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Upper Green River Wyoming
Posted on in Agriculture/Cat Urbigkit/Column/News/wildlife

Grizzly Recovery Reflected in Upper Green Conflict

The Bridger-Teton National Forest’s announcement of its decision to reauthorize cattle grazing in the Upper Green River region 30 miles north of Pinedale was met with the predictable hysteria of anti-grazing activists who claim the plan “institutionalizes overgrazing” and “negligent livestock management” on national forest lands. These activists are pushing to rid public lands of livestock and cite conflicts between grizzly bears and cattle in the Upper Green to justify their position. It’s no matter that the truth undermines their outrageous claims. Keep Reading | 1314 words

Range Writing elk in traffic
National Park visitors oblivious to the danger posed by a bull elk among them. (Photo credit: Cat Urbigkit)
Posted on in Cat Urbigkit/Column/Range Writing/wildlife

Get real: Dumping Disneyland for nature

With more than 80 percent of the American public residing in urban areas, I understand the importance of connecting people to nature. But rather than have the American public remain ignorant about the natural world and its wild animals, we need to work to educate the public of the reality of human-wildlife conflicts so that we can seek to minimize these conflicts. Keep Reading | 1161 words

Wyoming mule deer
A mule deer buck stays in the shadows on Wyoming’s sagebrush steppe. (Photo credit: Cat Urbigkit)
Posted on in Cat Urbigkit/Column/Range Writing

Dear Hunters

I am happy that you’re out having adventures, and hopefully getting some tasty meat for the freezer. I know that you look forward to hunting season all year long, and it’s a big part of why you are in this great state, whether as a resident or a visitor. And I appreciate that so far this year, all but one of you have honored our ranch gates by leaving them as you find them. Keep Reading | 1526 words

Range Pack livestock guardian dogs
Some legislative proposals ignore the reality of working dogs like these livestock guardian dogs on the range in western Wyoming. (Photo credit: Cat Urbigkit)
Posted on in Cat Urbigkit/Column/Range Writing/wildlife

The World’s Gone Crazy Cotillion

Every now and then, my brain hits playback on the Waylon Jennings’ song “The World’s Gone Crazy (Cotillion)” written by Jennings and Shel Silverstein. Last week the song was stuck in my head, as the lyrics are apropos to much current news. Keep Reading | 1208 words

Posted on in Cat Urbigkit/Column/Range Writing/wildlife

The Nature of Conflict: Managing Wildlife Damage

I spent last week in our nation's capital, one of 20 citizens from around the country gathered to serve on the national advisory committee for USDA Wildlife Services. The committee’s job is to provide recommendations to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue, on policies and program issues necessary to manage damage caused by depredating wildlife to safeguard our nation's resources and safeguard public health and safety. Since Wildlife Services is tasked with resolving wildlife conflicts, much of what we discussed was about conflict. Keep Reading | 1159 words

The devil is in the details
Posted on in Cat Urbigkit/Column/Range Writing

Not To Be Critical, But Let’s Try Critical Thinking: From fast fashion to landlocked public lands, the devil is in the details.

I’m a news hound, and when I come across a topic that interests me, I try to read about that topic from a variety of news sources in attempt to see a range of perspectives. I read news from major media in the United States, Europe, Russia, and Turkey on a regular basis. Every few days I hear or read statements that give me pause. I am routinely perplexed at reporters allowing these statements to go unchallenged – not even questioning the veracity of the claims being made. Keep Reading | 1110 words

Guard coyotes
A coyote paruses the Wyoming range. (Photo credit: Cat Urbigkit)
Posted on in Cat Urbigkit/Column/Range Writing

Are “Guard Coyotes” A Thing?

Predator-prey systems (including predator-livestock conflicts) are complicated, multi-faceted, and site-specific, but an Oregon Extension publication has provided a broad solution for those of us in animal agriculture, virtually eliminating the need for lethal control of predators: Keeping well-behaved breeding pairs of coyotes in place in their territories to exclude other coyotes that may kill sheep. Thus, keeping these “guard coyotes” and “guard wolves” in place serves to protect our livestock. Keep Reading | 1529 words

Bear Attack Sign
Posted on in Cat Urbigkit/Column/Range Writing/wildlife

Bear Attacks Increasing Worldwide

A French composer on a trip to Canada’s Northwest Territories to record the sounds of nature was attacked in his tent in the middle of the night and killed by a grizzly bear earlier this month. Such an unprovoked attack is rare, according to wildlife officials, although large carnivore attacks on humans are on the increase worldwide. Grizzly bear attacks on humans in Wyoming are part of that worldwide trend. Keep Reading | 1477 words

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