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8/20/2013 6:02:00 AM
Coordination, not cooperation on Mexican gray wolf plan
A captive Mexican gray wolf being kept alive for breeding purposes at the Minnesota Zoo in 2006. Plans to greatly increase their re-introduction range in the Southwest have met with opposition. (Courtesy)
A captive Mexican gray wolf being kept alive for breeding purposes at the Minnesota Zoo in 2006. Plans to greatly increase their re-introduction range in the Southwest have met with opposition. (Courtesy)

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - The Mohave County Board of Supervisors wants to be involved in a federal study of the Mexican Gray Wolf, but they want to be clear - they do not support the federal government's plan to expand the endangered animal's territory.

"We're working on a coordinating memorandum of understanding rather than a cooperative agreement," District 4 Supervisor Joy Brotherton told the Board Monday. "We were very encouraged that they were listening to us. We hope to have something by the end of this week."

Board Chairman Gary Watson and Supervisors Hildy Angius and Brotherton met with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representatives in Albuquerque and St. John's, Ariz., last week to discuss the federal government's study. The proposal would expand the wolves' territory from a small area near the Arizona/New Mexico border to a swath of land that runs across the middle of both states between Interstate 40 and Interstate 10.

The Board has opposed expanding the wolves' range because of public safety reasons and possible damage to local cattle ranchers.

Watson called local cattle rancher Scott Derringer to the podium to describe his experience with wolves and being reimbursed by the federal government for the loss of 28 calves when he lived in Greenlee County. The wolves were reintroduced to Greenlee County in 1998.

Derringer described finding wolf paw prints in the snow in 2000 and following them to a freshly killed calf. After securing the carcass, Derringer contacted federal authorities about the kill. An investigator looked at the carcass and said he couldn't be sure the calf was killed by a wolf. Derringer said he pointed out the wolf tracks.

"He told me it wasn't a conclusive kill," Derringer said. "I said, 'What else could it be but a wolf?' He told me eagles could have done it."

District III Supervisor Buster Johnson pointed out that many ranchers in the wolves' current territory have given up on applying for reimbursement from the federal government because of similar experiences.

"I brought Mr. Derringer here because I wanted people to know how serious this is," Watson said. "I'm determined to make an impression on Fish and Wildlife."

John Cooley of Arizona's Game and Fish Commission also spoke at Monday's meeting and said the commission is looking carefully at the rules being proposed by the federal government and gathering comments from residents.

Watson asked Cooley how many elk the state could expect to be killed by wolves in a year.

Cooley said the federal government has estimated approximately 16 elk per year per wolf.

"That's a significant amount of money for Arizona and Mohave County in permit fees," Watson said.

Cooley agreed and pointed out that the loss of elk would also affect businesses that arrange hunting trips and supply and support hunters.

In order to give all Mohave County residents a chance to voice their views on the Mexican Gray Wolf plan, the Board approved holding a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the County Administration Building.

ICT - Mohave Electric WI-Power Boy 2nd ad
Related Stories:
• Mohave County: We really, really don't like gray wolf plan
• Mohave County to wolves: Show us your papers


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: Another Thought

"And Native Americans were here before the Spain-ards and Euro-peons but I don't see any of you packing bags."

Very true, however, it's probably a good thing that they had not learned or used the word Genocide back then.


Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: Jimi Lightfoot

Another Thought

"Yes, but wolves "were" here long before the cattle!"

And Native Americans were here before the Spain-ards and Euro-peons but I don't see any of you packing bags.



Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: Another Thought

@ Pro Ranchers

"This has been a ranching community for years!"

Yes, but wolves "were" here long before the cattle! Had the cattle ranchers not poisoned, or killed (eradicated) the wolves, they would not have to reintroduce them!


Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

I find it funny that when a steer damages a persons property or causes injuries to a driver of a motor vehicle the ranchers say this is a free range and the animals were here first. Well, the same should be for wolves or any other wild animal. If people go out in nature unprepared for the wildlife that lives there and get hurt or killed, I say you got what was coming to you. You have a brain, animals live on instinct, want to be safe, move to a city where you only have to worry about the two legged animals that might cause you harm.

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: harris stein

[Comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: Makes no Sense

The wolves aren't being eradicated but rather reintroduced. Ranchers raise free roaming cattle which is healthy to eat. Everybody keeps complaining about Chinese imports. They have taken over the hog industry in this country already. To be shipped off to feed the Chinese population. This will have an impact of great magnitude as ranchers can't protect the cattle once out on the vast range.
Wolves are great in certain areas of the country but why reintroduce them in cattle country. Everybody who owns cattle or other livestock fenced in close to home should get Anatolian Shepherds they were bred just for the purpose of keeping those types of predators away. However they can't protect far roaming cattle. Why introduce an animal that will most likely get killed in the end by poison or hit by cars when they wander across Interstates. It's cruel to them also. In regards to the elk tags that money is used to fund preservation and management of wildlife.


Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: pro ranchers

You people that don't like the Ranchers need to move out of Mohave County! This has been a ranching community for years! Apparently you people need to know that Watson isn't a rancher!! These wolves are a bad idea not just for making problems for the ranchers and hunters but for the hikers and the people that like to enjoy the outdoors. Everywhere they have put these wolves it has caused problems.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: We Wouldn't Expect Any Thing Else

In another words according to Watson, it's okay for man to kill the elk (of which a significant amount goes to waste) verses wolf kills where 99% goes to feed the many animals. That's okay we expect the board members to do the bidding for the cattlemen.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Not Again

I think this is a case where for one, that Gary Watson remove himself from any influence on this issue. I believe it falls under a conflict of interest. Also, I really believe there are more important issues the BOS can take on instead of worrying about Gary Watson's pocket book. I hope the residence of Kingman and Mohave county can see where this is an abuse of power by a local cattle rancher.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: E D

Yeah! Much better to profit from the death of an elk ,than to let a wolf eat it for free.
Time to step down WATSON.


Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Rick Sherwood

I just wish Watson was as serious about helping all the people of this county as he is with his contributors. We have real issues not imaginary ones. HURF being shared with flood control for special projects, Fire Districts needing better over site, the list goes on. What's he doing, chasing ghosts or problems that don't exist.



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