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The Marin County Livestock Protection Program: 15 Years in Review

  • Author(s): Larson, Stephanie
  • McGranahan, Devan A.
  • Timm, Robert M.
  • et al.
Abstract

In 2001, Marin County, California, replaced its USDA Wildlife Services (WS) cooperative predator damage management program with a county-run program that emphasized non-lethal methods for preventing and controlling coyote predation on sheep. This new “Livestock Protection Program” cost-shared with livestock producers’ efforts to improve fencing, obtain and maintain guard animals, and other such non-lethal methods, and initially it compensated producers for documented losses to predators. We surveyed sheep producers in Marin County in an effort to review the program over the past 15 years, evaluating the program in relation to livestock production, economics, predation management, and other measures of producer satisfaction. Lack of standardized data collection during the current program complicates its evaluation; however, from available information, we conclude the number of sheep and lambs are being produced in Marin County has continued to decline; some producers left the sheep business and other who remain graze less acreage with smaller flocks; predation by coyotes remains a high concern to producers; and most producers are dissatisfied with the Livestock Protection Program.

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