SCCA awards scholarships to ranch youth

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The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association recently awarded three $200 scholarships to local ranch youth. To apply, students needed to be SCCA members or a child or grandchild of a member and submit an application and essay. The 2014 recipients were (L to R) Hannah Smith, Colin Axtell and Kurtis McDowell.

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Wolf numbers increasing in E. Washington but possibility of delisting distant

Based on a map from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the numbers of wolf packs continue to increase in Eastern Washington, but ranchers are far from relief as removing protections for the animal depend on the number of breeding pairs, not the number of packs.

Since last year, Eastern Washington has gained as estimated two more wolf packs but WDFW only counts 5 breeding pairs in the entire state. A total of 15 breeding pairs are needed for three years before the state will consider removing protections for the wolves in the eastern third of the state.

However, as WDFW admits, “Wildlife managers emphasize that the actual number of wolves in the state is likely higher than those confirmed by the survey. The survey is not designed to account for every wolf within the state, but rather to monitor the species’ progress toward recovery.”

With that knowledge, SCCA has always advocated that the 15 breeding pair goal is not well suited to determining when wolves are “recovered” in Washington.

For more wolf information from WDFW, click on this link:http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/packs/

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Grazing helps reduce fuel load for fires

With the summer fire season fast approaching, it can be important to remember how beneficial cattle are at reducing fuel loads by doing what they do best: eating the green plant matter that can become tinder for catastrophic fires.

Below is the link to (and text) from a great article by John M. Harper of the University of California:

Benefits of Grazing and Wildfire Risk

By John M. Harper

http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=5463

 

Historic fire suppression efforts have interrupted the natural fire cycle allowing fuel loads to reach unprecedented levels. Recent catastrophic wildfires, such as those seen in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, and Arizona, have the potential to produce extremely intense and severe burns.fire.Par.85308.Image.-1.-1.1[1]

While these fires reduce fuel load, they may also sterilize soils (Wells et al. 1979). These extensive fires may result in loss of biodiversity and the destruction of critical habitat for native plants and animals, which often leads to invasion by invasive species. Given last year’s highly productive grass season, California and the North Coast are at risk for wildfire.

Grazing may reduce fire hazard.  Prescribed grazing has the potential to be an ecologically and economically sustainable management tool for reduction of fuel loads. Existing data indicate there are two ways by which grazing impacts the fuel load: removal of vegetation, and hoof incorporation of fine fuels (Nader, et. al., 2007). Fuel management studies have shown that spread rate and flame length decrease as dry grass fuel loads decrease (Scott and Burgan 2005). Livestock grazing may modify the effects of fire in various ways, often by reducing the fuel load (Collins 1987; Noy-Meir 1995).

Diamond, et.al. (2009) showed that targeted grazing in Idaho reduced Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) biomass and cover, which resulted in reductions in flame length and rate of spread. When the grazing treatments were repeated on the same plots in May 2006, Cheatgrass biomass and cover were reduced to the point that fires did not carry in the grazed plots in October 2006.

Additional Idaho researchers, Weber, et. al. (2011), showed that livestock grazing was the most effective means to reduce fuel load (P < 0.0005) compared to recent wildfire (P < 0.05) and livestock grazing with previous wildfire (P < 0.05). See the graph at the end of this post. Livestock grazing provides a viable management tool for fuel load reduction prescriptions that avoids the negative effect of extreme fire intensity where fuel load is high.

Additionally, grazing reduces fuel load in a more selective fashion (Archer 1999) avoiding the potential sterilizing effect that an extremely intense fire may have on soil. Studies in other regions have reported results that corroborate well with the Idaho findings. Within montane forests of Zion National Park, Madany and West (1983) considered livestock grazing the primary factor in the reduction of herbaceous cover. Tsiouvaras et al. (1989)reported that grazing by goats effectively reduced 1- and 10-hour fuel load in coastal forest areas of California. Similarly, Blackmore and Vitousek (2000) found grazing in dry forest ecosystems of Hawaii to be an effective means to reduce continuity of fuels, fire intensity, and fire risk.

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Wolf exposure causes “PTSD” like symptoms in cows

Its hard to get over being chased by a predator that likes the taste of beef, as cows even reacted to German Shepherds when wolf calls were played in this recent OSU study…
http://www.ktvz.com/news/osu-cows-stress-from-wolves-similar-to-ptsd/-/413192/24820900/-/ir6ar6/-/index.html

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Please sign the petition to Save Our Fawns!

We have heard that WDFW has received some negative comment about the coyote derby that we are helping to sponsor. There is a great deal of misunderstanding about the derby, it seems. The derby is a legitimate temporary (60 day) tool to help keep coyote populations under control and limit mortality to the fawn population.
The WA Fish and Wildlife Commission needs to hear from you on this issue, emphasizing the importance of having this tool available.

Please sign and visit our online petition so we can show them this is a needed tool: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/403/121/037/support-fawn-populations/

fawn-coyote

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2014 “Save Our Fawns” Coyote Derby on now

February 16, 2014

Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association helps sponsor event

The Northeast Washington Wildlife Group is holding their 2014 Coyote Derby in Stevens, Spokane and Pend Oreille counties from Feb. 4 to March 31. The derby is in an effort to help relieve the predation of the deer herds in the Tri-County Area.

Harvested coyotes can be taken into check stations in each county and hunters will be issued a raffle ticket for each coyote presented at the check station. A raffle for prizes will be held at the conclusion of the season. The derby is being offered via a special permit issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Hunters must possess a small or big game license in order to hunt coyotes. Coyotes may not be hunted with dogs, per WDFW regulations.

The derby is being sponsored by Clark’s All Sports, the Lake Roosevelt Walleye Club, Stevens County Cattlemen, Pend Oreille County Cattlemen, Arden One Stop and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Big R.
Below are check stations and hours:

*Clark’s All Sports, 557 South Main, Colville, 684-5069, open 7 days a week.
*395 Tractor & Implement, Deer Park, 276-5674, Mon.-Fri. 8am to 5pm,.
*Fruitland Service Fruitland, 5369 Hwy 25, 722-3525, open 7 days a week.
*Pend Oreille Sportsmans, Oldtown Newport, Mon-Sat.
*Valley Fuel, Hwy 231 Valley, 937-2230, open7 days a week.

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Reintroducing a predator can have serious consequences

Reintroducing a predator can have serious consequences for humans, as they become potential prey:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/world/asia/tiger-population-grows-in-india-as-does-fear-after-attacks.html?hp

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Another outstanding SCCA banquet!

SCCA had another outstanding banquet this year, with over 300 people in attendance at the Feb. 8 event. The great time and excellent dinner would not have been possible without the hard work of many volunteers and the support of our sponsors including: Super One, Tri-County Motorized Recreation Association, Stockland Livestock, K&M Fuel (Colville), Booth and LaDuke motors, the Flour Mill feed store (Colville), Columbia Cedar, DW Welding, Colville Veterinary Clinic, 49 Degrees North Ski Hill, Big R, A-Automotive, Lewiston Livestock, Sun Rental and Gallos Meats.

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Ferry County Cattlemen President Doug Grumbach and Seventh District Senator Brian Dansel

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Members Keith Ringer, Justin Hedrick and friends.

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Always good to see a full house

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SCCA Treasurer Larry Sweat and son manned the membership renewal table

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Our ladies helping check in folks at the front door

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We had some excellent help from FFA youth in the area getting dinner served and cleaned up.

 

 

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SCCA Annual Banquet coming up this Saturday, Feb. 8

Cattlemen event will be at Colville Community College

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association will be holding their annual banquet on Saturday, February 8, at the Colville Community College at 985 S. Elm in Colville. The dinner event will include a prime rib dinner with dessert, a live auction and games. Tickets are $30. Live auction items include firearms, a chainsaw, season passes to 49 Degrees North Ski Hill, jewelry and other items. Proceeds from the dinner go to benefit SCCA and their work as an advocate organization for cow-calf producers. For more information, visit www.stevenscountycattlemen.wordpress.com or email stevenscountycattlemen@gmail.com.

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