HOWL Colorado

Living with wolves: Keeping peace in the mountains

The Idaho Mountain Express published a story about an all-to-quiet program of proactive measures to keep sheep and wolves apart.

It is sad that this work is not getting more exposure. It’s taken dedication and effort and the determination to do something different and make it work. I can only hope more ranchers will look at the successes and investigate following the same program. HOWLColorado will certainly be pointing at this program when Colorado ranchers are looking for solutions to potential wolf-human conflicts.

In the upper Wood River Valley, a dedicated group of sheep ranchers, conservationists and state and federal officials are quietly redefining what it means to live and work in wolf-occupied Western lands.

On the morning of June 13, the first sheep bands of the summer will be released onto Sawtooth National Forest lands above Ketchum. These lands—in the western shadow of the Boulder Mountains—are also occupied by the Phantom Hill wolf pack.

Since their discovery in spring 2007, the Phantom Hill wolves have attracted quite a lot of attention, both positive and negative. The pack’s first notoriety came when they were implicated in a sheep-killing incident.

Thirteen domestic sheep died on national forest land near lower Baker Creek during a single night in summer 2007. Officials initially considered lethal removal of the pack, but relented after the rancher—Gooding sheep producer John Faulkner—agreed to see if non-lethal methods to keep sheep safe from wolves could work…

Read the entire article on the mtexpress.com Web site: Keeping peace in the mountains

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