Dear Governor Inslee: Stop This Madness

Welcome to Washington, where the aerial gunning of wolf pups, just months old, is perfectly acceptable.

“Governor Inslee does not support a nationwide proposal that delists gray wolves from the federal endangered species list in all of the lower 48 states because there are many areas where wolves have not yet been recovered,” Inslee spokeswoman Jessie Payne said in an email (bold in original).

Instead, Payne says Inslee supports “a scientific approach that allows delisting only in areas where wolves have been recovered and a science-based management plan is in place. Washington state has a strong wolf management plan that is based on sound science, and promotes social tolerance of wolves on our landscape.”

A bold statement coming from a governor who could have stopped this most recent travesty, and has distanced himself from the slaughter of his own state’s endangered wolves in our nation’s forests.

Since 2012, Washington state has killed 30 state endangered wolves, 26 of them in the Colville National Forest on behalf of one ranch, Diamond M.
Certainly the aerial gunning of wolves and their pups, the slaughter of entire wolf families ⁠— year after year, does not promote social tolerance. And WDFW’s incremental lethal “removal” [aka aerial gunning] which consists of a period of active operations followed by an evaluation period to determine if those actions changed the pack’s behavior is far from a scientific approach…only an imbecile would believe that aerial gunning actually teaches wolves to stop preying on livestock. Further, studies show that killing wolves actually increases livestock predation, a “scientific approach” clearly ignored by WDFW.

Like the original Profanity Peak wolf family, the OPT pack is all but wiped out. Possibly one sole survivor remains (WDFW asserts that they killed the entire pack, although another wolf was sighted in the area). And as I write this WDFW has set their sights on the last two members of the Togo pack. And though the public has vehemently expressed their opposition, for four years, to the slaughter of wolves in the same area, for the same livestock operator, the killing continues. Appealing to a governor seeking presidential nomination (update: Governor Inslee ended his presidential bid on August 21st) may be our only hope. As governor, Jay Inslee has made science a hallmark of his administration and championed the state’s major environmental protection laws, yet the decisions made by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department, with regards to wolves, fall hopelessly short of not only his environmental policies, but also his presidential platform.

Jay Inslee has made climate change the centerpiece of his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. The Washington governor believes that a full-scale national mobilization is needed to address what he calls an “existential crisis.” Certainly he understands that biodiversity loss is as big a crisis as climate change, and that now, more than ever, we need to protect the health of our public lands, including our nation’s forests, and that now, more than ever, we must restore biodiversity, meaning that livestock production on, and utilization of our public lands, must not continue to be a priority, including in his home state.

Please take immediate action, time is of the essence.


Please personalize and send our sample email to Governor Inslee (link for your email below sample letter):

The Honorable Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504

RE: Wolf Management in Washington

Dear Governor Inslee:

I ask that you direct the state’s wildlife managers to rescind any current (Togo pack), and future kill orders for wolves living on taxpayer supported public lands, and urge them to make progressive, science-based, and humane changes in wolf management, with an emphasis on changes that do not allow lethal removal of wolves in our nation’s forests. In addition, I ask that you to urge the Forest Service to retire grazing permits near known wolf denning sites.

As governor, you have made science a hallmark of your administration and championed the state’s major environmental protection laws. However, the decisions made by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department, with regards to wolves, fall hopelessly short of your administration’s environmental policies.

Governor, you have made climate change the centerpiece of your campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, and believe that a full-scale national mobilization is needed to address what you call an “existential crisis.” Certainly you agree that biodiversity loss is as big a crisis as climate change, and that now, more than ever, we need to protect the health of our public lands, including our nation’s forests, and that now, more than ever, we must restore biodiversitymeaning that livestock production on, and utilization of, our public lands must not continue to be a priority, including in your home state.

By continually killing wolves, WDFW’s actions allow for ongoing social intolerance of the animals, creating escalating conflict between not just wolves and livestock but between people with differing viewpoints.

Undeniably, the aerial gunning of wolves and their pups, the slaughter of entire wolf families ⁠— year after year, does not promote social tolerance. And WDFW’s incremental lethal “removal” [aka aerial gunning] which consists of a period of active operations followed by an evaluation period to determine if those actions changed the pack’s behavior is far from a scientific approach…only an imbecile would believe that aerial gunning actually teaches wolves to stop preying on livestock. Further, studies show that killing wolves actually increases livestock predation, a “scientific approach” clearly ignored by WDFW.

Washington has a long history of gunning down wolves within its borders in those parts of the state where the animals remain “protected” under state law. Since 2012 the state has killed 30 wolves with state endangered status, 26 of which were killed for the same livestock owner. The state shattered the Togo pack twice and began removals from the OPT pack late last year, after destroying the Wedge pack in 2012 and the Profanity Peak pack in 2016.

Last week, the nation was mortified to hear that WDFW “removed,” via aerial gunning, the remaining members of the OPT wolf family, including two pups just months old; the week before, the other two pups gunned down along with an adult.

Many people—worldwide—will never forget this brutal and cruel slaughter, nor the brutal slaying of the original Profanity Peak pack wolf family in 2016. Seven animals gunned down, including a pup by WDFW sharpshooters via helicopter after Len and Bill McIrvin of the Diamond M. Ranch demanded the entire pack be slaughtered. The McIrvin’s had refused to sign and/or abide by the WDFW Cooperative Damage Agreement for compensation. The bare minimum of proactive nonlethal conflict deterrence measures were utilized by the ranch, with a range rider attempting to monitor livestock on a vast amount of our public lands—most of which is very rugged terrain. When asked about protecting his livestock, Len McIrvin’s responded saying “the idea of protecting our cattle is ridiculous because they are out in the mountains, often in heavy timber.” Indeed, the terrain on Profanity Peak is so rugged and ill-suited for livestock that when the grazing season closed, it was several months before Diamond M Ranch could locate a portion of his cattle for a very untimely removal. And, indeed, a judge, who temporarily blocked the killing of the sole survivor of the OPT pack, ruled that the question – whether the producer deployed adequate non-lethal deterrents – could proceed to trial.

Enough. Stand by your environmental policies, and stand by our wolves on our public lands. Put an end to this misery, end this hateful extermination campaign once and for all.

Clearly, the policies developed by the Wolf Advisory Group and WDFW foster an endless cycle of killing wolves, often in areas that are not only ideal habitat where wolves should be allowed to live in peace, but also areas unsuitable for livestock and the ability to protect that livestock. It is also important to remember that while livestock grazing is a legally permitted use of public lands, that use is contingent upon livestock production not harming public values.

A new protocol must be examined to reduce conflict, one that does not include taking this sort of senseless lethal action, and one that does not violate the public’s patrimony.

As you know overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge recently presented an ominous picture—the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever before. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide. Now, more than ever we need to protect the health of our public lands, including our forests, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges. In order to restore biodiversity, livestock production on, and utilization of our public lands, must not continue to be a priority.

Ranchers who run their livestock on public land impose a huge cost on the public not only in terms of direct subsidies provided by the federal government, but also via indirect subsidies such as the lethal wolf control on our forest lands in Washington state. More importantly, the degradation of ecosystems, the displacement of native wildlife, the destruction of large carnivores necessary for a balanced ecosystem (including those protected under the ESA), the toxic runoff in our rivers and streams, and the trampling of riparian areas, are unacceptable consequences of livestock production on taxpayer supported lands.

Welfare ranching—aka corporate socialism—turning a profit by feeding off the taxpayer also imposes a cost on the public’s wildlife: Ranchers regularly have predators killed to ensure the safety of their animals. Running livestock in the backcountry of the public domain should mean accepting that when you put defenseless domesticated animals out into the wild, they are occasionally going to get eaten. And you have to also accept that wolves have every right to eat them. It’s their land too. Ranchers getting subsidized forage on our public lands, reimbursement for losses due to depredation, as well as grazing livestock near known wolf habitat should gracefully accept their losses and/or terminate their lease.

Our public lands and ecosystems should not be sacrificed for the private profit of individuals. Study after study has demonstrated that grazing of livestock depresses virtually all species of wildlife, and on western rangelands has probably had a greater adverse impact on wildlife populations than any other single factor. We all have a responsibility to the Earth, our environment, and our wildlife, including wolves. It is far past time for the health of our planet and the survival of our co-inhabitants to be of the utmost importance; our focus should be on eliminating that which degrades our forests and other public lands and destroys our ecosystems.

Again, I ask that you direct the state’s wildlife managers to rescind any current (Togo wolf family), and future kill orders for wolves living on taxpayer supported lands, and urge them to make progressive, science-based, and humane changes in wolf management, with an emphasis on changes that do not allow lethal removal of wolves in our nation’s forests. In addition, please urge the Forest Service to retire grazing permits near known wolf denning sites.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this urgent matter,

Your name

Please send your email to Governor Inslee here: governor@gov.wa.gov
Please cc Jamal Raad (the Governor’s communications director for his campaign, who mistakenly believes that this is just an “in-state” issue): hello@jayinslee.com

Send  a copy of your letter to Governor Inslee’s website here.

Follow up with a phone call: 360-902-4111


Please personalize and send this second email to Kelly Susewind and Donny Martorello (Wolf Policy Lead). Again the link for sending your email can be found at the end of our sample letter:

Kelly Susewind, Director
Donny Martorello, Wolf Policy Lead
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Natural Resources Building
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Dear Mr. Susewind, and Mr. Martorello:

Once again another wolf family, the OPT pack, has been shattered because of one particular livestock operator. In fact, since 2012, twenty-six state endangered wolves have been killed, on our public lands, in the Colville National Forest, on behalf of one ranch, the Diamond M.

I ask that you rescind any current (Togo pack), and future kill orders for wolves living on taxpayer supported public lands.

Clearly, the policies developed by the Wolf Advisory Group and WDFW foster an endless cycle of killing wolves, often in areas that are not only ideal wolf habitat where the animals should be allowed to live in peace, but also areas unsuitable for livestock and the ability to protect that livestock.

Certainly the aerial gunning of wolves and their pups, the slaughter of entire wolf families ⁠— year after year, does not promote social tolerance. And WDFW’s incremental lethal “removal” [aka aerial gunning] which consists of a period of active operations followed by an evaluation period to determine if those actions changed the pack’s behavior is far from a scientific approach…only an imbecile would believe that aerial gunning actually teaches wolves to stop preying on livestock. Further, studies show that killing wolves actually increases livestock predation, a “scientific approach” clearly ignored.

Ranchers who run their livestock on public land impose a huge cost on the public not only in terms of direct subsidies provided by the federal government, but also via indirect subsidies such as the lethal wolf control on our forest lands in Washington state. More importantly, the degradation of ecosystems, the displacement of native wildlife, the destruction of large carnivores necessary for a balanced ecosystem (including those protected under the ESA), the toxic runoff in our rivers and streams, and the trampling of riparian areas, are unacceptable consequences of livestock production on taxpayer supported lands.

It is also important to remember that while livestock grazing is a legally permitted use of public lands, that use is contingent upon livestock production not harming public values.

A new protocol must be examined to reduce conflict, one that does not include taking this sort of senseless lethal action, and one that does not violate the public’s patrimony.

Progressive, humane, science-based changes in wolf management, with an emphasis on changes that do not allow lethal removal of wolves on taxpayer supported lands are sorely needed, and if this goal cannot be realized, the Forest Service should retire grazing permits in known wolf habitat.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you,

Your name

Tap link below to paste, personalize, and send to:
Kelly.Susewind@dfw.wa.gov,Donny.Martorello@dfw.wa.gov,wildthing@dfw.wa.gov

Please follow up with a phone call.
Director Susewind: 360-902-2200
Donny Martorello: 360-902-2515

Send a copy of your letter to the Colville National Forest Supervisor, Rodney Smoldon, here
Or by hard mail here:

Colville National Forest
Supervisor’s Office
765 South Main Street
Colville, WA 99114
Phone: (509) 684-7000

If you are on Twitter, a tweetsheet can be found here.

Important Notice:

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is inviting the public to comment on the scope of a post-recovery plan for wolves in Washington (Plan). The State Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA, process will be used to develop the Plan. This involves preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, that will be available for public review. That document will evaluate actions, alternatives, and impacts related to long-term wolf conservation and management.

Please take a few moments to complete a brief scoping questionnaire (users may also submit open comments and upload file attachments in the questionnaire). This is the preferred method for receiving your comments. Alternatively, you may also only submit an open comment.

The deadline for submitting scoping comments is Nov. 1, 2019 at 5 p.m. PT. For additional information, and a list of public scoping open houses, follow this link.

Should you be organizing or attending a rally for Washington’s wolves, we would be delighted to offer our “Save WA Wolves” t-shirts at cost. Give us a shout for pricing and details here, please write WA wolves in the subject line.Visit our Creative Arts and Work shop here for t-shirts, sweatshirts, wall art and a variety of home decor. Up 100% of our profits are donated to organizations working towards the protection of wolves and our environment.Washington wolf advisory group membership roster


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8 thoughts on “Dear Governor Inslee: Stop This Madness

  1. Je vous en supplie ne commettez pas l’irréparable, laissez les vivre, ils ne demandent rien d’autre, ils sont comme nous. On peut apprendre à vivre ensemble. Par pitié laissez leur une chance soyez le premier à montrer l’exemple en les laissant vivre. Il y a d’autres moyens plus humains pour protéger les troupeaux

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thanks, sent, shared and reposted, pure evil injustice, is there no lawsuit process possible against this Diamond Ranch???
    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, however, I think that at the very least, the Forest Service should be petitioned to close this grazing allotment, though a lawsuit seeking just that may also be in order. The Mcirvin’s Diamond M has everyone
      under their thumb. They have used this area for 5 generations now, and behave as if it is their land.
      Thanks for your help and concern. 🐺❤

      Like

Comments are closed.