On November 4th, 2021 The High Lonesome Ranch co-hosted a workshop with Working Circle to discuss ranching with wolves and other predators. Joined by our neighboring ranchers, we first heard from Wildlife Biologist, Carter Niemeyer, who covered gray wolf predator/prey behavior and ecology and the history and spread of gray wolves in the west. He also gave an overview of how to identify different types of predator damage, including wolf, coyote, bear, and mountain lion caused livestock deaths. Following Carter was Livestock Producer Shella DelCurto. Shella ranches in Eastern Oregon. Wolves were not reintroduced there, they migrated from Idaho. She discussed how she wished she was more prepared for their arrival, and how she has since mitigated conflict, particularly through increased herding practices and more frequent range riding. Shella encourages other ranches to tell their stories and collaborate with environmental groups and public agencies to make sure your concerns as a rancher are heard and addressed.
Last we had Hilary and Andrew Anderson from Montana, discussing their ranch operation outside of Yellowstone and how they have adapted to ranching with wolves over the years. They focused on strategies they’ve adopted to increase ranch resilience and sustainability for future generations. One of the biggest takeaways was that herd animals instinctually know how to protect themselves from predation. Our role as livestock and land managers is to allow and promote these instincts, rather than inhibit them.
We are excited to partner with Working Circle to continue this conversation about ranching and predation. If you would like to attend a future workshop at the ranch sign up for our email list below.