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Open letter to Councilman James Haley

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 18th, 2013

Editor’s Note: The author paid to ensure this letter ran in its entirety.

Dear Editor:

This is an open letter to City Councilman James Haley, and a follow-up to the article of last week.

This letter is in response to your comments at the Globe City Council Meeting of Dec. 9, at which you objected to the wolf presentation as not appropriate for the Council to hear. You stated the wolf issue had “nothing to do with the City of Globe” and have expressed concern about the economic situation in Globe. I would like to provide information that may increase your awareness of the economic impact of ranching in the Globe-Miami area from a personal perspective. I have done a rough count of all the businesses we patronize in Globe-Miami, for both our personal needs and ranching operation, and have reached more than 50.

The Griffin Ranch, established in 1905, is comprised of approximately 45,000 acres. This translates to thousands of feet of fencing and pipeline, installed over the past 100 years and regularly replaced/maintained. The materials and labor were primarily sourced from Globe-Miami.

There are currently multiple homes on the ranch which house Griffin partners and ranch hands. These homes all are fueled by propane supplied locally. We have trailers, trucks, heavy equipment and ATV’s which are all serviced and repaired within the City. We frequent grocery stores, gas stations, tire stores, auto dealerships, medical providers, hardware stores, auto parts stores, clothing stores and boutiques, feed stores, veterinary services, etc, etc, etc.

The Griffin Partnership is comprised of seven individuals and their families, a total of 50 adults, children and grandchildren. Multiple homes and businesses are owned by partners in Globe. Other partners and their families are here to help work the ranch on a regular basis.

Have you any idea what the grocery bill is when they are here en masse during round up? During the past 10 years, our ranch has spent more than $1 million in Globe-Miami, and this is a conservative estimate. Offhand, I can count approximately 30 family ranches that I am aware of who visit Globe-Miami and spend their money in the same manner.

Multiply our statistics by 30 based on the ranches in close proximity to the Globe-Miami area, and total of 100 ranches within the Tonto National Forest and you might begin to appreciate the impact wolves would have on Globe-Miami and Gila County if these ranchers were forced out of business. No impact to Globe-Miami? I doubt it.

Finally, I would like to address the economic impact to the rancher from predators, currently lions, bears and coyotes and potentially wolves. If you, as a business owner, experienced a significant loss of income, would you not then take measures to ensure it would not recur? Every year we find calves dead due to depredation. When that happens we tighten our belts and limit personal spending. Ranch expenses don’t change. So yes, we are not in favor of expanding the range of a vicious predator in this area.

I realize this is lengthy, but I wanted to educate you regarding the economic impact Globe-Miami would feel if just Griffin Ranch was forced out of business. Reintroduction of the wolf to Gila County has been proposed. They migrate, they reproduce, they kill. With the increased encroachment of wolves via migration or expansion, many ranchers may be forced out of business. You may even realize that the wolf presentation at the Council meeting was in fact an appropriate and proactive measure by Mayor Wheeler with intelligent foresight and concern for the economic future of Globe.

I have followed your post-meeting remarks and resultant comments on Facebook, and would caution you to avoid using social media for your podium. The derogatory “tired, old rancher” remark was ignorant, rude, and sorely lacking in integrity. Why am I not surprised by the sentiments of your followers?


John A. Griffin

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