Patterico's Pontifications


The Three-Strike Rule for Wolves

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 5:49 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson wants the US Fish & Wildlife Department to help find three missing NM wolves:

“Gov. Bill Richardson is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to double its efforts to find a group of endangered Mexican gray wolves that has gone missing in southwestern New Mexico. The disappearance of the three-member Durango pack from its range in the Gila National Forest has dealt another blow to the federal government’s efforts to return the animals to the wild in New Mexico and Arizona.

Richardson, in a statement issued Wednesday, called the development “disturbing.” Officials with the Fish and Wildlife Service say the last signals from the collars of the pack’s male and female were received Nov. 1. A search has turned up no signs of the wolves. Elizabeth Slown, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service, told the Albuquerque Journal in a copyright story that it’s possible to disable a collar. She added: “A person could do that; a bear couldn’t.”

Ranchers in the area have been critical of the wolf reintroduction program since it began in 1998 and have complained about wolves killing their livestock.”

Local officials had previously notified the government that the Alpha male was dangerous:

“The Catron County Commission on Nov. 7 told the federal agency it intended to trap the pack’s alpha male, known as AM973, as a “dangerous wolf.” County officials said the wolf repeatedly showed up near a home on the Adobe Ranch.
Parsons said lone wolves are more likely to roam over large distances, but packs tend to stay in established territories and the Durango pack was known to hang around one ranch.

“It would be unusual for them to just go completely out of radar range,” he said.”

I doubt the local residents find this response comforting. However, I didn’t know the government has a three-strike rule for wolves:

“In July, Fish and Wildlife shot the Durango pack’s alpha female in Catron County, less than a week after cattle killings that subjected the wolf to a three strikes rule.

The reintroduction program requires the permanent removal of any wolf linked to three livestock killings a year – either by trapping and keeping it in captivity or by shooting it.

The wolf had killed two head of livestock before being relocated to Catron County on April 25. The day after her release, county officials demanded she be removed before she had a chance to kill again. Fish and Wildlife said at the time it had no reason to remove her under the three-strikes rule.

The county in June issued a notice of intent to trap the female and turn her over to the agency because she was stalking the Adobe Ranch. The county’s wolf incident investigator did not immediately trap the animal, however, and the federal agency issued the lethal order for the wolf after the killings of a cow and calf.

It amazes me we give wolves three chances. The law doesn’t recognize a similar rule for biting dogs, and I don’t think wolves can reform their character the way we hope humans can. This wolf policy makes no sense – except to the extent it appeals to those who romanticize wild animals.


22 Responses to “The Three-Strike Rule for Wolves”

  1. I’d be sad if there were no wolves left. However, I also have sympathy for farmers and ranchers. If federal policies result in their livestock being killed by a protected species, the government should compensate them. “Your wolf killed it, you bought it.”

    nk (09a321)

  2. How do give a cow the greatest pedigree ever, and increase its value ten-fold?

    Institute a policy of government paying for wolf kills.

    I expect most of the kills are on land leased from the Government. I despise state ownership of land but so long as they do own it, how about ‘You’re leasing it for peanuts, tough luck, the wolves come with it.’

    BlacquesJacquesShellacques (febd1d)

  3. “Shoot, shovel and shut up.”
    Theme to live by. Which far beats “live and let live”…which is one to die by……

    BJS– you are incorrect.
    1) most of the kills are on private land that has the misfortune of being anywhere near gov’t land.{Generally, folks do not calve on the forest, and most of the kills are calves}
    2) most of the folks who rent land are paying much more than “peanuts.”

    While you are correct on the value of a cow– as the train folks found out, “the train always hits your best cow”– putting a dangerous predator out there and making it illegal to defend your property and family is flat stupid.

    Any ranchers on gov’t land are paying a whole lot more than the bikers, hikers, campers and hunters.

    Foxfier (55235c)

  4. I say introduce them to hollywood area where all those hollywood wackos are always giving to those wolf preservationists groups at the expense of the farmers and ranchers and the families DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE IS LYING ABOUT WOLVES

    krazy kagu (0a3548)

  5. Wolves are more important than farmers.

    jpe (0fe544)

  6. Foxfier is right on. The solution is already at hand. Just keep the govt out of the way. This is also called evolution.

    Tregg Wright (8cb5a9)

  7. Just saw a recent program about Yellowstone

    reintroduction of wolves and their success has meant less Grizzly bear attacks on humans

    why? because the wolves take down more prey then they eat in one sitting and that allows Grizzlies to scavenge.

    Don’t romanticize nor demonize wildlife. Just accept it for what it is, part of the natural world and have a healthy respect for the balance and our part in it.

    Geez, I was taught about this in Girl Scouts over 40 years ago. Doesn’t anyone “do” Scouting anymore?

    Darleen (187edc)

  8. Very well said, Darleen.

    Yesterday a fox came and sat for a while in our front yard, ten feet from our front door. My girls watched it through the living room window and thought it was adorable. I’m glad that it’s around too, but I would have been reaching for a shotgun if we had chickens and rabbits like we did when I was young.

    nk (09a321)

  9. > It amazes me we give wolves three chances. The law doesn’t recognize a similar rule for biting dogs, and I don’t think wolves can reform their character …

    It’s not that they expect the wolf to reform if given another chance. They don’t want to remove that very rare wolf from the wild (by trapping or killing) unless they’re sure it’s a habitual livestock killer. After the 3rd incident, they’re sure.

    There are probably hundreds of thousands of cows in NM. Few wolves.

    Also, I think ranchers ARE compensated for livestock losses due to wolves. But I can see the ranchers viewpoint. It’s probably a big hassle to prove that dead cow was killed by a wolf.

    Arthur (8e7771)

  10. So wolves are inherently better, smarter, cooler, ??, than cows?

    DRJ (973069)

  11. So wolves are inherently better, smarter, cooler, ??, than cows?

    Wolves are no more or less valuable than cows. They have a place in the natural order of things. Animals are amoral.

    Darleen (187edc)

  12. DRJ- you must admit, cows aren’t very romantic.

    Cowboys, a little, but wolves are much more romantic than either one.

    Not really sure WHY– ask the Russians how lovely wolves are when they’re not scared of people– but that seems to be how it is.

    Foxfier (55235c)

  13. Foxfier pegged it: SSS!

    A rule to live by since passage of the Endangered Splecies Act.

    Also, Catron County has an uderlying, highly libertarian bent to it. It was, after all, settled in the post-Civil War period by Confederate Army vets. They really resent directions from DC.

    Another Drew (758608)

  14. Rush Limbaugh has a shtick that the way to save a species from extinction is to start eating it. Food animals are the most plentiful of all. 😉

    nk (09a321)

  15. Let’s loose wolves in Seattle, San Francisco, NYC and other do good cities and see how long they continue advocating freedom for their specieis. I’m sure ranchers and farmers would love to see the random lawyer or stockbroker being a wolf meal. And the tree huggers can feel proud that such species are where they can contribute to diversity.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  16. North American wolves don’t eat people. They won’t attack a human even if he’s standing between them and their last meal before death by starvation. Grizzlies will. And the most dangerous North American mammal of all is the domesticated bull (that’s boy cow not pitbull dog for you city folk).

    nk (09a321)

  17. Michael Crichton did some nice work on the adverse consequences on man interfering with nature in Yellowstone that is somewhat relevant to this topic I believe.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  18. NK– correction, up to NOW there haven’t been problems with wolves eating people.

    Because wolves in North America traditionally avoided humans, or they died.

    We’re making it illegal to hunt wolves, same way we made it illegal to hunt cougars.

    Cougar attacks became a problem.

    So will wolf attacks.

    Foxfier (ae3655)

  19. If you realy beiieve that poppycock JPE then dont be stuffing your fat face while saying that

    krazy kagu (1f0194)

  20. There are coyotes and even an occasional mountain lion in the East Bay hills (east of San Francisco).

    Frankly, I think we could use a few more local wolves to cull the deer that I’ve seen wandering in downtown Berkeley. On the other hand, I do like cats…

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a8283d)

  21. AJL–
    I am trying desperately to resist, but… how about we send back some of the cats they keep shipping to Modoc (my birth county) for stalking humans, and see how the liberals like it in their back yard?

    (No, I don’t really wish any harm on anyone for their views– I try to protect folks from the ill effects of their beliefs, while still letting them learn from the mistakes. Study in conflicts, that’s me….)

    Foxfier (97deae)

  22. Habituated wolves, foxes and coyotes are dangerous…they should not be hanging around your homes. This is a form of prey testing. They were not visiting they were checking you and your property out as a source of food.

    Here in the southwest that is just what they do. These cage raised, hybrid bred mexican gray wolves and the tax payer funded program are out of control. In a 30 day period one family had a mexican wolf pack visit the house 28 times. The wolves even deficated in their yard and porch.

    A strike is any number of animals killed in a 24 hour period. So a murder would only get one life sentence for killing everyone on in a shopping center. Just to use an example in relation to people.

    Your dog, pets and chickens are a free kill. Try explaining that one to your kids when they see their dog slaughtered or kitty head ripped off on their own front porch. You have no rights to defend yout pets or property as the wolf’s rights are more important than yours.

    How many dead animals do you have to clean up or just even to see the spree killed elk with no meat taken. What a useless waste of resources.

    Strikes are also only applied to the wolf they want to apply them too unlike what the rule states they must do. They generally give the strikes to the wolves with the least amount of strikes.

    Strikes roll off in 1 year.

    read more at wolfcrossing.orgWolfCrossing for excellent educational information on the wolf program and for more on the environmental extreme.

    WolvesGoneWild (85a3d5)

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