By Bob Ferris
When I was in college I spent a lot of time taking field courses and hanging out in wild places. These were wonderful experiences which I still pursue but the quality of these ventures were also greatly influenced by the nature of my companions. Most were spectacular, but some were kind of squeaky and whiny. In my circle of friends we eventually started to call these people “pampers wearers” because they complained loudly about things of little consequence so frequently they reminded us of infants encased in a poop-filled pair of the iconic disposable diaper.
This appellation grew in stature so much that I eventual took a side from a Pampers box and framed it in barn wood so it could be awarded to those within our group of biology or natural history students who started to drift towards this behavior pattern. I do not know where this award ended up 30 years ago, but I wish that I did because I would quickly wrap it up and send it Priority Mail to the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association in honor of their whiny, fanciful post on the Smackout wolf pack yesterday.
The SCCA richly deserves this Pampers Wearer award because they are so like those students bathed in the richness of nature who chose to focus rather on the dirt on their boots or the lone mosquito cruising round their heads. Cattlemen have been so immersed in a sea of privilege that includes heavily subsidized public lands grazing, farm bill give-aways and tax rates that never cover the services they receive for so long that they think these are "rights." They also—in their dirty diaper state—are completely blind to the impacts of their actions on wildlife, waterways and the public lands’ experiences of others who also own those lands and often pay more for their use.
And lastly they deserve this award because of their infantile presentation of arguments and “facts.” They, like very young children, confuse shrillness with rightness and in their blind entitlement grant themselves great license in terms of exaggeration and hyperbole.
My hope is that the SCCA takes some time to reflect and adjust their approach more toward the adult side of the equation, but my sense is that will not happen. Self-reflection and awareness do not appear to be in evidence, but I am willing to be surprised.
15 thoughts on “Stevens County Pampers Wearers”
Bob Ferris, since you are a college educated man, with all kinds of experiences behind you, when are you going to start writing adult comments.? You expect rural wolf haters to come to the middle of the road, maybe you should do the same. It's obvious you enjoy putting down farmers with the rest your friends
My father always used to say to me: Let the punishment fit the crime. The Stevens County Cattlemen's Association got the age level response their missive deserved. As did the folks in Spokane posting billboards with similar overt fear mongering. (In point of fact, they likely came out of the same mind as communication director for both billboards and the SCCA are one in the same.)
What we are seeing is a group of cattlemen's public-relations staff that is trying to portray broad issues of wolf/human conflict in terms of a frightened little man who didn't prepare himself for an outing in the outdoors. These cattlemen have been totally desensitized to the realities of living in the world with wildlife–in the same way that the little man with the gun somehow thought he had only two options: use his gun to make noise, or use his gun to kill the wildlife that so frightened him. What we are creating here are "pampers wearers" who view wildlife as a threat to their experience of the wilds, and yet go out without preparing for a wildlife encounter.
There are more options as a hunter than using your gun to make noise, or using your gun to kill the scary wildlife. Being a "Pampers Wearer" is not one of them.
There are more options as a cattleman than leaving your livestock exposed to attack, or killing off any predators that might attack them.
Here's a reference for starters: Hemken, Melissa. 2014. "Cow Camp Craving." Working Ranch, November 1. http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/3bc3d8ad#/3bc3d8ad/96
So how were the billboards in Spokane "overt fear-mongering"? Wolves don't eat any of the species on the board? They do in fact eat all those species on the board. You really think a child couldn't be attacked by a wolf? Coyotes attack people, why would a bigger canine? They should be managed through hunting – this stance I consider to be middle-ground. The problem with you wolf-lovers is that you want no middle ground. You oppose all wolf hunting. A dose of common sense should tell you that if one species is to be managed then maybe all species should be managed. Why manage the elk and not the wolf? But I know the real agenda with you wolf lovers. Let me ask you this…. Are you for or against hunting in the United States? I mean any species.
In point of fact more people are killed by cattle each year in North America than have been killed by wolves in the last century. So a body of people owning the former and characterizing the latter as lethal and risky strikes me as a basically dishonest. When we look at actuary tables wolves are quite literally below vending machines as a source of mortality in North America–would you think it logical or ethical for a group to be formed that wants vending machines banned because roughly 10 people a year are killed trying to get free snickers or retrieve money? With several hundred million folks on this continent rare things are likely to happen but to put common happenstance next to rare happenstance and portray them equivalently is a poor imitation of honest and you should know that.
And I am not a wolf-lover per se I am a wildlife biologist and I would rather relyon what science indicated about wolves being somewhat self-regulating in term of their populations and those other predators. The “common sense” that you refer to is too often driven by a limited understanding of these complex predator-prey and predator-predator which leads to a conclusion like the one you have drawn. Research indicates that the culling approach that you seem to favor actually has an opposite effect than the one intended (see here).
Mr. Carroll, I am a mother and a grandmother. Yet I have no fear that any of the children in my family will ever be eaten by wolves. Why? Because like most families in the USA, in the world, we are responsible parents. We do not leave our young children alone in areas frequently by dangerous wildlife that our children are not prepared to handle. If I go camping in an area where such animals are a possibility, I check with the park ranger to find out what has been recently sighted in what area before I take the kids on a hike. Basically… who let's their kids wander alone in the woods ? Even without wolves there are dangers. If a dangerous animal wanders into a neighborhood, generally it's known quickly, it makes the news. You keep the kids inside that day. How bad are our parenting skills becoming?
I see you can't act any older than Bob Ferris…So With all this talk, why don't you all start putting money in the kitty to pay for range riders…. and don't go toward the welfare rancher crap, sooner than later there will be lists of grants for all the conservation groups and projects….
Bob, more cars kill people than guns , but they aren't making us get a background check before we buy a car..
You are aware that drivers’ licenses are required to drive? Those licenses require a training period, have age requirements at both ends of the spectrum, have testing for skills, health and vision. There is also an insurance requirement. So there actually are backgound checks in terms of driving records and violations. I am not sure that you have proven your point.
All of us put into the kitty every time we pay taxes. The above is the state tax picture and the federal picture is similar. Where in this equation do you see that the rest of us are not paying our fair share for services in these rural counties?
Looking at the map above . . . noticing that the majority of our state is "red", with fewer west side counties (blue) making the decisions for our state . . . Also looks like the new count for "recognized" wolf packs in our state is continuously rising (two new ones this year). Of course those of us that live in the north eastern corner of the State were aware of the "new" packs for years . . . and there are still more . . . WDFW failed to recognize them until forced to, due to confirmed wolf kills upon livestock. So we are looking at 14 packs of wolves, out of 16 in the State, living in our north central to eastern corner of the State. Most of us find this unacceptable . . . Feds have delisted much of this area and would expect WDFW to do the same. There is not going to be any harmonious outcomes if WDFW and those blue wolf loving counties (that have ZERO wolves) don't come up with a solution for our corner of the State housing almost 90% of all wolf packs located in our State! Most of our area is NOT wilderness and wolves are living in small communities and very near small towns. Wolves belong in the wilderness! Trying to discredit ranchers, farmers, and those of us who live rural, is going against the grain of being an American . . . and the freedom to choose where we live, how we live, and what we do for a living is our decision to make, not yours! Our ways of life have far less impact upon the environment than the cement cities, freeways, polluted waterways and air, and people piled on top of each other to the point of violence . . . and do you hear us crying about that???? Perhaps the pampers should be worn by YOU!
Bob is normal ranching hating worm that only cares about being a good wolf pimp collecting 6 figures from the gullible suckers who donated to this lazy deadbeat. Good scam Billy Bob worship wolves spread hate to people. Just one more wolf pimp cashing in. No truth no facts just lies.
Not even close to 6 figures but thanks for thinking it was so. My first job as a youngster was on a ranch and I have owned farm land and raised livestock over the years and I am a beef eater so I do not hate ranchers. Moreover, I have fought often during my 25-year career for economic incentives for agriculture. That said, I am a wildlife biologist so science and biodiversity preservation are important to me. So when someone is involved with posting billboards implying that wolves are coming for their children or press releases about tapeworms that are inaccurate and misleading, that strikes me as deceptive and should be called out.
Honestly I do not think the completely ignorant author, Bob Ferris really knows what "being drug through the mud is like". Not smart Bob not smart at all. And to show how really unwise you are Bob…you want to piss off the entire Cattlemens Association with those brainless remarks….Interesting that your comments strongly resemble the contents of what your pamper analogy really holds. Do us all a favor Bob and come walk a few miles in our boots before you start to tell us how to live our lives.
I have spent most of my life in rural areas and have owned farmland as well as raised livestock. My issue is not with responsible ranching nor with most ranchers. My issue is the employment of scare tactics and falsehoods to make a small problem seem monumental. If you look at USDA statistics for the Northwest all predators accounted for 3.5% of livestock deaths with wolves being a small percentage of that figure. Moreover, if you look at the percentage of ranchers employing non-lethal techniques (i.e., good stewardship) you will see that it is pretty low as well. I am not saying that wolves do not eat cattle–I helped raise millions of dollars for wolf compensation in the past–but does it merit this level of hand-wringing and fear mongering? The answer to that is: No. To have this be a focal point of billboards, facebook pages and to create deceptively named groups to spread this “the sky is falling” message is irresponsible and unethical particularly from a group that depends on public goodwill to use federal lands as part of their business operations.
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