“The social component of wolf conservation 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 was formed in 2016 as a program of California Wolf Center in partnership with Northern California and Southern Oregon ranchers. The goal was to collaboratively discover, test, and implement strategies to reduce the vulnerability of cattle to large carnivores in an effort to minimize unnecessary losses of both cattle and wolves. Initial efforts were based on merging rancher knowledge of land and cattle 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 stockmanship and range management practices that have demonstrated to not only decrease vulnerability in livestock to predation, but increase ranch sustainability and economic viability. "It is in focusing less on 'managing for wolves' and focusing more on managing for your overall ranch goals, that long-term success can be found." ~Hilary Anderson, Crazy D Ranch, Montana
Through the wolf-livestock conflict reduction strategies we forward, benefits in animal husbandry practices, land, water, and wildlife habitat health are also experienced which further promotes ranch viability while protecting large predators like the wolf.
In addition to focusing on the on-the-ground strategies, WC addresses the social 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 viable ranching while empowering ranch families as stewards of the land. Working Circle is an independent entity. We are a Colorado non-profit corporation and 501c3 organization established by our original founders.
"It is at the core of understanding that allows us to move to the next steps." ~ Hilary Anderson, Crazy D Ranch, Montana
Working Circle was formed by the vision and input of many people: Joe Engelhart, Livestock Producer, Alberta, Canada Timmothy Kaminski, Mountain Livestock Cooperative, Montana 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, Butte Creek Ranch, California Mike Ensley, JRL Ranch, Oregon Karen Kovacs, Project Director, CDFW (retired) Carter Niemeyer, Wildlife Biologist and Author, Idaho Christina Souto, Wildlife Biologist, California Jennifer Mueller, WC Co-Executive Director, Colorado Karin Vardaman, Working Circle Founder and Patrick Valentino, Co-founder who's vision has forwarded a better way forward for wolves and working lands for over 25 years