Wolves take out 176 Idaho sheep

katqanna

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Sheepherders for the Siddoway Sheep Co. heard the wolves at about 1 a.m. Saturday, but didn't know the extent of the damage until they saw the sheep piled up on each other at daybreak.
So are the wolves in Idaho that neat and tidy, piling them all up for the sheepherders, after chasing through a herd of 2400 sheep? Never came across that skill in the wolf papers. Clearly the biologists are not doing their job.
 

Jwill

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So are the wolves in Idaho that neat and tidy, piling them all up for the sheepherders, after chasing through a herd of 2400 sheep? Never came across that skill in the wolf papers. Clearly the biologists are not doing their job.
That picture reminded me of the gooback episode of Southpark...good times!
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Nothing worse on the range than those animals.
There is A LOT that we don't know about ecological processes and plant community dynamics in 15"-19" and 20+" precip. zones where many sheep summer. I'm involved in a research project on high elevation sheep allotments that should help illuminate to what extent they influence 20+" Ecological Sites that have (to date) been marginally described. Other than a project based in the Centennial Range in MT, very little work has been done to that end to my knowledge. Their influence on low-mid elevation shrub and forb communities is relatively well documented.

There are plenty of wasteful operators, and the subsidy issue is out of control. However, not every sheep ranch is out to turn public land into dirt. Some of the most historically strong mule deer units in WY either have been or are active sheep allotments. Few would argue that they weren't overused, but modern management has made up considerable ground.

By the way...biologists/ecologists: I'm interested in peer reviewed literature regarding plant community ecology in sheep allotments, particularly tall forb/alpine turf summer range. Thanks!
 

1_pointer

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There is A LOT that we don't know about ecological processes and plant community dynamics in 15"-19" and 20+" precip. zones where many sheep summer. I'm involved in a research project on high elevation sheep allotments that should help illuminate to what extent they influence 20+" Ecological Sites that have (to date) been marginally described. Other than a project based in the Centennial Range in MT, very little work has been done to that end to my knowledge. Their influence on low-mid elevation shrub and forb communities is relatively well documented.

There are plenty of wasteful operators, and the subsidy issue is out of control. However, not every sheep ranch is out to turn public land into dirt. Some of the most historically strong mule deer units in WY either have been or are active sheep allotments. Few would argue that they weren't overused, but modern management has made up considerable ground.

By the way...biologists/ecologists: I'm interested in peer reviewed literature regarding plant community ecology in sheep allotments, particularly tall forb/alpine turf summer range. Thanks!
Thank you for that!! I'm not sure if any of his work has been published in peer reviewed journals, but I know of a USFS ecologist in Utah that has been collecting veg data and photos on high elevation sheep allotments for a long, long time. PM coming...

Many of the best condition allotments I worked on where sheep allotments. In many ways they are easier to manage than other types of livestock. If you have a good operator, it's amazing how well they can maintain or most often improve vegetation condition. I was involved in some research that showed they can, relatively easily, but used to improve habitat conditions for sage grouse and mule deer. Speaking of mule deer, have you ever seen a graph of estimated mule deer populations and estimated sheep populations through the last 6-70 years? It's pretty telling!
 

6speed

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Suggesting that a decrease of domestic livestock grazing on my public lands may be having an adverse effect on wildlife populations! That kind of logic is likely to anger the anti "welfare rancher" crowd and the kill all the predators SFW crowd. Imagine using their disdain for biological reasoning to bring those 2 groups together this could get interesting.
 

RUT JUNKEY

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So are the wolves in Idaho that neat and tidy, piling them all up for the sheepherders, after chasing through a herd of 2400 sheep? Never came across that skill in the wolf papers. Clearly the biologists are not doing their job.
my thoughts exactly! lol. Sheep are weak for sure. . .how do they know it was only 2 wolves? looks to me like if it was just 2, they just must have ran around and around those sheep and kept closing the circle till they just piled up. .LOL. Maybe the 2 wolves were a little "light in the claws" thats why they stacked them so nice and neat and only chewed on one of the sheep. :D ( I also like the lack of effort by the herders, but, afterall what are they going to do with a shepards hook right? lol)
 

smarandr

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You can guarantee a profit will be made. Siddoway is a former F&G commissioner that many, me included, believe ran for and became Senator specifically to protect his own elk farm/ranch/hunting facility and sheep interests. I see him as a slightly more rational version of Rex Rammell.
Truer words have never been spoken. Although, the definition of "slightly" here must be measured in nanometers (if that's how rationality is measured anyway). Rammell and Siddoway are without a doubt the two biggest ass-hats in the east Idaho political landscape, and I'd wager there would be little competition for the statewide crown.
 

shoots-straight

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Bitterroot Valley
There is A LOT that we don't know about ecological processes and plant community dynamics in 15"-19" and 20+" precip. zones where many sheep summer. I'm involved in a research project on high elevation sheep allotments that should help illuminate to what extent they influence 20+" Ecological Sites that have (to date) been marginally described. Other than a project based in the Centennial Range in MT, very little work has been done to that end to my knowledge. Their influence on low-mid elevation shrub and forb communities is relatively well documented.

There are plenty of wasteful operators, and the subsidy issue is out of control. However, not every sheep ranch is out to turn public land into dirt. Some of the most historically strong mule deer units in WY either have been or are active sheep allotments. Few would argue that they weren't overused, but modern management has made up considerable ground.

By the way...biologists/ecologists: I'm interested in peer reviewed literature regarding plant community ecology in sheep allotments, particularly tall forb/alpine turf summer range. Thanks!
Great to see some data being put together. I spout off from the casual observations from 52 years of life. I have no hard data, just opinion.

Your data will carry us farther.
 
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