Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wildlife Friendly Farming is Topic for CATS Summer Intern

coyote photographed by local trail camA research project examining wildlife friendly farming in the Champlain Valley is currently underway by Alex Caskey, graduate student at Tufts University. Caskey is a summer intern in a project sponsored by Champlain Area Trails (CATS), the Eddy Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Caskey is currently conducting interviews with local farmers about their interactions, positive and negative, with local wildlife. The results of his inquiry will create a baseline of current practices in wildlife friendly farming for future investigation and recommendations for wildlife friendly practices in agriculture.

According to Caskey, the unique working landscape of the Champlain Valley provides an intriguing backdrop for looking at human-wildlife interactions. While most people enjoy interacting with wildlife, few people outside of agriculture fully understand the challenges the presence of wildlife presents farmers and their livelihoods.

Photo: Coyote photographed by a local trail camera.

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7 Responses

  1. Ethan says:

    Wonderful and very timely. Other states, including New England, have taken the lead on farming and ranching with wildlife, especially predator species such as the unfairly maligned coyote. For those willing, it can definitely be accomplished. Education is key. I hope the Adirondack Almanack will publish updates on Mr. Caskey’s study.

    • Davis says:

      Actually New England is comprised of 6 states and there are some pretty ugly “management” practices still going on in that region with respect to coywolves in particular. I suspect Mr. Caskey will learn a lot in the next few months with respect to today’s farming practices and wildlife. Living in southern Clinton county (Peru) I am more than a little concerned about the wholesale clearing of woodlands for corporate farming and the ensuing loss of wildlife. Hedgerows, deer yards and even wetlands are destroyed to eke out as much crop as possible. I do not see the deer or even turkeys that I saw just a few years ago and neither do a hear the coywolves yips and howls that were quite evident in the recent past. I’ve contacted DEC and they don’t seem to be very concerned at all. Maybe it is political or maybe it is manpower. The result is sadly the same, no action. This is why I would opt for even more wilderness and strong nimble land trusts. The wise management of land, water and wildlife resources in simply not happening today.

  2. Judith S. Dronzek says:

    Great outside thinking which hopefully relates to better wildlife management by nature instead of humans; so we all benefit! Thank for choosing this topic to write on, and also for doing a newspaper story on these topics!

  3. We are pioneering ‘wildlife-assisted agroforestry’ here at Sho Farm in Chittenden Co. Feel free to contact us. We have worked with a number of wildlife biologists and ecologists over the last 13 years to derive our methods of farming with wildlife. We’re on facebook under the name Melissa Hoffman. Our website is earthasset.com.

  4. brianna dilorenzo says:

    This is a GREAT idea! I feel like too many farmers and ranchers have very little knowledge about our wildlife and how to deter predators from their property. Testing out non-lethal techniques and how successful they are will show farmers and ranchers than co-existence IS possible! No more excuses.

  5. Marie LaPre Grabon says:

    Wonderful! Totally suppor.

  6. Laura says:

    We designed our farming operation to coexist with wildlife. We have sheep & cattle operation, 100% grass fed, no permanent fencing. Wildlife can pass through the land unhindered. We are in Danville Vermont. Please look us up if you’d like to know more. Stark Hollow Farm

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