A recent article by Anna Janik, wildlife biologist, stated that successful wolf introduction into Colorado (a November ballot issue) needs human tolerance and nonlethal management.
Nonlethal methods include ranchers having: “livestock guard dogs to alert flock attendants; radio-activated alarm systems to scare wolves away” – and livestock too? – “temporary electrified corrals to protect sheep at night; alternate grazing strategies; range riders to monitor herds and use nonlethal ammunition; and, cattle grouped in large herds.”
Janik wrote that several organizations are working with ranchers in other states to set up these deterrents, but no mention was make of paying ranchers for the time, expense, and enormous trouble of these systems.
Options for funding the program itself include taxpayer funds or hunting and fishing license funds. Program funds could be used to compensate ranchers for wolf-killed stock. However, we’ve lived in Wyoming and Montana, where ranchers said they could get no compensation for sheep that died from being run to death, and it was sometimes difficult to get compensation for those verified as wolf-killed. Some years, the program ran out of compensation money.
There was a reason early ranchers eradicated wolves. They’ll run through a flock of sheep, hamstringing as they go, and later coming back to eat. Hamstrung sheep that survive often have to be shot.
Eleven wolves put in Arizona and New Mexico became 284 wolves in 21 years. Some died/were killed, leaving 113.
Ranchers, learn how wolves can affect you. Everyone, please investigate this issue before you vote. I’m voting No.