Fox Mountain Pack Killing Livestock FWS Does Nothing, Greens Media Spin Fabricating Public Suggestions
Photo’s on the way will be posted ASAP:
Hulsey ranch was in a bind and had been for over a year. Finally one calf kill too many and they asked the Catron county trapper for help. During 2012 they had lost a cow and six calves to the Fox Mountain pack. They were also beginning to believe that 24 missing calves missing after their 2011 branding in July were also due to wolf predation but since the Fish and Wildlife Service hadn’t keep them updated the prior year on locations it was hard to be sure. None of the 2011 calves were confirmed and FWS although required by law to inform ranchers wolves are in their cattle did not comply with that requirement. However maps and wolf locations from last summers Fox Mountain locations indicate that these wolves were likely in the area close to the Hulsey ranch during the months the calves went missing.
This year though, the cowboys figured it out on their own when the wolves moved a den into their deeded land lease and FWS began grudgingly keeping track of the wolves in cattle and occasionally informed the ranchers of their presence. While the pack was out of the reintroduction area FWS felt it was wise to allow the pack to stay where they were even if they were in the immediate vicinity of the Hulsey cattle. They kept Corwin Hulsey informed to a degree this time, enough at least that the depredations could occasionally be found and at least on 4 occasions subjected to necropsy and confirmed as wolf kills. A responsibility left to the rancher which costs him valuable time and money.
The ranch was compensated for one kill, a grown cow with a full term calf drug out of her. The compensation did come from Defenders of Wildlife although they did send letters to prior compensation recipients stating they would no longer be responsible for wolf kill compensation. Defenders of Wildlife also began working closely with the Inter Agency Field Team on the Hulsey case. Media outlets, Sherry Barrett wolf team leader and Michael Robinson from Center for Biological Diversity wolf activist claim the rancher victimized by the Fox Mountain pack was compensated for his losses. This is a fabrication.
To date the family has lost approximately 30 head of cattle to the Fox Mountain pack and has received about a years worth of run around from FWS in what can be described as typical rancher gullibility that everyone is honest and if you just work with them they will behave fairly and truthfully.
Once the Hulseys informed FWS there were wolves on them and FWS began admitting that yes there were and confirmed the wolves on their ranch and subsisting on their livestock things became clearer. But dealing with the agencies behavior and false information was increasingly more difficult.
To date the Fox mountain pack has cost the family about 30 head of calves and cows, the use of their deeded land lease at 6500 dollars to date, over 8000 dollars in hay out of their own pockets while they attempted to cooperate with FWS and move their cattle and feed them. Over 600 dollars in fuel to move cattle out of the way of the denning wolves. Compensation bragged about in the pro-wolf circles including FWS amounted to 1600 dollars in hay and 1200 dollars for one cow. There is no compensation for the extra 24 hours a day labor required to stop wolves from killing your livestock. A range rider was also required but has had little impact on keeping the pack out of the cattle.
When Corwin Hulsey was informed that he had a right under the law to shoot any wolf killing his stock on his deeded land lease, he put his foot down and FWS finally sprang into action claiming they would feed the wolves and stop the killing. They placed a food cache within 100 yards of the pasture the cattle are in . The feeding looked a lot like baiting wolves into the area to many people closely involved in the Hulsey case.
Because the New Mexico State agencies got involved and the case documented by the state, the FWS became a bit more attentive of the situation and finally told Corwin, who was not happy about being forced to shoot wolves preying on his cattle that they would remove the female but not until the end of September so the pups could have a better chance at survival. Corwin told them he would simply shoot anything killing his cattle and he would no longer move cattle around to suit them and he wanted his cows bred back and fat for a change. Incidentally after last years non-cooperation by FWS the Hulsey’s lost breed back of 65% and have a much smaller calf crop than at any time prior to wolf presence.
FWS had to act, so they issued a kill order for the Alpha Female of the pack knowing that emotional environmental organizations would immediately leap into the fray and issue press releases on the subject. Petitions were circulated with false information. The kill order was rescinded and wildlife service’s the much maligned federal agency charged with livestock protection was brought in to trap the female and remove her permanently from the wild.
A petition was formed by the Center for Biological Diversity It’s information is false and conclusions are propaganda but the petition is gaining ground and the FWS region 3 director Benjamin Tuggle is likely to continue to allow Fox Mountain to destroy the Hulsey ranch.
We, the undersigned, are outraged that the USFWS would chose to kill, then imprison and separate from her pups, a valuable member of an endangered species. There are far more sensible and humane measures available for preventing cattle deaths.
Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity says that cattle losses by wolf attack are rare and preventable and should not be used as an excuse to “resume a de facto war against the beautiful, intelligent, social and very imperiled Mexican wolf.” Furthermore, ranchers are compensated for these losses, which could be easily remediated.
The very idea of intentionally killing an animal that has pups or separating from her mate one so vital to the existence of her pack should not even be considered.
If carried out, this killing would have been the first since 2007, which should have been the last. The new order to imprison the mother wolf, does nothing to remedy the situation and punishes her pups and her pack.
We thank you for withdrawing your request to kill this alpha female, but we now must insist that you allow her to live in the wild with her pups..
Destruction of private ranches in the Gila and Apache Sitgreves forests was commonplace in the Mexican wolf program at least 7 ranches have been forced into selling due to wolf impacts that are not mitigated by the federal agency charged with mitigating them. Currently, when a rancher looses livestock FWS personnel are now brokering deals with pro-wolf non profits to bail them out and purchase the ranch at a reduced cost and often forcing increased depredation designed to create a willing seller where under normal circumstances there is not a willing seller.
A few more weeks will confirm if the Hulsey’s will remain in business after the stress their operation has undergone. Defenders of Wildlife has yet to compensate the ranches losses and although publically stated that the government has a program and the ranch was compensated, this is a fabrication designed to stir emotions and stop common sense questions about the case. Corwin Hulsey complied with every expectation from FWS he temporarily removed his livestock at his own cost. He fed them hay at his own cost, he lost far more money than he will ever see from any compensation entity and still his only option is killing wolves. Specifically the alpha male who is in the cattle every night and is likely the instigator in the problem. However, with the 7 member pack needing food, all members will be dining on livestock that belongs to one family while the rest of this drama plays out.
The following is the media spun version of the information pack approved by FWS and radical wildlife groups.
• Target: USFWS Southwest Regional Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle
• Sponsored by: Susan V
Fox Mountain Pack’s alpha female was targeted this week for killing by the feds. But thanks to public response, that kill order was just rescinded.
However, the plan to now incarcerate her is hardly better. Wild Earth Guardians insists that the”Fox Mountain pups need their mother and to be left unmolested in the wild of the Apache National Forest,” and that there are better ways to handle cattle losses than punishing wolves.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service signed her death warrant after linking four cattle deaths with her pack – deaths which advocates say could be prevented by ranchers working harder to protect their cattle.
This Mexican wolf belongs to an endangered species and is part of the only identified breeding pair in the Fox Mountain pack. Removing her would be “biologically harmful and a huge waste of taxpayer money,” adds WEG and, other wildlife advocates agree.
Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity says this kill order is a return to destructive Bush policies against the species, and money would be better spent hiring a range-rider. WEG recommends that livestock owners “either temporarily remove all livestock from the vicinity of the pups’ den, or use electric fencing or herders to manage cattle by day, and barns and corrals to secure the animals at night.”
This intelligent, social animal, on whom the pack’s very existence may depend, should be allowed to live in the wild with her pups where she belongs.