With less than $25,000 left in Oregon's Wolf Depredation & Prevention Program bank, livestock owners who sustain confirmed kills by the pack can look forward to little compensation.
Meanwhile, the Oregon wolf pack is alive, well and hungry as it continues to move throughout livestock lands at will, despite the efforts of a few range riders paid by the fund to keep an eye on the predators.
Those who think the return of the wolf is a nice thing, but who forget the introductions are actually upsetting the status quo of current ecosystems, may feel a few dead sheep or calves are a small price to pay for having the vicious animals wandering the wild.
There is no good in trying to convince them otherwise, for that's a waste of time that leads to the traditional nonsense-based arguments that wolves are a natural part of our environment. Maybe that was the case once, but it hasn't been for years, and wolf rapture is misguided environmentalism.
I go back to the days of the grizzly bear when the horrible monsters ran rampant through pioneer communities, dining on occasional humans and stock along the way. We did in the "griz" for much the same reason we killed off the wolves, but now the people who bring you save-the-salmon-at-all-costs (and who kill off sea lions in the process to trade sea life for sea life), are charging in to restore mayhem.
At some high echelon of environmental religion must be a lofty temple where these people get their commandments, telling them when it is OK to manipulate nature, and when they should not. They need to revisit their gods of natural balance and probe further just how they came to the conclusion of what must be restored, why and at what cost.
Emotionalism is certain to be the cloud in which these sacred gurus reside.
But then again this is just another example of how things have gotten out of hand in our lifetimes. Too little science and too much money among the "return to nature" lobby is responsible in part, but mostly it is the uninformed attitude of do-good cause-seekers that runs the show. And, from this scenario there is no earthly relief.
As one University of California Extension specialist I knew long ago told me, the cause of environmentalism – even with its irrational support exponents – is a reality we must deal with in agriculture today. Not to do so, he argued, would be to fall behind in the credibility cycle. Ergo, dealing with erroneous thinking requires us to identify with it to fight it.
What a waste of good money and time.
Proper environmentalism – that practiced by farmers and ranchers forever – may need to be tweaked now and then for us to get it right (as per the introduction of no-till), and it is a cause highly precious to us all.
But for the most part the warning to a farmer who continues to cause erosion and waste or contaminate water is like the sign that says "Don't Drink and Drive." Just how many people see that sign and toss their Blatz bottles out of pickup windows?
Kind of reminds me of the sign in the elevator: "In Case of Fire, Don't Panic."
Oh, yeah, sorry I screamed because my hair is burning.
All of the above, which, are essentially my observations on delightful head-shakers of our entertaining society of the 21st Century.