Shepherd Program (GSP), is an effective, ecologically sound Community-Based Conservation Plan that protects both people's livelihoods and wildlife. It was originally designed and presented to the County of West Marin in September of 2000, by request of the Argricultural Commissioner, Stacey Carlson. It was an alternative to the Federal USDA
Wildlife Service's lethal control of coyotes and other predators that prey on domestic
livestock or otherwise interfere with livestock
operations. The four components of the program were:
fencing that is properly constructed and maintained to keep out
predators and increase the efficacy of guard animals i.e. llamas,
donkeys and guard dogs.
- (Optional) Shepherds
imported from Mongolia or Peru would be trained by
LBS to protect the flocks, using the most
current visual and auditory detterents. However, without the shepherds, the rancher would have to be more vigilant in tending his flocks.
- Community outreach to teach the ranchers damage
prevention, using the most current methods for discouraging
predatory wildlife, and improving animal husbandry
of a Strategic Marketing Plan to increase revenue.
The County Supervisors vote to sunset the Federal USDA Wildlife Services
predator management contract
The Guardian Shepherd Program was part of
the Agricultural Commissioner, Stacey Carlsen's "Five-Year Plan To Protect Wildlife and
Livestock," as a model
non-lethal program for the ranchers to
October 31st, 2000, Little Blue Society presented the Guardian
Shepherd Program (GSP) to the Marin Board of Supervisors. The GSP
showed that non-lethal control was ecologically sound and more
effective in reducing sheep losses to predators. Supervisor
Kress stated that Little Blue Society's hollistic approach to livestock
protection was commendable and exemplary.
- January 30, 2001, Little Blue Society was invited by Mr. Carlsen
to attend a meeting at the Tomales Town Hall with the Marin
County sheep ranchers concerning coyote control and predator
- February 22, a meeting was hosted by a long-time sheep ranching family, so that the community could learn
more about the Guardian Shepherd Program.
- In March, The North Bay Woolgrowers Association
invited Little Blue Society to present the GSP at the Spring Field Day
Meeting. (See Letter and Agenda)
Blue Society helped West Marin
transition from lethal wildlife control to non-lethal
methodologies. The components of the GSP program was tailored by Mr. Carlsen and used to meet the needs of the ranching community.
The Guardian Shepherd Program is
a Community-Based Conservation Program that protects the natural world while protecting livelihoods and economic activities. It builds self-sufficient, ecologically sustainable
Related Article in the Marin Independent Journal, November 13,
If you would like a program designed for your specific needs:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call usToll Free at (866) 702-9290
I want to see this program taken into other ranching communities currently using lethal predator control. I support your efforts.