This is one of the most informative articles I have read in a while. This article was written by Todd Wilkinson of the Wildlife Art Journal. He interviewed Carter Niemeyer, a former employee of the USDA Wildlife Services (I posted a petition to reduce funding for this organization today as well). Carter was called a “wolf assassin” because he was involved in killing wolves and other predators that killed livestock. In the interview you can see that he actually has pro-wolf views and gives an previously unpublicized view of what is actually happening with the wolf/rancher conflict. If you have about 15 minutes it’s an excellent read. There are a lot of interesting facts about the politics that are going on behind the scenes with this major conflict. Here are a few quotes from the article and a link to the entire article at the bottom of the page. Let me know what you think!
“With about 1,600 wolves in the northern Rockies, about one wolf has died for every one that still lives.”
“I think what’s going on is a clash of cultures. The truth as I see it is that livestock losses attributed today to wolves and other predators are being exaggerated because of this clash.”
“I never bought into the belief that wolves are wiping out the deer, elk and moose in the Northern Rockies. Overall, elk are doing great in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and are at or above management objectives.”
“Without a doubt, wildlife biologists, who are professionally trained, are inhibited from speaking and acting on their knowledge about wildlife management and resource conflict issues, mainly due to politics within their states.”
“Private property rights should include the right to protect livestock from animal attacks but on federal grazing leases, I think livestock producers should make every effort to minimize losses to predators by using shepherds, guard dogs, and range riders.”