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8/6/2013 6:00:00 AM
Mohave County to wolves: Show us your papers
Symbolic vote shows opposition to Mexican gray wolf re-introduction
Mohave County leaders want to make it as hard as possible for the Mexican gray wolf to be allowed to roam here. (USFW/Courtesy)
Mohave County leaders want to make it as hard as possible for the Mexican gray wolf to be allowed to roam here. (USFW/Courtesy)
Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Mexican gray wolves are not welcome in Mohave County unless they've been spayed or neutered, vaccinated and have a dog license, according a resolution unanimously approved by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors Monday.

The resolution passed with very little discussion from the Board.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced earlier this year that it was studying the idea of expanding the range that Mexican gray wolves could roam in the state from several thousand acres near the Arizona/New Mexico boarder to several million acres of land between Interstate 40 and Interstate 10 in both states. Mexican gray wolves are about the size of a German shepherd.

Livestock owners and hunting guides have opposed the expansion, saying the wolves would endanger their livelihoods by killing wild game and cattle.

District 4 Supervisor Joy Brotherton said she received several comments from local livestock associations saying the Board's resolution wasn't strong enough. The other Board members agreed and approved allowing Board Chairman Gary Watson to use suggestions from the county's livestock associations to strengthen the resolution before presenting it to the federal government at a meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. later this month.

Only one person at Monday's meeting spoke out in support of the wolves.

"I feel that the Board of Supervisors (has) succumbed to the fear-mongering of mostly ranchers and select few others," said Golden Valley resident Butch Meriwether, who owns a northern timberland wolf.

"I personally believe the supervisors have much more pressing issues they need to tackle ... The (Board) should worry more about the thousands of dogs in the county that run wild instead of on a leash, even though there is a leash law."

Those dogs probably kill more game animals and pets than a few wolves would, Meriwether said.

"Maybe instead of going after the federal government in regard to the wolves, maybe the supervisors should go after the Arizona government to change the open range laws," he said. "Having cows run free causes more damage to personal property and lives than a couple of wolves could ever do."

The Board's resolution is more of a symbolic protest than a law that could be enforced.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which monitors the wolf re-introduction program, is governed by federal law, which trumps local laws in most cases.

According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator Sherry Barrett, the department also vaccinates all wolves that are released from the program into the wild.

Spaying or neutering the animals would defeat the purpose of the project, she said in an email.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife also reimburses ranchers for livestock that are killed by wolves, after an investigation by the department.

ICT - Kingman Honda
Related Stories:
• Mohave County: We really, really don't like gray wolf plan
• Coordination, not cooperation on Mexican gray wolf plan
• Supervisor: No wolves in Mohave County

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Jerry Cagle

"wolves have been here since the pleistocene,"

Indeed they have. But the Dire wolf of that era is extinct, and not due to man.

"There are greater threats to both cattle and wildlife than the presence of wolves."

In Alaska, for example, the wolf population is controlled because of the way they will decimate the moose population in a given area where the locals depend on them for food. In some cases the nearest Safeway could be 500+ miles away, which makes for a long expensive trip for groceries.

There, for the majority, it is not trophy hunting. Especially when it is a cow moose.

@anonymous anonymous

"went into a semi-desert-housing area and thought struck me yes it (coyotes) might get someone's cat or small dog that is not being watched but more likely will get themselves a rabbit which I see in abundance here or a field mouse which is also in abundance!”

So wolves are not needed as coyotes take care of that rabbit and mouse problem. Glad you cleared that up. Though the poutrage exclamation point was a bit much.


Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: Lorrie Thompson

How does one get a dog license for a wild animal? It is illegal to keep a pure blooded wolf as a pet in Arizona so, really? Are you serious? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard but, it doesn't require intelligence to run for office, only name recognition. If you spay and neuter the wolves, there is no point in trying to re-introduce them anywhere. The point is to try to get their numbers up. Wolves are not going to
go after children or livestock, they are actually naturally fearful of larger animals and humans. If they do, then yes, you should be allowed to kill them but, by the same token, if a person goes after my children or animals, I should be allowed to do the same thing. Do your research on the wolves, Board of Supervisors and use your brain before you speak out on an animal you know nothing about. Kudos to Butch for being the only voice of reason.

Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

" They come after my animals, they will have to go."

Contain your animals! Wolves have every right to roam but I would say even more so. I have very little sympathy for anyone who loses animals to death be it from a car or a bullet if it is outside your property lines. Yes Arizona is open range, however, common sense says you should be courteous and protective of your neighbors properties. I think open range should be shutdown and then have the owners handle the cost of feeding their animals.

Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Dweller

There is absolutely no reason to bring wolves back into this area! We have enough problems with coyotes on our livestock. Wolves would only compound the problem. Wolves or Coyotes, doesn't make a difference to me. They come after my animals, they will have to go. Go to Yellowstone if you want to hear them howl.

Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Now this idea of neutering, spaying wild life such as coyotes, wolves is about as practical as eradicating many other predator's such as snakes which do eat a few rodents which carry fleas which carry bubonic plague, which I venture is worse than any rabies issue since dogs, cats have been known to get it, hence pass it on to their human owners!

Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Article comment by: Midwest Momma

I for one, wouldn't mind making a short trip to hear the wonderful wild sound of wolf howling. It gives me the good kind of shivers, unlike the sound of the local meth addicts pounding away on their tear the house apart projects and their endless traffic of "buddies" that commit all sorts of crimes, and let us not forget the lovely melodious sound of hip hop played on a car stereo with bass so heavy that it rattles your windows and wakes you up. I know which one I would declare open season on...and it doesn't have 4 legs....

Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Article comment by: Wiley Coyote

Thanks Butch for being a voice of reason and speaking up. Looks like there are many os us who agree.

Arizona is still the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Jerry Cagle

Seems odd to me that wolves have been here since the pleistocene, yet game was abundant when we arrived. There are greater threats to both cattle and wildlife than the presence of wolves. As a former hunter, and one who fully supports responsible exercise of the privilege, I find it ludicrous that anyone would blame their inability to harvest an elk, deer, or what-have-you on wolves. I'd wager that the more likely explanation is a detriment of hunting skills...

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Allan Gleason

I happen to be more interested in a balance in nature and the smallest footprint man can make as painlessly as is possible. The Mexican wolf, indigenous to the southwest is in danger of extinction which is why re-introduction is important. It bothers me that the 'locals' with very little knowledge of the animal should behave in so 'citified' and provincial a manner. Personally, I worry more about scorpions and Mohave greens, but try not to kill either!

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Michaele Lee

So sick of the idiots who call the shots here. The Wolves are animals and they do not understand boundaries. They have a right to live too. We can spend millions for Big Horn Sheep to have 3 bridges over 93 but are going to try to keep Wolves in a tiny area of the state? And have big meetings over it?

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: about turtle time sanctuary and museum

Shame on you all! promoting the killing of wildlife. if wolf's are banned, all dogs must go. they all have DNA of a wolf

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Cloyd Moody

It seems that someone is losing their focus, the wolves don't have sex with cattle and wildlife, THEY KILL THEM !!

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: DanniesJoy Stutzman

I second the NO WOLVES. The county needs a noise ordinance as well to deal with barking dogs, as well as forcing county residents to keep dog feces picked up. I contend with 3 neighbors who have dogs who bark excessively, when someone walks by, slows down or stops at stop sign or even when myself or other neighbors are sitting on their patio, porch or yard. I have another neighbor who hasn't picked up poop in a year!

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: seriously ??

This is single handedly the most ignorant thing I've heard supposed professionals utter...

Way to support wildlife, Mohave County. And both look extremely uneducated and make the county a laughingstock at the same time. Moving out of this backwards community cannot come quickly enough

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Townies A-Hyuck

Smart one, Mohave County Board of Supervisors. Real smart. Why don't you just make a law to make Not hunting wolves illegal. Spay or neuter an endangered species? Yep. You guys are really thinking with your full wit and capabilities. You've done it again, now they can't Take Our Jobs any more. Maybe you can also pass a law to keep the wolves from qualifying for welfare or food stamps too? Hey maybe if we just get the ranchers to add spiked helmets and armour to the cows, then they can just fight off the wolves in a Thunderdome type of battle, think of all the tax revenue the county can get from selling tickets to that. I feel bad for the ranchers, they work hard, but guess what, there were wolves around 100 years ago and ranchers too. Ranching is hard work. But if you are afraid of a few natural predators, then maybe you should get some other work. McDonalds is always hiring. Hey here's an idea, maybe if there were a few more natural predators around, the cows might get smarter? Then the Thunderdome contest will make the county even more money. MORE MONEY! MORE MONEY! Not the root of all evil at all.

Thumbs Up To You Guys!

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Food For Thought

Here's a little food for thought. State Senators in Montana were unable to stop the reintroduction, the BOS, specifically Watson, doesn't have the "juice" to stop the reintroduction. I'd rather see them spending our tax dollars on real public issues than spending on a fruitless attempt to help protect the ranchers bottom dollar. Maybe when the public complained about them allowing their cattle to "roam" onto private properties they should of listened, then maybe the public would be a little sympathetic.

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: just one voice

Thank you, Butch, for being the voice of reason here. Your points are well-stated. I don't understand why a few ranchers and hunters get to call the shots for the rest of us. These are the same ranchers who get sweet deals on using most of our public lands for their private gain, and the same hunters who don't want wolves because the wolves will compete with them for the privilege of killing. Supervisors, please focus on running the county and stop wasting time on "symbolic protests".

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Big Beef

Hey if you animal lovers don't like our supervisors, go buy your own.

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Lisa Lester

Really?! This is what are board is making decisions on? These wolves would no more attack livestock then the wild dogs, or "wild" domestic dogs that are running free! What about the coyotees that run wild or the mountain lions, bears etc. Its a chance we take for cohabitating together. Its the cycle of life. Really people! I am sure finding more appropriate items to suggest or shoot down like oh lets say the drugs in our county.. or the lack of activities that are available for our children .. or the crime in less attractive locations or communities around our town. I know, How about trying to bring jobs to the town! Lets focus on our citizens who are jobless because of the lack of job rather than worry about some wolves that are going to be monitored. And this vote just goes to show that the good ole boy town still exists. You all are just like the wolves.. running in a pack! Especially Wimpee and Brotherton... You two are the ones I know who would speak up..not follow. Guess I figured you both out wrong. Be leaders not followers.. Goverment will never change. Spay and neuter these animals... What a joke! Im not a wolf supporter nor am I against it.. but really this is a joke. DO MORE USEFUL THINGS WITH YOUR TIME AND FIX OUR CITY!

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: We have to agree...

While we appreciate seeing the wonderful wild animals that still roam this area we have to agree that this is no place for wolves. We are lucky enough to live on acreage with views of the Hualapai Mtns with beautiful views. However, we are also oh high alert, at all times, for the coyotes who have a taste for dogs, cats, newborn deer etc. While we do not condone just eradicating coyotes because we moved into their home we also do not condone introducing wolves into the county to compete with the coyotes for food. We say NO to the introduction of wolves into Mohave County. What purpose would it serve?

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

I have to wonder just exactly how much money this act of futility has cost the Mohave County taxpayer?

The time/money expended on such foolishness only deepens the rift between the voters and the sitting members of the board, not to mention it makes Mohave County look more backward than it ever has.

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: Licensed Spayed Neutered

The county should require this of coyotes too if it is required of us living in the middle of no where. But instead, we have to pay the county to have dogs or get ticketed and pay the county anyway. I now have a lifetime criminal record for having a dog without a license. Criminal?

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

As a absentee land owner in Mohave county who owns in fact land next to thousands of BLM acreage this wolf controversy is amusing, left Kingman area in Feb., 2013, am in Tucson now in fact my 3rd time here, love my retirement ability to travel move at will, but just yesterday was in town here in 2nd largest city in Arizona and coyote was crossing the street in front of me and safely navigated the road and went into a semi-desert-housing area and thought struck me yes it might get someone's cat or small dog that is not being watched but more likely will get themselves a rabbit which I see in abundance here or a field mouse which is also in abundance!

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