Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rancher Versus Wolves

More than two dozen animals in Reed Point are dead after wolf attacks and one rancher is fed up.

"They can have as many wolves as they want in Alaska, Canada, Yellowstone Park, but don't bring them to the Svenson ranch, they're not needed here," said Sven Svenson.

He's a man who's running out of ideas and running out of ways to stop more of his animals from being killed by wolves on 10,000 acres of grazing land. "I've lost with the ones we just looked at this makes 27 head," said Svenson. "I'm sure there's stuff I haven't found yet. I won't know until I get a count in February."

Svenson and his two sons have tried just about everything. "We've gone out at night and looked around and we've set up all our non-lethal decoys, the guard dogs, the flashing lights, and the scare crows and it doesn't seem to faze them any," said Eric Svenson.

The family's also turned to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks officials and also brought in federal trappers, so far they've killed one wolf, but another remains on the loose. The family remains hopeful they can get back to business on their ranch sooner rather than later.

Defenders of Wildlife are planning on reimbursing the Svensons for lost animals; however the organization is currently out of money. In March, the federal government de-listed wolves from the endangered species list. After several lawsuits they were put back on the list and officials predict the wolf to be taken off the list in the near future.

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