Oregon Wolves

Posted on January 1, 2012 by


The big news as 2011 thankfully

Yellowstone wolf running in snow in Crystal Cr...

Image via Wikipedia

draws to a close is that OR7 hiked around 700 miles from the Wallowas to the California border, which the young wolf crossed on Thursday without answering border checkpoint queries regarding whether or not he was carrying any fruit or other vegetable material from Oregon into the pristine environs of northern California. Kids today just got no respect for authority.

Naturally, this development has conversation“conservation” groups wetting themselves in delight. Patrick Valentino, who is on the board of the California Wolf Center, which is dedicated to the preservation of wild wolves, has a different view. “We need to reduce the emotional component about wolves and focus on both the science and conservation of wolves,” he said. “The return of wolves should not be seen as an anti-ranching event. In fact, we should find ways to bring stakeholders together whether they are pro- or anti-wolf.”

Yeah. That’s the same line they fed to Oregon ranchers back when the first 66 Canadian wolves were released in Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the mid-1990s. Much like is now happening in California, the first lone wolf was noticed in Oregon about four years after the initial release. Within 9 years, Oregon had a pack. Three years later, Oregon had four packs. And folks like Patrick there were still peeing on ranchers’ boots and telling them it was raining.

Over the past two years, they’ve killed 20 cows and calves. And at anywhere from $700 to $1000 or more per head, you don’t have to be a math major to figure out that ranchers have been taking some financial hits while the environmeddlists prattle on. Initially, the state rejected the idea of reimbursing ranchers for the losses, but sombody apparently clued them in that, as the state claims ownership of the wolves, any damage is the state’s (taxpayers’) responsibility. There’s really no difference between that and having a DHS employee, driving a state car while drunk, smashing into your car and totaling it; the state doesn’t get to say, Gee, sorry”.

So the state has reversed course, and will compensate ranchers – though at what level remains unclear. Probably, they’ll try to claim depreciation, much like car dealers do when you drive a new one off their lots. They’ll want to estimate the mileage on the cow, try to determine whether the horns were operational, and all that.

Meanwhile, down in California, Patrick and his ilk have found more ranchers, and those boots shore look dusty.

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