“The social component of wolf reintroduction is as important as any element of the issue. . .We know how to ecologically bring wolves back. What we've yet to learn is how to bring them back ecologically with due consideration to the human and economic dimensions. The emphasis on the ecological dimension while ignoring the other two will leave us with two casualties — wolves and rural communities.'' ~ Rick Knight, retired CSU professor, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Unit and livestock producer
The Working Circle
The Working Circle approach was formed in 2016 in partnership with Northern California ranchers. The goal was, and still is, to collaboratively discover, test, and implement strategies to reduce the vulnerability of livestock to large carnivores in an effort to minimize unnecessary losses of both livestock and wolves. Initial efforts were based on merging rancher knowledge of land and livestock with the skills and knowledge of experienced large carnivore biologists. The effort has since evolved to a more comprehensive approach that connects-the-dots between diverse practices that have demonstrated to not only decrease vulnerability in livestock to predation but to increase ranch sustainability based on the incorporation of grazing, range management, and wildlife ecology. Today, WC works towards creating healthy and resilient wild-working landscapes managed by ranch families that support diverse wildlife, including wolves and other large predators. And, through the conflict reduction strategies, the model forwards practices that improve, land, water, and wildlife habitat further creating long-term sustainability, resilience, and overall health to ecosystems. In addition to focusing on the on-ground strategies, WC works to address the social-dynamic and challenges surrounding large carnivore conservation and sustainable ranching. We bring communities together to work towards solutions rather than against each other. We are committed to creating greater awareness, understanding, and respect for diverse values and perspectives surrounding predator recovery and sustainable ranching while empowering ranch families as stewards of the land. We are focused on neutralizing the polarizing debate that has hindered the ability for wolves, livestock, and people to thrive on shared lands. We work to forward an approach that benefits people, livestock, and wolves while honoring ranching in the west. The Working Circle model is nestled under Rangeland Wild a Colorado non-profit corporation and 501c3 pending organization. Our partners include individuals from both the livestock community and environmental community, agency personnel, and NGO's that share our vision.
Working Circle was formed by the vision and input of many people: Joe Engelhart, Livestock Producer, Alberta, Canada Timmothy Kaminski, Mountain Livestock Cooperative, Montana, California, Oregon Hilary and Andrew Anderson, Crazy D Ranch, Montana Breanna Owens, Cobblestone Ranch, California Patrick Griffin, Siskiyou County Wolf Representative and livestock producer, California Jessica Oddo, Livestock Producer, California Scott Sumner, Hart Ranch, California Hart family, Hart Ranch, California Karen Kovacs, Project Director, CDFW (retired) Carter Niemeyer, Wildlife Biologist and Author, Idaho Mark Coats, Coats Livestock, California Christina Souto, Wildlife Biologist, California Jennifer Mueller, WC Field Biologist, Colorado Karin Vardaman, WC and Rangeland Wild Founder and Patrick Valentino, the original visionary behind the Working Circle approach
Thank you to all of our generous supporters!
OAKLAND ZOO: Working Circle is honored to be a Conservation Partner of Oakland Zoo! We are deeply grateful for the generous support and vision of Oakland Zoo in enabling the Working Circle Initiative to better serve wolves and ranchers on shared California and Southern Oregon's landscapes. Learn more about Oakland Zoo's inspirational conservation work in California and around the globe.
WENDY P. McCAW FOUNDATION: Our long time valued and inspirational partner and supporter. Wendy P. McCaw Foundation allowed for the Working Circle vision to come to fruition.
REMIATTE FOUNDATION: Protecting animals domestic and wild, the Remiatte Foundation has generously supported wolves and ranching in California since 2016. STRONG FOUNDATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES; Supporting environmental stewardship in California communities, we are grateful for Strong Foundation's support of our work for wolves and supporting sustainable working lands.
A special thank you to all of our ranching partners who's visionary stewardship of our working lands, private and public, has led the way in creating a powerful new legacy in the west. A legacy that embraces, unites, and holds multiple values, promoting, protecting, and creating healthy and biologically diverse wild-working landscapes.