Meet Our Speakers: Terry Schramm

When he speaks frankly, Terry Schramm describes the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as "a piece of shit legislation written by a bunch of cowards." Schramm is a rancher who has lived and worked around Jackson, Wyoming for 41 years. He has spent a large portion of his career trying to protect cattle from grizzly bears and other predators which explains his strong feelings towards the 1973 environmental law. Wolves have recently returned to the Teton Valley after their ancestors were nearly hunted to extinction in the twentieth century. Just last week, the cattleman awoke to find that his herd had broken out of its pasture while trying to escape a pack of wolves that killed and maimed several of his cows. Schramm wants the Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue him permits to hunt the canids, but he says that local conservation groups like the Jackson Hole Alliance sue the agency under the auspices of the ESA in order to prevent wolves from being killed. Unsurprisingly, the rancher has had little luck finding common ground with his opponents, declaring that they “are not rational people.” Schramm expressed anger at the restrictions that have been put on his work, but he also voiced feelings of melancholy, saying, “this is our livelihood and our lifestyle, and it’s sad to see it go away.”

By: Evan Romasco-Kelly