Carter Holds Court at Miner’s Inn in Yreka

The room was packed. I estimated 200 people were there to hear Carter Neimeyer discuss wolves.  With one lone wolf in Northern California, the bristles of the ranchfolks and townspeople of Yreka are already standing on end.

Carter presented a detailed, factual power-point on many aspects of wolfdom, focusing on livestock issues.  He showed a graph detailing actual predation statistics in the Rocky Mountain Region for the last 25 years. The figures proved that wolves took a mere pittance of the dead or missing livestock in that time period, an average of 130 sheep and 66 cows annually.  This is out of some 6 million cattle and 835,00 sheep in the area.  And over 1,700 wolves were killed by the government in response to this and other factors. That’s about one wolf for every head of cattle lost to wolves.  One would expect the ranchers in the crowd to sit back and relax after learning these numbers.

But they didn’t. They spoke up in the Q & A and disputed these facts as well as many others. They asked why wolves were allowed out of Yellowstone, they questioned the amount of money spent on wolves, they asked if wolf advocates were releasing wolves into the wild, one even suggested that Oregon 7 had been transported to California by such an advocate via pickup. I asked her why anyone who liked wolves would ever consider releasing them among this type of company.

The questions went on for an hour, and Carter stayed cool and collected, responding with facts, maintaining a middle of the road attitude. I was frustrated, but not him.

Afterward, I met Carter and Jenny and spoke with them a bit. What gracious and friendly people they are. And their work is so valuable. They provide exactly what is needed, a steady hand to help cool the hot heads who buy into the negative stereotypes about wolves.

Carter and Jenny Niemeyer and Wally Sykes

Carter said many wise things, but one that I really enjoyed was, “Wolves aren’t as good as we hoped, and not as bad as we feared.” So true, wolves are simply animals, and ones that deserve to exist in their natural habitat in Northern California and elsewhere.

21 thoughts on “Carter Holds Court at Miner’s Inn in Yreka

  1. Well, it sounds like he tried to be rational and empathetic to the whole scenario, but them ‘good ole boys’ sure have got their minds locked up like worms in a rotting apple. But as Arthur Schopenhauer said,

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    Incidentally, I’m guessing you have seen this, but it’s a fantastically comprehensive article. http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/DocServer/Wolf_Report_20120503.pdf

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  2. Appreciate your comment. Excellent analogy there with the rotting apples! No, I had not seen this article before, thanks for passing it on. Carter did a great job in maintaining an even keel attitude. He told me that he enjoys these talks, and this shows. He even included humor, despite the seriousness of the subject.

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  3. If these ranchers spent 5% of their energy coming into the 21st century with their animal husbandry methods instead of focusing on the hysterical blabbing that they do about wolves, there wouldn’t be an issue. Ranchers are good at two things- whining and taking subsidies and handouts. The sooner they leave our public lands the better it will be for everyone- but especially the wildlife. Look at how successful they were at getting their powerful allies in Congress to believe the hysteria about wolves- tragic

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    • A great pleasure to read this blog, cleikcd on your link and looks like I am in for a great visual/verbal experience, you certainly have a beautiful passion for the Wolf and your enthusiasm is contagiousCheersAussie Emu aka Ian

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  4. I agree, William. So much time, money and bad energy is spent on the fear and hatred of wolves. It is difficult to believe anyone would choose to wage war against a four legged animal. I think of a lot of this animosity is projection. But it’s easier to focus on wolves than to look inside for the real problem.

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    • Beckie- From everything that I am hearing from people, wolves are being poached at much greater frequency than anyone can imagine. The hunting and trapping culture in the NRM is pretty much lawless. Sheriff’s deputies and FG personnel won’t help wolves. Meanwhile Ken Salazar and Dan Ashe are doing fluff pieces touting the success of the state management plans!!!!!!!

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    • Right Becks. To be truly fair and balanced we should be reintroducing wolves to more of their natural, native areas. The entire Willamette Valley in Oregon used to be home to thousands of wolves. I like the idea of releasing several packs in Eugene and Portland, just to see if that act changes the perception of wolves. Point is— for any one of us it is easy to rant about the other side (they are stupid, all they know how to do is take gov’t. subsidies, they whine and complain), but if we have to live by the same wolf policies (and direct impacts), I am sure we would find we have more in common. The industry is being asked to bear the brunt of wolf reintroduction, so the least we can do is understand their issues, support their needs, and express sympathy when even one head is taken by wolves. The attitude that producers “ONLY lost 196 animals last year and tough beans for them” is not going to inspire a lot of cooperation.

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    • Those ranchers are always blabbing about wolves. The wolf has minimal impact on cattle. This is becoming more obvious as the facts keep coming out. That rancher Bergeron from California has all the hysterical rhetoric down to a science. “Geez- that one wolf is gonna put me outta business” Meanwhile he is laughing all the way to the bank. Freaking LOONS

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  5. Thanks for coming over to Yreka, Beckie. It was great to meet you. We thought the whole California trip was really successful in that people seemed to get a lot out of Carter’s talks. I had half a dozen of the folks from the Siskiyou Co. meeting tell me thanks for coming all the way over to do it. I thought the audience was polite and engaged. Same with Modoc Co. They’re people, just like the rest of us. They have concerns about things, and really, who can blame them. The difference now is that they have some real information to go on. Knowledge is power, even if means gaining more power over your everyday life.
    -J

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  6. Wonderful to meet you too, Jenny. As I mentioned in the article, you and Carter bring a sense of balance and sanity to the “wolf wars.” I love the knowledge is power statement, my dad used to say that. And it is so true. The science of this issue will prevail, we must have faith in that. Enjoy your travels and look forward to seeing you again sometime!

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    • Beckie,
      Thnk you for this article.
      But I ask that in the future you refrain from saying, “the science of the issue will prevail”
      No it will not,’and that gives false hope. And, if anything, eliminates the urgency for people to act. Additionally, real flesh and blood wolves die in the interim. Close relatives/friends of all others in the pack.
      Money and power have prevailed, and will continue to prevail. We on the side of animals do not have that money and power. If science prevailed, we wouldn’t have so much extinction these days. To prevail we on this side of the issue need to have great numbers people and voters rise up.
      If you want to hear about concrete plans being taken soon,’email me. Maybe you can help spread the word along with our other writers. Davidforjan@earthlink.net
      Thanks for the news and for listening.
      David Forjan

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  7. David, I cannot and will not speak for Beckie, but in the light of the knowledge that we are all on the same side and also understanding that sometimes words can play tricks as we are free to interpret them as we sometimes see fit, I would have taken from Beckie’s reply that the rational scientific understanding will usurp the non rational thinking mind. (If you see what I mean and who I mean) Anyone who is at all interested in the preservation of the wolf and indeed the whole of the current bio-diversity we possess and are desperately trying to cling on to, needs all the ammunition they can get, including the science of the subject and even a myth or three (good ones) and yes, I think that the whole American public and other nations may need to be awakened as to what is happening beneath our everyday lives, indeed how the systems of the Industrial Revolution maintains our everyday lives, for good and for bad, and how we have seemingly gone to sleep and handed our empowerment over to people whose interests lie elsewhere or have been twisted by political or monetary thought or by the network of loose affiliations that make them very very strong and whose ambitions do not coincide with ours or that of Mother Nature, and in that way only lies ruination if the likes of Paul Ehrlich and James Lovelock (Gaia Hypothesis) etc., are to be understood and accepted.
    I do not know whether ‘educating’ (awful word really) people solely about the wolf alone is enough. I think it may be necessary to show how and where the wolf sits in the regime of life and his/her purpose and how they play their part in what is known as ‘trophic cascades’, in my crude understanding, the web of life, though its infinitely more complex than that. See this great book;

    I think we also have to understand where we came from, how we got here and where we sit too or rather should sit, too many books on that subject, but here’s one for starters,

    http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/gray_12_08.html

    Science can usurp the irrational because science is our human understanding of nature, our way of pulling apart the parts and seeing how it works and then putting them back together again, not unlike the curious child who rather than play with his toy train decides to unscrew it to see how it works. (Yes its a boy who does that, and sometimes it doesn’t work again!) what we use it for is a moral choice and unfortunately there are people who now will pursue scientific lives which are not full of understanding for its implications and their long term effects on our civilizations. But the genie is out of the bottle and so are our moral choices that matter. We should and could have learned from the old indigenous peoples who lived for 10 to 40, 000 years, learning and understanding how their world works and how to maintain it, thrive from it and be at peace with it, but some clever guys came along and invented steam engines and there we go. (Sorry, that was our fault here in England, check this place out, never knew about it until 3 weeks ago, its like the acorn from which mighty oaks grow,

    http://www.jquarter.org.uk/webdisk/morelunar.htm)

    I am reminded of the book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ on which the front cover showed a lotus plant blossoming into a spanner, symbolizing that one springs from the other and the two are indivisible and can somehow mutually exist. Its just that this past 150 years we have been on a long slow climb out of poverty but in hauling ourselves up by our bootstraps, we have trodden on that which supports us, Our Earth, and we now have to make good that which we have made ill.
    (oops… sorry for the overlong reply)

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    • Hey Kaufman,
      Good to talk to you again. I want to take more time to reply to your comment, but I first just wanted to remind and thank you for that quote from Mark Rowlands, from “the philosopher and the wolf”. And yes, I’ve passing that around alot. And Matk will be part of our team helping us spread the word about our summer campaign to re-list the wolves.
      Great to hear from you again. Forjan

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    • Kaufman,
      With all due respect, you reply is overly verbose. I’ll net it out.
      With respet to science, what more do we need to know than for zillions of years the Earth evolved, and evolved well, with large populations of wolves throughout this country?
      And what more do we need to consider than killing and torture and traps and snares are not a civilized society’s solution. By any stretch of anyone’s argument.
      I’d like to leave you with the pressing issue’s question. How do we stop the senseless killing of wolves during this Fall’s hunting seasons?
      Be well.
      Forjan

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  8. You say what more do we need to know, well for you guys over there actively involved, nothing, as in this article that Beckie wrote and what Carter estimates, in that for every cattle taken, they’ve taken one wolf, clearly an absurd retaliation. But you are not dealing with rational people, they have their motivations and methods, often bound up in out moded and out dated views and politics and power games and not forgetting machismo. They have money, power, influence, people in the right places, fear and a widespread base of hunters ready to kill at the drop of a hat. How do you take them on? Where is there Achilles heel?

    I think science is an essential weapon that’s all, and short of using violence to raise attention, down which path lies severe difficulties, the support of the guy in the street is needed, but I don’t know whether you will get that by simply crying wolf! If you can show that it is in their interest because science says so, that leaving the wolf in place serves the whole bio diverse system and that those systems are the same ones that support us and this constant tugging at the seams of life is pulling us all into an irreversible situation, maybe they will understand that they may well be condemning their children’s future. We are spending the inheritance left to us, not living off the interest. Nature is not a huge credit card we can keep drawing off.

    You can show, if you can show them, pictures of dead wolves until you are blue in the face and I am sure it will grab some attention, but will that be enough? People I am afraid are very self centred, through their old evolutionary ways, though capable of great care and love too, but I would parallel this situation with the 60’s and Kings non-violent action. That means people on the streets, people putting themselves in ‘difficult’ situations perhaps, though I am not advocating that, you guys close to the ground will know where and when, it needs publicity, TV, papers and so on, but you have to have ‘justice’ on your side as he did. But you have to embrace people as well, make them ask why? That’s a fundamental difference between animals and us, the ability to ask why? And then to be able to find and give them the answer.

    http://suite101.com/article/martin-luther-king-a88177

    Could Obama resist these methods? Surely it was these methods that helped place him where he is. Be a damn hypocrite if he did and seen as one too.

    Be well yourself and apologies for my verbosity.

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    • Kaufmann,
      You make very insightful observations.
      I don’t know how to definitely turn the tide. All I do know is that, at a minimum, all us animal lovers must raise our voices to our elected officials. Loud enough so that everyone knows just how many animal lovers there are in this country. I’ll bet we outnumber everyone else. Just think how many people own dogs, cats, horses, birds and so on.
      How to get all us to make all that noise is what I’m striving for.
      Thanks again for everything. And I take back my comment about verbosity, you make too much sense to cut any of it short.
      Be well. Forjan

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  9. Very good news! Do we hope, more guest ranches will raeilze the chance to get wolf tourists. Watching wolves will not be so easy like in Yellowstone (Llamar Valley), but more adventure like. I for myself would prefer to hike, but the baggage on a horse/mule/donkey: “horsepacking” not (only) horsebacking with a lot of water and feed, camping things, photo/video,

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