Sheep producers who are certified as "predator friendly" have made a commitment not to allow any lethal control (shooting, trapping, poisoning) to protect their sheep from native predators. To become certified, sheep producers sign an affidavit agreeing to abide by a set of criteria for the Predator Friendly program. The commitment to nonlethal control methods applies to both leased and rancher-owned grazing lands.
The idea of Predator Friendly Wool grew out of a conversation between a sheep rancher and a conservationist about the losses of domestic livestock to predators and the persecution of native species such as coyotes, wolves, bears, and mountain lions. Both sides began to understand the other points of view in the battle over controversial lethal predator control. Both sides could see this battle as part of a larger war between the agricultural and environmental communities. Why not recognize those ranchers who represent a responsible form of sheep husbandry, and in the process educate consumers about some of the real challenges of agriculture?
The conversation expanded into a coalition of a few sheep ranchers, a predator biologist, a clothing designer, and a few environmentalists whose work variously emphasizes land use issues, predator protection, and sustainable community development. The group established Predator Friendly, Inc., the organization that certifies PF ranchers, and stated its mission to "reduce the impact of sheep operations on predator populations while enhancing the economic viability of sheep producers who participate in the program".
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|THIRTEEN MILE LAMB & WOOL COMPANY
13000 Springhill Road
Belgrade, Montana 59714