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Ranchers in Southwest struggle with high cost of Mexican gray wolves


Kenneth Artz

Heartland Institute July 8, 2019

Endangered Mexican gray wolves, reintroduced by the federal government to parts of the Southwestern United States, have killed nearly as many cows and calves in the first four months of 2019 as they did all of last year.

Endangered Mexican gray wolves, reintroduced by the federal government to parts of the Southwestern United States, have killed nearly as many cows and calves in the first four months of 2019 as they did all of last year, causing an increase in tensions among U.S. wildlife managers, environmentalists, and rural residents.

The federal government reports the wolves killed 88 domestic animals in Arizona and New Mexico from January through April of this year.

If this pace of livestock killings continues, the wolves will far surpass the nearly 100 livestock kills confirmed in 2018. They have already eclipsed the livestock deaths record attributed to wolves over the same four-month period in any year since they were reintroduced in the region in 1998. 

History Repeating Itself

Ranchers in New Mexico and Arizona are experiencing what ranchers and farmers elsewhere have suffered as the federal government has reintroduced gray wolves, says Brian Seasholes, an independent scholar whose research focuses on endangered species.

“While rural people bear the very real costs of living with a destructive predator, they have been relatively powerless against distant urban masses who lobbied vociferously against state control of wolf populations,” Seasholes said. “For decades, farmers in the upper Great Lakes region, especially northern Minnesota, have suffered from federally protected wolves eating their livestock, hunting dogs, and pets.

“Now, unfortunately, this same pattern is being repeated in Arizona and New Mexico,” said Seasholes. “If environmental lobbyists sincerely cared about wolf conservation, they would use their deep pockets to establish a meaningful compensation fund for ranchers and others who have had animals killed by wolves.”

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13 thoughts on “Ranchers in Southwest struggle with high cost of Mexican gray wolves

  1. It’s rather interesting that the wolves destroy Elk by the 1000s, to the point of no Elk anymore in some areas.

    The darn wolf lovers obviously want the elk exterminated

    1. In Yellowstone, the Wolves have brought a measure of Balance to the Eco-structure. Since we have become the Top Predator, the World has become a little more Un-Balanced.

  2. This damned wolf cancer is nothing more than domestic terrorism created by so called environmentalists who have absolutely no intentions of compensating anyone for their losses they want people off the land at any and all costs including people getting killed or maimed by these sorry worthless animals

    1. I’m sure the Wolf would consider you a ‘domestic terrorist. Our CONGRESS is the Domestic Terrorist organization. Yes, Ranchers must be compensated for ALL LOSSES that can be attributed to the wolf, including the Cost of Pain & Suffering for the herder. No one wants a loss in their business. The “game” is being played on ALL OF US by our lazy, no-count Representatives, who represent the lobbyists & the Moneyed interests. As for the wolf re-introduction, you can’t ignore the fact that a top predator is necessary for a balanced environment; Yellowstone is an example of that healing environment. You & other ranchers need to join with environmentalists to make sure there is MORE THAN ENOUGH MONEY for your efforts. You gotta DOG ? Thank the Wolf. And please produce any & all documentation of wolf predation on CHILDREN & “people getting killed or maimed” by wolves.

    2. I make darn sure the tourists that camp and dude ranch here in the remote in AZ and NM See the damage when we get chewed up.

      I Always tell me to carry lead and they do and are always thankfull for the advisement.

      Worst chew up we’ve ever had was 21 dead cows and 28 dead calves in a 4 day span.

      1. I always tell the remote campers in AZ and NM to carry lead because of the wolves .
        These wolves have No Fear of humans it seems.
        They always do carry lead, and everyone of them for years has thanked me for the advisement.

  3. Please report all wolf attacks on people, especially those on children. I have not seen any current reports; I haven’t seen any reported Wolf Attacks on humans these past 50 years. Also, an ADEQUATE COMPENSATION FUND must be maintained to pay for any livestock loss – not only for the true economic loss, but also an amount to the “herder” for Pain & Suffering. All business folks suffer loss in the course of their endeavors. Your losses should be recognized & compensated for. The re-introduction of the wolf has done wonders for the flora & fauna of Yellowstone. I hope we can recognize the wolf as a necessary top predator. If not, we’re left with the Coyote. East of the Mississippi, we were blessed with no coyotes. As the Red Wolf population plummeted these past 60 years, the coyotes have taken over. Also, the wolf did give us Man’s Best Friend – the DOG.

    1. Ho, hmnmm.
      Compensation fund? Well it sounds good but has Truly Never Existed and Never will either.

      It’s tough to document Wolf kills because the victims dead and maimed cattle usually are so remote their bodies are hard to get to.

      Granted a helicopter and chopper access Helps… And on call veterinarians to ride the choppers.

      I wish everyone in the USA their very own Wolf petting zoo.
      Good Luck.

    2. Carlo, just google up http://www.rangemagazine. com
      There’s the documented wolf kills and Wolf attacks on people right on the front page feature article.
      Also go to special features of range magazine and there are more Wolf kill/wolf attack articles… All documented BTW

    3. Carlo, just ran another Wolf attack story.
      This 1 was in Canada, the wolf attacked 2 children and their parents…. Campers from New Jersey I believe.
      Anyway a neighbor camper helped…. Beat the wolf off… And everyone had to spend the night in a camper w the wolf outside licking his chops.
      1 or 2 of those attacked were severely chewed up.

      1. Thank you for the data. I didn’t think there were that many Mexican Wolves still around the U.S.! Also, I thought that a Compensation Fund for Adverse Out-Comes would have been part of “the deal” for Re-Introduction; however, knowing the short-sightedness & STINGYness of our “bureaucrats, they never seem to get the bigger picture. There will have to be A LOT of Money spent toward this Project in order to bring “Peace in the Valley”.

  4. Hopefully Trump and Pence will get some executive orders done to eliminate the SW area wolf introductions

    Wolves must be a novel idea for the folks that don’t have to deal with Trying to live w the constant human danger.

    Just seems like the wolves in the SW keep testing going after Children here.

    The wolf packs that show up at the public school playgrounds appear to be looking to maim and kill. MO.

    Seems like some of the tourists children or native children are going to be wolf attacked here, sooner not later.

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