find a city job where you can complain about being afraid of people instead. You are cowards. You don't belong out there living that lifestyle if you're so afraid of the boogeyman. Post traumatic stress disorder from a wolf..I've never heard of anything so funny. And Edward Abbey said it best.."the U.S. forest circus"..another real funny joke working on our tax dollars. Long live the mexican wolf and all other animals whose land has been raped by cows and scared ass cowboys.

Stefanie in Northern Minnesota..Timberwolf country

 

blmdfo
blmdfo
Jan 02, 2008 03:53 PM


This is a very complex and complicated issue, certainly not as black and white as most of the commentors above want to make it.   It will not be solved unless people from both sides of issue can let down their egos long enough to work on solutions together.


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside of people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all.  One is Evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.  The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."  The grandson thought about it for a minute and then he asked his grandfather,  "Which wolf wins?"  The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Many of the above comments appear to be feeding ego, arrogance, anger, lies and superiority.  Unless people start "feeding the good wolf" on this issue, perhaps starting with empathy and truth (from both extremes), I am afraid it will be a lose/lose situation. 



 


Anonymous
Jan 07, 2008 12:34 PM

In response to the flawed piece wrote By John Doughtery I would like to point out several fabrication and twisting of the truth on this subject. Here is a list and the truth written below each one.

December 20, 2007

Last chance for the Lobo

Debbie Miller, a hardy brunette with a butterfly tattoo on her right arm, walks past the family shooting range just outside her kitchen door.
Nice start at demonize a woman but considered the source I do expect better.
“We would sacrifice a calf to get a third strike,” Miller told High Country News, candidly revealing a tactic that could help ranchers get the upper hand in their protracted, bloody war against the endangered Mexican wolves.
I have a very hard time believing Mike would say this. I just about guarantee this is a twisting of words or outright fabrication.

Like similar conflicts across the West, the one over the Mexican gray wolf is part of a much bigger struggle for control of the public lands, a battle that pits the “old” users, such as ranchers, against environmentalists and the federal government.

He almost did this one right. But a good reporter would have found out the definition of public lands and Federal land with private property on it.

At the behest of ranchers early in the 20th century, the U.S. government began a campaign to exterminate the wolf.

I see this statement written with no supporting facts? Does that mean you can just make up part of the story?

Between 1977 and 1980, five wild Mexican gray wolves were captured in Mexico.

I believe the 1982 Mexican Wolf documented stated they had 9 wolves 1 female and the genetics were not enough to even be considered. The other so call Pure Mexican wolf were shown to be have other mixes in them some Dog I believe.

Poachers, meanwhile, have shot and killed another 25 wolves.

Is this a true statement? I believe it was 11 that was killed and 14 that came up missing. The plane does not fly in other states or Mexico to see were these wolves have gone. One Michigan wolf was reported as missing and covered over 500 miles to Missouri. For all anyone knows those missing 14 could still be in the wild. I know it hard to report the facts but please try to report the correct story.

“The government should have been looking for innovative solutions that focus on keeping wolves alive and allowing them to survive in the wild rather than focusing on wolf control,” says Parsons, who is now the carnivore conservation biologist with The Rewilding Institute, an Albuquerque environmental group that advocates the reintroduction of wolves to their natural habitat throughout North America.

All the Rewilding Institute used to be call the Wildland Project. Guess what there stated plan is to remove all traces of humans from 50% of America. Please try to do some real research next time.

In addition, environmentalists want ranchers to remove the carcasses of the thousands of cattle that die each year from non-wolf-related causes, rather than simply let them rot on the land.

Is this the same environmentalist that were sued and lost in court for making up lies about a rancher that had cows lying dead all over his property? The environmentalist lost so I believe that puts them squarely in the liars corner. I know it hard to research the truth but please try to report fairly both sides of the issue.

Several prominent wolf biologists were critical of the jury’s findings, saying the jurors either ignored or didn’t see evidence that black bears actually killed the man, and that wolves may have later scavenged the body.

I believe it was only David Parson who made up the bear attack story. Please remind your readers that there snow on the ground and ice on the lake. I know this hard to follow but here is hint bears hibernated. All the eye witness reported it was 4 wolves. Please try to show the truth and report the full story instead of David Parson one sided view that is clearly pro wolf.

Wolves have had no economic impact on the local cattle industry, according to the Mexican Gray Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Five Year Review.

Is that truth did you interview any of the ranchers that have been put out of business. Oh I see you forgot to mention that little fact.

To mitigate the ranchers’ financial losses, Defenders of Wildlife voluntarily compensates them for wolf-killed livestock. Defenders pays 100 percent of the market value for verified losses, and 50 percent for “probable” losses. Defenders has paid ranchers in Arizona and New Mexico $98,000 for the loss of 148 livestock and domestic animals since 1998.

But the livestock lose was $500,000 wow I wonder who paid the rest? Oh the ranchers had to pay the rest. I know it hard to find that little fact out but try. The only fair way to run this program is do a review of livestock loses before the wolf is released then pay full market price for all missing calves, cows, chickens, geese, turkeys, cats, horses, and dogs.

 A peer-reviewed study of wild Mexican gray wolf scat found that the wolves’ diet consists of 73 percent elk, 16 percent other ungulates, 5 percent small mammals and 4 percent cattle, with the remainder coming from birds, insects and vegetation.

Really who did this great study? Bet it wasn't done on or near the Adobe Ranch? Again no supporting facts?

Whetten’s only full-time employee is Mike Miller, who lives with his wife, Debbie, and their teenaged daughter, Micha, in a cramped one-story ranch house in the northeast corner of the Gila National Forest.

Cramped one story forgot to mention how many bedrooms? But since you decide Mike and his family are bad guys you put this waste of print into the article to downgrade a Hardworking family. They work for a living is that a sin?

But in this case, a freshly branded cow about to calve was left unattended near the wolves.

“We left her out there,” Miller says.

I just don't believe Mike ever said this since you have through out this whole article slammed Mike and his family I can almost guarantee it is a complete fabrication.

Craig Miller, the southwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, says “it is deeply disturbing” that some ranchers appear to be abusing the compensation program and collecting funds for livestock that have been deliberately sacrificed to get rid of wolves. “Sadly, a few ranchers are flagrantly abusing that trust, which harms not only the wolves but the reputation of all ranchers.”

Wow what is deeply disturbing is how Defenders of Wildlife didn't pay Preston Bates one dime for over $100,000.00 in livestock loses. Sounds like DOW is abusing the ranchers by not paying. A real reporter would have found out this fact.

But ranchers, particularly in Catron County, have made it clear that they have no intention of giving up their grazing rights without a fight. Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service employees as well as environmentalists routinely face thinly veiled threats, and there is a palpable fear that violence could break out if the government tries to force the ranchers off the land. Armed ranchers on ATVs routinely patrol Forest Service roads in Catron County, tracking wolves with radio receivers provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

This paragraph has so many fabrication I can't believe you are not getting sued. Thinly veil threats? Wow guess you forgot to mention the Eco terrorist running around with an AK-47 shooting up cows, dog, windmill, and water tank. 3 incidences have happen other reporters have wrote about it make your research easier on finding the truth. Armed ranchers on ATV tracking wolves were that fairly tale come from? More fabrications.

The Fish and Wildlife Service did not remove the Durango male. But something, or someone, apparently has.

Oh the missing Durango pack. Again you failed to mention the whole truth. A larger pack moved into the area forcing the Durango pack to leave. As already stated if they are out of the fly pattern and left the area they are missing and very will could still be alive.

As a reporter you should be ashamed to put out such misinformation. You also forgot to mention all the attacks on people from wolves like the 6 people in Canada 4 of which were children? But don't cloud the issue with facts. Or all the other attacks on people. High Country News is that like High Times that would explain the tabloid tactics of this hit piece. Did John Doughtery  come over from National Enquirer? Then Gary Casico selling his products making tons of money on the whole wolf project. Gary really cares about the wolves as he stuffs his bank account.

Like similar conflicts across the West, the one over the Mexican gray wolf is part of a much bigger struggle for control of the public lands, a battle that pits the “old” users, such as ranchers, against environmentalists and the federal government.

He almost did this one right. But a good reporter would have found out the definition of public lands and Federal land with private property on it.

At the behest of ranchers early in the 20th century, the U.S. government began a campaign to exterminate the wolf.

I see this statement written with no supporting facts? Does that mean you can just make up part of the story?

Between 1977 and 1980, five wild Mexican gray wolves were captured in Mexico.

I believe the 1982 Mexican Wolf documented stated they had 9 wolves 1 female and the genetics were not enough to even be considered. The other so call Pure Mexican wolf were shown to be have other mixes in them some Dog I believe.

Poachers, meanwhile, have shot and killed another 25 wolves.

Is this a true statement? I believe it was 11 that was killed and 14 that came up missing. The plane does not fly in other states or Mexico to see were these wolves have gone. One Michigan wolf was reported as missing and covered over 500 miles to Missouri. For all anyone knows those missing 14 could still be in the wild. I know it hard to report the facts but please try to report the correct story.

“The government should have been looking for innovative solutions that focus on keeping wolves alive and allowing them to survive in the wild rather than focusing on wolf control,” says Parsons, who is now the carnivore conservation biologist with The Rewilding Institute, an Albuquerque environmental group that advocates the reintroduction of wolves to their natural habitat throughout North America.

All the Rewilding Institute used to be call the Wildland Project. Guess what there stated plan is to remove all traces of humans from 50% of America. Please try to do some real research next time.

In addition, environmentalists want ranchers to remove the carcasses of the thousands of cattle that die each year from non-wolf-related causes, rather than simply let them rot on the land.

Is this the same environmentalist that were sued and lost in court for making up lies about a rancher that had cows lying dead all over his property? The environmentalist lost so I believe that puts them squarely in the liars corner. I know it hard to research the truth but please try to report fairly both sides of the issue.

Several prominent wolf biologists were critical of the jury’s findings, saying the jurors either ignored or didn’t see evidence that black bears actually killed the man, and that wolves may have later scavenged the body.

I believe it was only David Parson who made up the bear attack story. Please remind your readers that there snow on the ground and ice on the lake. I know this hard to follow but here is hint bears hibernated. All the eye witness reported it was 4 wolves. Please try to show the truth and report the full story instead of David Parson one sided view that is clearly pro wolf.

Wolves have had no economic impact on the local cattle industry, according to the Mexican Gray Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Five Year Review.

Is that truth did you interview any of the ranchers that have been put out of business. Oh I see you forgot to mention that little fact.

To mitigate the ranchers’ financial losses, Defenders of Wildlife voluntarily compensates them for wolf-killed livestock. Defenders pays 100 percent of the market value for verified losses, and 50 percent for “probable” losses. Defenders has paid ranchers in Arizona and New Mexico $98,000 for the loss of 148 livestock and domestic animals since 1998.

But the livestock lose was $500,000 wow I wonder who paid the rest? Oh the ranchers had to pay the rest. I know it hard to find that little fact out but try. The only fair way to run this program is do a review of livestock loses before the wolf is released then pay full market price for all missing calves, cows, chickens, geese, turkeys, cats, horses, and dogs.

 A peer-reviewed study of wild Mexican gray wolf scat found that the wolves’ diet consists of 73 percent elk, 16 percent other ungulates, 5 percent small mammals and 4 percent cattle, with the remainder coming from birds, insects and vegetation.

Really who did this great study? Bet it wasn't done on or near the Adobe Ranch? Again no supporting facts?

Whetten’s only full-time employee is Mike Miller, who lives with his wife, Debbie, and their teenaged daughter, Micha, in a cramped one-story ranch house in the northeast corner of the Gila National Forest.

Cramped one story forgot to mention how many bedrooms? But since you decide Mike and his family are bad guys you put this waste of print into the article to downgrade a Hardworking family. They work for a living is that a sin?

But in this case, a freshly branded cow about to calve was left unattended near the wolves.

“We left her out there,” Miller says.

I just don't believe Mike ever said this since you have through out this whole article slammed Mike and his family I can almost guarantee it is a complete fabrication.

Craig Miller, the southwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, says “it is deeply disturbing” that some ranchers appear to be abusing the compensation program and collecting funds for livestock that have been deliberately sacrificed to get rid of wolves. “Sadly, a few ranchers are flagrantly abusing that trust, which harms not only the wolves but the reputation of all ranchers.”

Wow what is deeply disturbing is how Defenders of Wildlife didn't pay Preston Bates one dime for over $100,000.00 in livestock loses. Sounds like DOW is abusing the ranchers by not paying. A real reporter would have found out this fact.

But ranchers, particularly in Catron County, have made it clear that they have no intention of giving up their grazing rights without a fight. Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service employees as well as environmentalists routinely face thinly veiled threats, and there is a palpable fear that violence could break out if the government tries to force the ranchers off the land. Armed ranchers on ATVs routinely patrol Forest Service roads in Catron County, tracking wolves with radio receivers provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

This paragraph has so many fabrication I can't believe you are not getting sued. Thinly veil threats? Wow guess you forgot to mention the Eco terrorist running around with an AK-47 shooting up cows, dog, windmill, and water tank. 3 incidences have happen other reporters have wrote about it make your research easier on finding the truth. Armed ranchers on ATV tracking wolves were that fairly tale come from? More fabrications.

The Fish and Wildlife Service did not remove the Durango male. But something, or someone, apparently has.

Oh the missing Durango pack. Again you failed to mention the whole truth. A larger pack moved into the area forcing the Durango pack to leave. As already stated if they are out of the fly pattern and left the area they are missing and very will could still be alive.

As a reporter you should be ashamed to put out such misinformation. You also forgot to mention all the attacks on people from wolves like the 6 people in Canada 4 of which were children? But don't cloud the issue with facts. Or all the other attacks on people. High Country News is that like High Times that would explain the tabloid tactics of this hit piece. Did John Doughtery  come over from National Enquirer? Then Gary Casico selling his products making tons of money on the whole wolf project. Gary really cares about the wolves as he stuffs his bank account.

Anonymous
Jan 08, 2008 11:05 AM

Can someone please explain to me how the owner of the Adobe, who is a Mexican citizen, can hold U.S. grazing permits.  This seems like an absolutely atrocious abuse of our resources.

Anonymous
Jan 08, 2008 11:07 AM

In response to the comments written  2008-01-07 11:34:58.0

 

Unless you were present for Mike Miller’s interview, you have no idea what he said. How can you claim that you are pointing out fabrications in the article when you keep using statements like “I believe…” ?? You are making an assumption which is not evidence of truth.  You can’t guarantee anything.  It is solely your personal opinion.   Your comment about the Rewilding Institute’s position on removing 50% of human trace from Amercia has nothing to do with the above statement you clipped from the article.  You are taking the opportunity to bash someone you apparently don’t like. Dave Parson was NOT the only wolf biologist to believe a bear, and not wolves, killed the Canada man.  Paul Paquet testified a bear killed the man.  Please check YOUR facts.  If you can’t keep the facts straight on this story, it ruins your credibility to keep facts straight on other stories.  Bears do not necessarily hibernate continuously all winter long.  It depends on weather severity, food availability and human disturbance factors.  Check YOUR facts. So with your logic – someone who loses a court case is therefore a liar.  I “believe” Catron County tried several times to prove in court that all Mexican wolves released in the project were not pure Mexican wolves but hybrids.  It was one of their tactics to stop the program.   The court ruled against Catron County.  The wolves were pure Mexican wolves.  Hmmmm - does that mean Catron County residents are liars??? What difference does it make how many bedrooms are in a house?  Are you just getting a little picky and catty here?  It has nothing to do with Mike Miller’s work ethic. Preston Bate didn’t get paid one dime for $100,000 worth of dead or “missing” cows because it has never been proven that wolves killed any of them.  DOW only pays out when Wildlife Services confirms a wolf killed cow, not when Jess Carey “confirms” it or when a rancher “thinks” it.  Hey if the cows are “missing” maybe they just moved to another area like the 14 missing collared wolves.  Cows have four legs.  I “believe” that makes them have the ability to walk.  If the ranchers were always right in what injured or killed their horses and cows, how come Wildlife Services is continuously called out in situations where they determine a horse was injured by running into a fence, or a bear killed the cow?  If ranchers know it all, they wouldn’t be wasting WS time unless maybe they just enjoy crying wolf. There have been many books published, with pages of cited documents, specifically written about the government exterminating wolves and predators specifically for the benefit of ranchers. And speaking of fabrications and lack of research - check out the wolfcrossings.org – full of lies and fabrications.  Run by someone who is very uneducated when it comes to wolves and skews the facts to benefit her cause.
Anonymous
Jan 09, 2008 10:55 AM

As a former federal employee in Catron county who enjoyed seeing wolves in the wild, I am very disappointed in this article.  You have grossly mischaracterized the people of Catron county.  You have made a mockery of all involved including the state & federal employees who live in the county and are devoted to the program, and the local ranchers who are just concerned with their future ability to make a living.  This highly sensational piece of muckraking is well below the high standard of unbiased, impartial coverage of the issues in the west,  that High Country News used to publish.  I have lost alot of respect for your magazine and look forward to hearing that John Dougherty has been let go.  I am sure Forest Guardians has a place for Mr. Dougherty.

 In addition, you commenters who wish to see people lose their livelihood should be ashamed of yourselves.  I am not a religious person but I do believe that we should treat others the way we want to be treated.  How would you like it if someone came and took your job or business away from you and then told you it's ok because someone else might partially compensate you out of the goodness of their heart if you can prove who took your business away. 

Catron county is a truly unique blend of wild places, the old west and rural economies, and modern environmental recovery.  Please give it some respect.

Anonymous
Jan 09, 2008 06:12 PM


I don't understand why people are so afraid of wolves attacking them. There is only one documented case of a wolf killing a human in the United States. How can this one case be a reason for such unreal fears? These people have a higher chance of being killed by one of their own cattle. The wolves only kill a very few cattle, as the article states " wolf kills account for between .3 and 2.5 percent of all cattle losses in the recovery area". And the ranchers are compensated for those. What is the problem here? I really don't understand. I have come across wolves in the wild while hiking myself and they always just slip away, showing that they really don't want human contact. I have never had a problem with them. I actually enjoy seeing them and hearing their howls at night. To me it is a part of the natural beauty of the desert. It seems to me that if you can't tolerate all that the desert has to offer together  as a whole, then maybe you should move to the city, where you can worry about your children dealing with the "two legged wolves", who present a much larger danger than the wild wolf you may occasionally see in the wild. Myself, I will continue to enjoy the wolves and pray for their full recovery in the wild.                                                                                                    


Anonymous
Jan 10, 2008 11:01 AM


So NM ranchers threaten/intimidate/manipulate govt. land officials. Govt. land and wildlife officials stand idly by as our public lands are distroyed by cattle overgrazing. Natural wildlife, both predator and prey disappear in the name of govt. management. County officials play God, and town folk cry wolf. One endangered, protected Mexican gray wolf is admittedly baited and killed, some poached, others mysteriously disappear. One group of environmentalists are called bad guys for compensating a wealthy rancher for "wolf killed cattle".  



Solutions: 1) No more public land cattle grazing. Period. 2) All federal and state govt. wildlife management just stop until you know what you're doing. 3) County officials hang up their guns and concentrate on the needs of community. 4) Town folk get a hobby or reach out to their neighbor with volunteer opportunities. 5) Reintroduction of endangered species are to remain protected. 6) Those who break the law answer to the law when found guilty. 7) Helpful, reputable environmental groups receive community respect and appropriate funding. 8) Eat less meat. Beans and corn bread are pretty darn good!



It's simple. Play nice!


Anonymous
Jan 10, 2008 11:03 AM

Let's not forget about the power-play of NMSU in this bureaucratic game. Catron County (among other NM) ranchers are "struggling" according to their reports.

Far too many govt. funded [fill in the blank] have stepped above the law. It's time for serious investigation of NM Dept. of Game and Fish, New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Service, New Mexico University Range Improvement Task Force, USFWF, USFS, USDA, BLM. (Who did I leave out?) Oh, the Bush administration.

Miller admitted to the intentional baiting and killing of Durango's alpha female with the aid of radio-tracking data provided by US Game and Fish. Right? So what's the problem? He's not indicted, why? Glad you asked. Endangered wildlife is not protected by federal law. What, or who may come next?

If United States citizens continue to allow the government criminal freedom time after time, we'll eventually relinquish our every right to them! If that doesn't scare you, it should. Speak up and say your prayers. A hard rain's gonna fall.

Anonymous
Jan 11, 2008 10:49 AM

Incrediable!!!

I have been a reporter for well over thirty years now, and to be blunt I have never in my life seen a more biased story than this one. If the author had actually done his research he would have found all of the facts that are there and on the record for all to see.

Aside from the very basic fact that the so called Mexican Grey Wolf is in reality a sub-species derived from the genetics of its Northern Bretheren and other canus/lupine breeds it has over the years proven to be extremely dangerous to humans. Currently in Alaska, there is a rash of wolf attacks where humans have either been attacked or have had their pets attacked while the pet was with the human. Albeit the Alaskan wolf is not the "Mexican Grey Wolf", but a wolf is still a wolf and retains the same basic characteristics of its nature. In addition it is a recorded fact that the wolf is one of very few predators that kills for the joy of killing.

Instead of vilifying the rancher you might consider also that if the environmentalists really do want to help the environment they can accomplish a great deal more by working with him. It is in the best interest of the rancher to do a good job managing the land and livestock (not just his but also the indiginous) to preserve the land and take care of it. Forcing him or her off of the land by lawsuit, lies, and fabricated evidence is not the answer.

Not every system is perfect, but believe it or not there is a better way than what is being done now.

Anonymous
Jan 14, 2008 11:30 AM

Dear "censored" reader,

Actually you're just too unobservant to see the "VIEW ALL COMMENTS" link at the bottom section. Glad that as a journalist of 30 years, you have such an eye for detail. Where do you work ...'The Catron Podunk-Ignoramus"? I'd be ashamed to be a journalist who would lead off my commentary with a misspelling, then follow up with incorrect information copied and paraphrased from anti-wolf websites -aren't real journalists of 30 years supposed to do their own research? Finally, it's also nice to see that, as a journalist, you don't have the cahones to sign your work.

Anti-environmentalists don't understand that we tree-hugging leftists feel compelled to present honest, factual information. Sure, there's emotion involved; we read the facts, study the facts, and understand the facts; most importantly, WE CARE. HELL, YES! WE GET EMOTIONAL when ignorant yahoos like you --and not science-- rule our lands.

Also, Mr. Journalist, we HAVE worked with ranchers and THEY have failed. No rancher need lose a dime from wolf predation; there’s a PERMANENT, PRIVATE TRUST FUND for reimbursement of any lost cattle. Ranchers don’t want to work with anybody, they just don’t want no high-falutin’ city folk tellin’ them ‘bout no si-ense krap. They love ignorance, relish ignorance and will forever wallow in ignorance.

-Joseph W. Adair

PS, here's your "CENSORED" insight:

"Incrediable!!!

I have been a reporter for well over thirty years now, and to be blunt I have never in my life seen a more biased story than this one. If the author had actually done his research he would have found all of the facts that are there and on the record for all to see.

Aside from the very basic fact that the so called Mexican Grey Wolf is in reality a sub-species derived from the genetics of its Northern Bretheren and other canus/lupine breeds it has over the years proven to be extremely dangerous to humans. Currently in Alaska, there is a rash of wolf attacks where humans have either been attacked or have had their pets attacked while the pet was with the human. Albeit the Alaskan wolf is not the "Mexican Grey Wolf", but a wolf is still a wolf and retains the same basic characteristics of its nature. In addition it is a recorded fact that the wolf is one of very few predators that kills for the joy of killing.

Instead of vilifying the rancher you might consider also that if the environmentalists really do want to help the environment they can accomplish a great deal more by working with him. It is in the best interest of the rancher to do a good job managing the land and livestock (not just his but also the indiginous) to preserve the land and take care of it. Forcing him or her off of the land by lawsuit, lies, and fabricated evidence is not the answer.

Not every system is perfect, but believe it or not there is a better way than what is being done now. "

Bravo, sir, BRAVO! Your insight is so damning, I can see why it was "censored". LOL! 
Anonymous
Mar 03, 2008 12:10 PM

 I think that they are doing the right thing saving the wolf.If they keep it up,many species will suvive a long time.SAVE WOLVES!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous
Mar 03, 2008 12:10 PM

 I think that they are doing the right thing saving the wolf.If they keep it up,many species will suvive a long time.SAVE WOLVES!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous
Mar 07, 2008 01:24 PM

I dont understand why we have to face so many endngred species? The hunters, trappers and other people that kill them should now have rules in a sertain season to hunt them! I am spesificly talking about the Mexican Gray Wolves. If you have any comments please post on here about the Mexican Gray Wolves.

                                                

Anonymous
May 29, 2008 12:02 PM

I am a wildlife biologist who has been studing wildlife and following all the programs on the wolves being reintroduced in the north west and southwest. from the gray wolves to the Mexician wolves (lobos). People of this country don't understand the facts that are present. They believe the myths and lies that have been presented over the years about wolves.

from the aspects of the animal world adn the natural selection processe the animals are the true first beings that been on this land. man came later and now animals are dieing due to our needs and demands. If it wasn't for the animals on this planet than we wouldn't be able to survive. Mankind is also classified as animals also. so why aren't we extinct.

Man had cause plenty of animals to become extinct, and now its time for us to bring back those animals that have a chance to survive and make it without any interferance for man. if it wasn't for the animal kingdom man couldn't survive with mo meat. everyone would be eating vegatables all the time. I only hunt for meat on my table beside the meats in hte market but i don't over kill for fun. Just enought to feed my family and me.

If everyone took the time to learn the values of their needs on this planet than extinction would be far awy except for the natural process which nature had instored for everyone in the first place.

There was this one Judge in one of the north west states who didn't know what difference in animals ans speices. He want to have the wolves taken from the wild becasue they weren't the Rocky Mountain Gray wolf. He didn't know that the Gray Wolf and the Rocky Mountian Gray Wolf are the same animal. Here is an example of public officals not knowing the facts before making any judgement on cases that he knew nothing about.

There are many people out there that dont know the facts. the four legged friends have been on this planet long than man. this is their land before ours and its only far to place them back in the wild where they belong. Not in cages or extinct from the lands that they belong on.

these wolves need to be back where they belong and mankind must let them roam free as they once did. this their land and we stole it from them like we did in the past from the native americans. we also are taking the chance of destorying the future of this land and the life that depends on it.

 

Frank G.

Az resisident

 

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