Year of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department or School/College
College of Forestry and Conservation
Matthew McKinney, Seth M. Wilson
Blackfoot Watershed, husbandry practices, livestock, non-lethal conflict mitigation, northern gray wolf, range rider
University of Montana
The recent recovery of wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) was met with opposition from the ranching communities throughout Montana. This was not surprising, due to the fact that wolves are feared as a predator of livestock and therefore represent a direct economic loss for ranchers that experience depredations by wolves. Wolves are also revered as a native predator that have top down effects upon natural prey species. This in turn affects the web of plants and animals that make up natural ecosystems. This fact, as well as the strong emotional connection that some stakeholders have to wolves creates a tense value laden debate when wolves come into conflict with humans. Non-lethal conflict mitigation tools have been developed, funded, and implemented in several communities throughout the NRM; in hopes of decreasing the polarization that once ruled the debate between the stakeholders. Montana ranchers have always been fiercely independent, yet many have found themselves partnering with conservation organizations to experiment with a new model of predator management that includes non-lethal tools. This literature review highlights the effectiveness, limitations, and local applicability of various non-lethal tools. A case study of a collaborative program is also included that was developed in the Blackfoot Watershed of western Montana. Wolves, livestock and people will continue to interact in the NRM, finding a way to reduce the conflict will help assure long term solutions that respect all the values placed on wolves.
Brown, Peter Douglas, "Wolves and Livestock: A review of tools to deter livestock predation and a case study of a proactive wolf conflict mitigation program developed in the Blackfoot Valley, Montana" (2011). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 1193.
© Copyright 2011 Peter Douglas Brown