Group calls for the arrest and prosecution of the suspects-

Two of the members of Washington State’s first known wolf pack have been killed by poachers. The suspected poachers are known and live in Twisp, Washington.

The wolf pack lives outside of the area where the federal government is trying to delist wolves. They are fully protected by the Endangered Species Act. Penalties are potentially very severe.

Update 3/28: Bloody pelt in shipping box tips agents to wolf killing; ranching family’s homes searched. By Warren Cornwall. Seattle Times environment reporter. The Times says the suspects are an “outspoken anti-wolf rancher” and his son.

Addition 4/1. Washington States does have have a draft wolf conservation plan to back up the federal endangered species act. Download PDF 3.1 MB

Addition 4/2. Feds looking at three Twisp locals in wolf kill incident Methow Valley News

Here is a news release by Conservation Northwest.

– – – – – – –

Mitch Friedman, Executive Director, Conservation Northwest: (360) 671-9950 ext. 13; (360) 319-9266 (cell)
Jasmine Minbashian, Special Projects Director, Conservation Northwest: (360) 671-9950 ext. 29; (360) 319-3111 (cell)

Poachers kill wolves from Washington’s first pack

Conservation Northwest calls for immediate arrest and full prosecution

Twisp, WA – A search warrant obtained from the Okanogan County District Court reveals that Bill and Tom White, residents of Twisp, are suspected of illegally trapping and shooting two endangered gray wolves and attempting to send a wolf pelt to Canada.  An employee of a FedEx drop off facility in Omak became suspicious after a woman, believed to be Tom White’s wife, dropped off a package that was leaking blood.  Authorities found inside the bleeding package what appeared to be an unlawful, unprocessed, and untanned pelt of a young gray wolf – a federally and state-listed endangered species.


DNA testing later confirmed that the wolf was a member of Washington’s newly discovered Lookout Pack, likely one of the pups.  A search conducted of the White’s residence also uncovered evidence that they had apparently trapped and killed a wolf using a leg-hold trap over a year ago before the pack was confirmed.

It is a federal crime to kill an endangered animal, carrying a criminal penalty of up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison. The Whites are also suspected of illegally hunting bobcat and cougars with hounds and without permits.

“The evidence against the Whites is strong,” said Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest. “We are calling on the authorities to make an arrest and prosecute this case under the full extent of the law.”

Today’s news comes only six months after the pack was first discovered last summer, when volunteers of the wildlife conservation organization Conservation Northwest captured photographs of the adults along with six small pups.  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife later confirmed the animals as pure, wild wolves, tracing their lineage to wolves in coastal British Columbia and central Alberta.

“The return of wolves to Washington has been a very positive and hopeful signal for the future of wildlife in the Cascades,” said Friedman. “The news of this senseless and bloody act of poaching hits us very hard, as I’m sure it has hit the pack itself.”

Studies of wolf behavior have revealed just how much wolf packs can resemble human families. Wolves develop close relationships and strong social bonds within their family groups, and may even sacrifice themselves to protect the family unit. Usually just one pair reproduces, though all members of the family unit help care for offspring.

“Washingtonians overwhelmingly support the return of wolves to the state, even if a few individuals hang on to myths and outdated fears about them,” said Friedman.  “We need to give wolves a chance to return to their native habitat.”

A 2008 poll conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shows that 75 percent of Washington residents support wolf recovery. A second poll shows that most hunters in the state support managing a self-sustaining population of wolves, citing among other reasons that all wildlife deserve to flourish.

Wolves can, like other large carnivores such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions, add extra challenges for livestock owners, but there are many effective non-lethal ways to greatly reduce the conflicts.

“The killing of this pup is a tragic and unnecessary loss of a magnificent creature,” said Camden Shaw, a local livestock producer who raises sheep near the wolves’ home range.  “These wolves have been good neighbors, minding their own business in their rightful home.”

Conservation Northwest will be working with livestock owner in the Methow Valley this year to help implement some of the effective deterrents used to reduce conflict with wolves that are widely used elsewhere in wolf country, including:

  • properly disposing of sick, dead and dying animals;
  • livestock guarding dogs; fencing, fladry and night pens;
  • range riders and herders;
  • using scare devices;
  • alternative grazing sites.

The deterrents have been used with success in areas such as Idaho and Montana, with both livestock owners and wildlife managers seeing tangible benefits.

“Learning to live with wolves is part of learning to live in the West,” said Shaw.  “We have a responsibility for being good stewards and respecting all wildlife.”

This tragic news of the killing demonstrates need for continued protections and public education.

“Poaching of any wildlife is wrong, and people need to be held responsible for breaking the law,” said Derrick Knowles, who works for Conservation Northwest in Spokane, and is a member of the state’s wolf working group.  “Public education is an important part of wolf management, and it’s clear from this blatant act of disrespect for wildlife that there needs to be more of it.”

Conservation Northwest will be offering free public education opportunities this spring and summer to reduce incidents like this in the future.

Conservation Northwest is a non-profit organization working to connect and protect old-growth and other wild areas from the Washington Coast to the BC Rockies.  They have spent the last two years participating in the state-commissioned Washington Wolf Working Group to develop a state conservation and management plan for wolves.

For more information, please visit:  www.conservationnw.org and www.westernwolves.org

Photos and audio of the Lookout Pack are available for use by the media or for public education, please credit photos and audio to Conservation Northwest:

IMAGES:

http://conservationnw.org/pressroom/images is a landing page with copyright info, contacts and thumbnails

WAVE FILE:

http://conservationnw.org/audiovideo/Wolfhowls.wav

A copy of the arrest warrant, which includes examples of the evidence, can be found at: http://www.conservationnw.org/files/20090021.pdf/view

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

125 Responses to Poachers kill wolves from Washington state's first pack

  1. avatar mikarooni says:

    Twisp is an interesting place. I’d like to know more about these Whites. Are they 1) livestock people resenting predation on livestock, 2) hunters resenting the impact on game, 3) stir it up NRA-gunner types, 4) anti-fed or libertarian types, 5) against public lands or game regulations, 6) neoNazis or Adamic lineage or progressive divinity types, 7) just clueless cracker, 8) splinter polygamists, 9) bitter old loggers, or, in Twisp, it could be any twisted combination of the above. Who are they and what motivated this kind of risky meanness? Who were they sending the pelt to and for what purpose? Bolivian natives don’t grow cocaine for fun; their actions are part of a larger chain. Was their a bigger picture here and what steps, legal, could help clean them out of the area and stop this ridiculous mayhem?

  2. avatar Devin says:

    I’m sorry but the I find alot of the above comment by Mikarooni to be out of line and biggotted. Wouldn’t it have been enough to simply ask what their reasons were than to state what you did? I don’t care if you are white yourself, the term cracker is just one of the many terms used to keep racism very alive.

    This kind of mayhem will always surround wolves- especially in Judeo-Christian societies where religious texts cast wolves in a purely negative light and old fables cast wolves as evil demons. You either love them or you hate them.

  3. avatar Jim says:

    Mikarooni is ignorant.

  4. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    It’s the Livestock Culture of Death

  5. avatar Mike says:

    Sad story. Glad the guy is busted. I hope the hudge throws all the books at him.

  6. avatar Save bears says:

    Although Sad, and I sure hope it does not happen anymore, but I am not one bit surprised, I hope they pay the price for their illegal actions, but I feel it will become more common place in the future.

  7. avatar Craig says:

    As a hunter I’m not all for Wolves! They are here to stay and that is fine! I’ve seen many wolves while Hunting here in Idaho over the years and never had the thought to SSS cross my mind (though I could have). I just hope the Fish and Game adopts a policy that will keep the Wolves in check. But not take them down to a minimum that if some natural circumstances takes them below objective levels as to where they need to be listed again. I really don’t think Hunters are going to make a impact on them. Of the Wolves I’ve incountered they got they Hell outta there as soon as I seen them and after they get shot at with a hunting season that will become the norm. These Idiots shooting them do not represent the VAST majority of us hunters who abide by the laws and would turn them in if we say that happen.

  8. avatar John d. says:

    Craig,
    That was disgusting.

  9. avatar John d. says:

    To expound: how can something ‘become the norm’ if it is already the norm? By instinct wolves are scared of people unless some moron/s feeds them on a regular basis.

  10. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Unfortunate, but it is a price to pay. I just hope those two poachers (who give hunters a bad name) are prosecuted to the fullest extant of the law and they serve as examples to other would-be poachers.

  11. These wolf poachers were poaching other wildlife too.

    The “wife” drops off a package leaking blood at Fed Ex. They sound like the classic case of the stupid criminal.

  12. avatar Save bears says:

    Ralph Said:

    “They sound like the classic case of the stupid criminal.”

    Thank you Ralph, that is exactly what they are is Criminals and should be treated as such, hunters don’t poach and poachers don’t hunt, take their guns away and put them in an 8×10 and let them think about their stupid actions for a while.

  13. avatar Cobra says:

    S.B.
    Not to mention some very stiff fines. Hunters get a bad enough rap as it is. Seems like we are always lumped into one group and in some peoples eyes we are lumped in with idiots like these.

  14. Please note the update in the body of the post. The suspect is an “outspoken anti-wolf rancher” and his son.

  15. avatar JB says:

    Perhaps the court should consider allowing wolf-lovers to “control” some of this rancher’s stock to increase their “tolerance” of ranching? 😉

  16. avatar Paul Bego says:

    John D,

    How was what Craig wrote “disgusting”? A hunter comes on here with reason and without hysteria and states his opposition to what the poachers did and that’s what you came up with?

    Like it or not there will end up being wolf hunts and as long as they’re not using planes, helicopters, snowmobiles or atv’s I tend to agree with Craig’s assertion that hunters won’t have as much impact as is feared.

    Granted the above might be a big “if”…. but even Craig says “They are here to stay and that is fine”

  17. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Unfortunately, this act only confirms the prediction I made as soon as I heard about the WA pack…that some idiot would try to kill them. I fear for the Blue Mountains pack in OR as well.

  18. Paul and Cris,

    This shows the menace is not hunters. It is livestock operators. They stand in the way of abundant wildlife. That includes wolves and every other kind of huntable and non-huntable wildlife.

  19. avatar mikarooni says:

    If the suspects are merely an “outspoken anti-wolf rancher” and his son, why were they trying to send the pelt to Canada? Why Canada when there are plenty of wolves there? To whom or what were they trying to send the pelt? Has anyone been able to get information on the address the pelt was going to in Canada? Again, there is a lot of things going on in northern and northeastern WA, from Twisp and Omak across to Spokane and into Idaho, and the earlier wolf killing, the related illegal bobcat and cougar poaching, the time and organized effort involved in keeping dogs while still supposedly being ranchers, and the attempted shipping of this pelt all seem to suggest more than merely an “outspoken anti-wolf rancher” and his son being mad at wolves and operating locally against local wolves.

  20. avatar Rycarp says:

    This is a disgusting act, an act that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I have to disagree that hunters won’t have as much of an “impact as is feared.” Wolves used to roam freely from the NE to the SW of this country, hows the range looking these days? With strict regulations wolves have been allowed to naturally introduce themselves back into Washington State via Canada and there have been wolf sightings in Colorado and Utah. If we are to naturally allow wolves to regain much of their former range, hunting regulations must be strict. I agree that “problem wolves” should be removed, but without strict regulations on hunting we will have pockets of wolves with little genetic diversity occupying islands of land. Just look what happened in Wyoming and Idaho when they were desisted. Thanks for all of the comments, I really enjoy reading everyone’s differing opinions.

  21. avatar mikarooni says:

    Ralph, I didn’t see your post before submitting mine. I don’t disagree that livestock operators are a constant problem; but, my experience has been that, even down in the Gila, it takes something more to motivate this behavior pattern. Down in the Gila, there is a twisted and thus susceptible cultural base and a number of people fomenting political, religious, and other ideological stuff in an organized fashion that drives this kind of behavior. If you’re right, that this is just a case of an outlaw rancher, then fine; it’s relatively isolated. But, the overall picture, including the Canada connection, seems suspect.

  22. avatar Save bears says:

    It would sound like they were trying to send it to Canada to have it tanned and then legally bring it back into the states as a legally killed Canadian wolf pelt so they could do as many poachers do, brag to their bar buddies, the egos of poachers are amazing, seems to me if your going to do something illegal, it would be in your best interest to keep you mouth shut, but no, these types of criminals just have to brag to the buddies at the local bar!

  23. avatar jdubya says:

    As Ralph pointed out, thank god most of these people are quite stupid and that alone will be their undoing. Shipping a box leaking blood? That is special. Too bad punishment for these people could not include the taking of their property. If you grow pot on your land, the Feds can confiscate it. These guys skinned and packed up a wolf pelt on their property: they should lose their land as well have a nice hefty fine and some time looking through bars.

  24. avatar Wolverine Dreams says:

    These folks are well known anti-wildlife types in the valley. In fact, White was one of the ones who first brought attention to the presence of wolves last spring with a remote camera shot of one. The question I have is why, if this event occurred in late December, is the warrant filed 13 March, and this is only coming out now? Is this normal timing? I know many people in the Methow, and some who have been monitoring the wolves, and this is all news to them. There is alot we need to learn about this. Hopefully the vast majority in the valley in support of wolves will rally to their defense.

  25. avatar Save bears says:

    Wolverine Dreams,

    In wildlife cases it is quite common to have the warrants issued months after the crime has taken place, investigation a wildlife crime is a completely different beast than a street crime, I have seen it take a couple of years to actually compile the correct evidence for a warrant or indictment, this case actually sounds like the investigation was handled very quickly.

  26. avatar woodrat says:

    I hope these people are punished to the full extent of the law. Having a different opinion does not give anyone the right to break the law. It sounds like these ranchers (and many hunters) haven’t ever bothered to educate themselves on the role of wolves in ecosystems. They stubbornly hold to 19th century beliefs about predators that have long since been proven wrong (yes, by scientists), and appear willing to engage in criminal behavior to protect their right to remain ignorant. They should be punished like any other criminal and do their jail time.

  27. avatar JEFF E says:

    click on the link above re: the arrest warrant and many questions can be answered by reading it.

  28. avatar Elkchaser says:

    Poachers are not hunters, they are criminals, plain and simple.

  29. avatar mikarooni says:

    Thanks for the information. It looks like Bill, Tom, and Erin White can be prosecuted in WA, hopefully Suellen as an accessory as well since she must have known the contents of the computer. Canada is signatory to a number of treaty obligations that should easily form the basis for prosecuting Brausen in Alberta. I hope Alberta officials use this case as the opening to investigate Brausen’s other clients as well. If he is involved in this kind of activity, it is probably not the first time and his illegal dealings with the Whites would suggest a wider network of illegal dealings with others. I hope he has been a very active computer diarist with lots of names mentioned.

  30. avatar william huard says:

    The arrest warrant is truly disturbing. These men have no respect for wildlife. Hounding a cougar or bobcat up a tree before shooting it- now that’s a great barroom story where these pathetic morons brag how they risked their lives to get their illegal trophy- a pitched gun battle to the death. The district attorney’s office has an opportunity here to nip this illegal poaching in the bud and make an example out of these cowards before it gets worse. A lenient plea bargain will send a message that this is OK behavior.

  31. avatar Jay Barr says:

    Upon reading the arrest warrant, it sounds like kudos go to all the law enforcement personnel involved in this investigation. It will now be up to the prosecutor(s) to determine whether they will actively pursue this matter. Remember, federal prosecutors are also dealing with all types of violent crimes against people (murder, rape, etc.), so wildlife violations don’t necessarily get the attention we think they should. All too often in the northern Rockies this type of crime is plea bargained down to something amounting to little more than an inconvenient fine. Perhaps because this pack has received so much publicity it will be harder for prosecutor(s) to minimize it. One can only hope that the legal system will mete out a stiff punishment for the illegal take of a federal and state endangered species in this instance.

  32. avatar william huard says:

    It would help if people in a respectful and rational manner called the district attorney’office and explained some of the points that I have heard on this blog. I called information and there was no number for the district attorney office in Okanogan County. Do I have the wrong county?

  33. avatar Craig says:

    John d. Says:
    March 27, 2009 at 10:18 PM
    Craig,
    That was disgusting.
    How so?

  34. avatar Craig says:

    I would consider Wolves like Bears or Cougars. I can’t even remember the number of Bears I could of shot while Elk or Deer hunting! I’ve never seen a Cougar in the wild, though I have had them track me a few times when hunting in the snow. I never seen or heard them but found they followed me whenl I came back out and seen the tracks. I only kill what I will eat and Bears, Wolves, and Cougars are not on my list. I wouldn’t buy a Wolf tag to just shoot one for no reason.

  35. avatar frank says:

    Craig, do you carry a camera while hunting? If not, you should. I would love to see a pic of all those bears and cougar tracks next to your footprints.

  36. avatar John d. says:

    Craig,
    Thanks for clearing that up, but why state that you would do so when you would not? Hunters will have an impact, 300 removals to a population of 800 is a considerable drop with repercussions to wolf social structure like increased chances of depredation, which will also be an issue. Alberta uses all methods to ‘cull’ wolves annually, some 3000 odd individuals, and their depredation rate is still high.

    You claimed that ‘when they get shot at’ they will learn fear – it is instinctive for wolves not to come close to humans unless they have been habituated. “They are here to stay” sounds like a hollow statement, 100-200 individuals technically counts as ‘here to stay’. Hunting won’t solve the hate issue, like with the coyote, it will just legalise it.

  37. avatar Craig says:

    Frank, yes I do carry a camera and never even thought to take pics at that time! I did take pics of the Wolve tracks I’ve seen and put my handprint next to them. Amazing how huge there paws are.

  38. avatar Craig says:

    john d.

    I stated I could have but did not! I’ve never shot a Bear, Cougar, or a Coyote in my life! I only shoot what I will eat!
    I hunt upland game, Deer, Elk, and fish for Steelhead, Salmon, and Trout. I am a Flyfishing man now and only do catch and release.
    I belong to RMEF, Mule Deer Federation, Pheasants Forever,National Wild Turkey Federation, Billfish Foundation, all of which I believe do a great job in protecting habitat to benefit all wildlife.
    “You claimed that ‘when they get shot at’ they will learn fear – it is instinctive for wolves not to come close to humans unless they have been habituated”

    Well I was hunting last season up off Tyndall meadows and seen many wolf tracks! As we hunted and got back in 2 or 3 miles we ran into a pack of wolves which started letting out low howles and following us though the thick timber. We were cow calling and finally seen them across a meadow and as soon as they seen us they bolted for the timber not to be seen again. I never saw an Elk, Elk track or any new sign in 12 days hunting up there this year. I did find a lot of fresh Wolf sign,scat ,with Hair. They really changed the Elk
    behavior up there.
    How do you habituate a wild pack of wolves just outside the Frank Church? They have not ran Sheep up in the Landmark area for some time! The reason wolves become scared of people is because these welfare ranchers let there hearders shoot at them and all these ranchers out on Horseback shoot at them as well. They all practice SSS I guarantee you, half of my clients deal with ranchers and that is the mainstay of there business. You should be more worried about ranchers than hunters! Hunters don’t want to lose ther license for life, Ranchers can claim………whatever.

  39. avatar John d. says:

    Craig,

    You said that you could but did not, why bother saying this at all? As for your experience: The noise you describe sounds like bark-howling, which is indicative of fear. Cow calling would bring them close because its what they eat and as for them bolting – that’s instinctive fear I was talking about.

    So you never were attacked and it doesn’t sound like you were stalked, at least in the manner prey animals would be, either. Elk are more skittish thanks to the wolves, afraid of a challenge?

  40. avatar Craig says:

    John d. Says:

    “You said that you could but did not, why bother saying this at all?”

    Just to show the difference of a Hunter or a poacher! They followed us for a mile or so in the thick timber. We were never attacked or even approched, they held there distance the whole time! It was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever encountered! Right up there with a Bull Elk in full rut and bugling!

  41. avatar Craig says:

    I don’t mind being questioned about what I post here. But you drilling me on everything I say is counterproductive to get everyone coming together for the betterment of all Wildlife.

  42. avatar John d. says:

    I am not saying that all who hunt will poach, though the primary trigger that often turns hunters into poachers is the inability to hunt an animal. The Whites are an example of such people.
    Why did you not pursue further action if you knew of individuals poaching?

  43. avatar Save bears says:

    Boy John,

    You really have a bad opinion of those who hunt don’t you?

  44. avatar Craig says:

    “I am not saying that all who hunt will poach, though the primary trigger that often turns hunters into poachers is the inability to hunt an animal. The Whites are an example of such people.
    Why did you not pursue further action if you knew of individuals poaching?

    Well nice to see you can make it a racial issue too! I never said I seen any poaching! If I did I would have called The number on the Citizens Against Poaching card I carry in my wallet at all times!

  45. avatar Save bears says:

    Craig,

    I don’t think John was making it racial, I think he was referring to those who are being investigated for killing the wolves, their name is White..

  46. avatar Craig says:

    My fault, I appolagize!

  47. Let’s take a deep breath here, and talk about something else.

  48. avatar Save bears says:

    Okay John,

    I will make on last post on this subject…All of the hunters I know and hunt with, have a great attitude, the respect nature, pay respect when a kill is made and they report any violations they see when in the woods, that goes for killing out of season, off road riding where it is banned, littering, etc..I don’t consider people who don’t abide by rules and ethics to be hunters…it is a black and white(no pun) issue, either you do it right or your not a hunter, period….

  49. Thank you all. Save Bears’ is the last comment on this part of the Twisp, Washington wolf poacher post.

  50. avatar Peace says:

    I think all the above answers and questions can be answered by reading the public files – warrant for the case.
    http://www.conservationnw.org/files/20090021.pdf

  51. avatar Twisp Resident says:

    Im not sure even where to begin….. Mikarooni, I personally take your comments as insulting and narrow minded. I live in Twisp with my Husband and daughter. The Methow Valley is a beautiful place to live, play and work. To call us “CRACKERS” and NeoNatzi, NRA gunner types, shows just how narrow minded and uneducated your are! My husband and I both hunt and have for years. Although the reintroduction to the wolves into the valley was not an ideal situation for us (as we live VERY close to where their packs have been located) we understand the importance of checks and balances within the wildlife circle. The Methow Valley has the largest Mule Deer population in the Western States, however this population is a representation of quantity NOT quality. Bringing natural predators back into these areas will help (by natural selection) bring back this deer herd into manageable and healthy numbers.

    We personally know the Whites and they are very good people. I do not agree with their actions, but understand their fear and concern with their livestock and home. As a resident of this beautiful area, a large concern is that the wolves will adapt to the valley bottom and farms/ranches. This is where the deer are and live because the food is easy to come by. Thus, following the deer are predators (because their food is easy to come by). Winters are less harsh and food supplies are abundant. I do hope for the sake of the White family and other people who call this valley home, a reasonable solution can be found to help protect our livestock as well as allowing these beautiful creatures to thrive in a healthy environment.

  52. avatar Jay says:

    Read the warrant and maybe you’ll change your mind on the Whites being “good people”…liars and lawbreakers is what they are. They obviously don’t give a damn about wildlife laws.

  53. avatar Twisp Resident says:

    Do you know the Whites personally?

  54. avatar Jay says:

    I don’t need to, everything I need to know is spelled out in that document: bald faced lies to officers, violating numerous wildlife laws, conspiring to commit felonies, etc. “Good people” don’t do that…so you get along with them, does that make them nice felons?

  55. avatar Twisp Resident says:

    Have you personally read the Warrant? Are you associated with the prosecution of them or are you involved in this case? If not, then your comments are pure speculation and you have no solid ground to call them felons. Because of the great country we live in you and I both have the presumption of guilt until proved otherwise in the court of law. Again, I do not agree with their actions however, until proved guilty they are not felons and still remain (yes….) good people.

  56. avatar Jay says:

    Yes, I read the search warrant word-for-word…have you? In the transcript, your “good person” admits to lying to the officers, and the evidence presented (including pictures of their illegal misdeeds, along with e-mails that spell out their guilt) is overwhelming. They are busted dead-to-rights. If you want to hold off until they are offically prosecuted, fine, but when they are, will you revise your opinion?

  57. avatar Twisp Resident says:

    This is irrelevant, and these posting are not going down the road my initial comment was meant to state. AGAIN, I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE WHITE’S ACTIONS. HOWEVER THEY MADE SOME VERY POOR CHOICES WHICH INVOLVED THE LAW, AND YES THEY STILL REMAIN GOOD PEOPLE.

  58. avatar Save bears says:

    I know, I said I would not post again on this matter, but after being involved in illegal wildlife investigations, I would say, it would be prudent to wait until the cause before the court is adjudicated before calling them anything..there is a pending action before the court alleging illegal acts, there is no presumption of guilt, the US law states a defendant is innocent until a court of law finds them guilty.

    In this day and age of electronic media, often times things that get said on the internet can and do influence the outcome of actions…

    Let Law enforcement and the court do their jobs, that is what we are paying them for.

  59. avatar Jay says:

    Fine, you stick by your comments–I for one hold zero respect for liars and thieves/poachers…I don’t need to know them to despise their complete lack of moral aptitude and respect for law.

  60. avatar Twisp Resident says:

    Thank you Save Bears. This was more of the point I was trying to make.

  61. avatar jerry b says:

    Twisp Resident…..If I’m wrong, please correct me. There are ways of dealing with problem predators other than taking the law into your own hands. If the Whites had a problem with depredations on their cows, they could have contacted WDFW or USFWS or Conservation NW. Non-lethal controls would have been an option.
    You’re correct, we don’t know if there was a wolf hide in the box, or even if illegal trapping and killing of endangered species was involved. If it’s true, I’d be interested in your reaction and whether or not you defend there actions.
    I’m also very familiar with the Methow Valley.

  62. avatar Jay says:

    Actually, the warrant linked above states the FWS Forensics Lab determined it was a wolf, and that it was genetically related to the pack residing near the White’s property (along with photos of one of the poachers posing with their trophy).

  63. avatar Save bears says:

    Jay,

    they still need to be proven guilty in a court of law, that is the way our system works in this country, let the system do its job, please I have seen to many cases screwed up based on public opinion…

  64. avatar Jay says:

    I can express my opinion however I feel, my interpretation of the warrant information has no bearing on how this case plays out. Its called public information for a reason…

  65. avatar JEFF E says:

    Twisp resident,
    as SB said the Whites will have their day in court. If found guilty I hope the book is thrown at them and it becomes front page news throughout the Intermountain west.
    Having said that I would like to correct one of your statements concerning the wolf pack in question. This wolf pack is (((((naturally occurring))))), not reintroduced. There is a significant difference as I am sure the White’s will find out as this whole thing unfolds.

  66. avatar mikarooni says:

    After reading the arrest warrant (thanks Jeff E for directing me and not mentioning my inability to se it right there in front of me) and reading the e-mails copied in the arrest file, I have a lot of trouble with anyone continuing to steadfastly claim that these are still “good people” despite their actions. If you are not judged by your actions, then by what are you to be judged? If you are not judged by your actions, then, by default, you must be judged on the basis of things outside your control, like race or looks or ethnicity. “Twisp resident” has implicitly acknowledged this principle at work in the Methow Valley. Yes, my original posting in this thread was rash and used a harsh vernacular; but, the unspoken principles embodied by “Twisp resident’s” retort should indicate at least a little of the basis behind my feelings about much of the human environment in that area. Clearly, in the Methow Valley, people are judged on the basis of something other than their actions, presumably good or bad.

  67. avatar meadow says:

    I am stunned by claims I have been reading here and elsewhere from those who know the people who did this illegal killing of wolves, lied about it, and probably have also illegally killed other wildlife are “good” people. Yes I can understand the cognitive disconnect that people you thought you knew could do this. But would you still say they were good if the crime were robbery, drug trafficking or prostitution? Its time to re-evaluate your opinions when the evidence is pretty clear. People who knew Ted Bundy said he was charming. I am not comparing his crimes to these but I am reminded of the neighbors who always say “he seemed like such a nice guy” after the neighbor is led off in handcuffs when sheriffs find a dozen bodies buried in his back yard.

  68. avatar Layton says:

    Gosh, is there any positions left on the bench for this case or on the jury??

    Man, that was pretty quick, the Whites have been convicted, without a trial, without being allowed to present a defense, and without even having made an appearance!!

    Good work there folks !!! Of course there DOES still remain a small question of equal justice under the law and being innocent until PROVEN guilty —— but — naaaaaa — that shouldn’t be much of a problem for some of the more outspoken contributors here. Little things like that don’t matter to them.

  69. I don’t know these individuals who have done his, nor do I care to. I do know this, as a resident of Washington State, wildlife conservation supporter with specific affinity to the wolves I am deeply disgusted by this act.

    Having researched and followed the reintroduction programs in Yellowstone and Idaho with a great deal of support and an admitted amount of envy I was ecstatic to hear news of our very own newly established WA pack…the first in over 60 years. A piece of history that held the promise of renewal and rebalancing of our ecosystem.

    To hear of this slaughter is deeply disheartening. These are my wolves, OUR wolves and such action taken upon themselves by a couple individuals, especially before the wolf populations have even BEGUN to have a chance to establish a sustainable population here violates us ALL.

    Such an act is selfish, cowardly, socially and morally irresponsible and unconscienable, no matter what excuses for such may be postulated by the offenders or their supporters. This act has robbed every Washington State resident and every generation that follows of a monumental piece of our heritage. They are the very worst kind of thieves….they take from us ALL. We should all be outraged over these actions. I certainly am.

  70. avatar bigthom22 says:

    wolves are pieces of shit and don’t need to be started anywhere near twisp where people and livestock can be killed. Okanogan county is know for its wildlife and if wolves are introduced all that could change very quickly. If i see a wolf I would probably shoot on sight.

    It appears that this comment came from a Whitworth College student. That is in Spokane, WA. He or she seems to need some basic education as to how wolves came to live near Twisp webmaster

  71. avatar timz says:

    Layton I guess you missed the part of the story where he already confessed to killing it.

    As for the big talker bigtom if he ever saw a wolf he wouldn’t be able to “shoot it onsight”, he’d probably be to busy wetting himself. It also it appears simple writing skills are not a prerequisite for entry into Whitworth College. That looks more like it was written by a 2nd-grader

  72. avatar Virginia says:

    I would like to agree with the opinion that we will be judged by our actions, and from what I have read, the actions of these “good people” are disgusting, including the wife who tried to ship the bloody wolf pelt to Canada. Wow – how can anyone defend these actions? I’d say that it “takes one to know one.”

  73. avatar Ryan says:

    “Having researched and followed the reintroduction programs in Yellowstone and Idaho with a great deal of support and an admitted amount of envy I was ecstatic to hear news of our very own newly established WA pack…the first in over 60 years. A piece of history that held the promise of renewal and rebalancing of our ecosystem. ”

    J.L.

    Washington has a lot more problems with their ecosystem than wolves will be able to solve. I believe that WA will end up with the highest livestock interaction problems of any state due to that fact that there game herds are in such bad shape due to Native over hunting, cow towing to the farming interests, and lack of habitat.

    While I do not condone their actions, to put them in the same category as rapists and murderers is a stretch to say the least and will go against the direction people want conservation efftorts to go. Comments like that will immediately move the views of your opinions to the radical view in many peoples minds and make the message your trying to get across lose traction.

  74. Being as I was directly quoted I will address this.

    I am well aware that there are MANY dynamics in play in rebalancing the ecosystem especially in light of spreading human encroachment. Yet the wolves that have been re-introduced back into other ecosystems have already begun to demonstrate that they DO have a significant role (trophic cascade) in rebalancing those ecosystems. There are a number of published studies that give detailed info on such. Certainly it will take time for wolves in WA state to re-establish populations significant enough for such to be observed here….longer if such populations are subject to further illegal poaching. Sigh!

    There IS room here in WA state for wolves and programs of appropriate management as is necessary for human and wild canid speicies to co-exist can effectively address such issues. It may be “inconvenient” for some to have to learn to co-exist again with wolves here but it can be done.

    With this one documented pack I believe we have PLENTY of time to develop appropriate management before wolf populations here reach numbers to significantly compete for game or need to look to livestock as a primary food source. Certainly, issues of livestock depredation can, and at some point will arise, but we are a LONG way off from this becoming a significant issue…plenty of time for us to learn to co-exist and to plan and implement appropriate wildlife management programs that can address these issues.

    As to putting them (who committed this illegal act of slaughter) into a category with rapists and murderers (if in fact this also was in reference to my post that you quoted) I don’t recall making any such references yet I WILL stand on what I said. I put them into the very same category as Chad McKittrick, another of the same ilk. I put them into the same category as anyone who is destructive AND has violated Federal Laws and slaughtered a LISTED endangered speicies to gain a trophy to feed his ego. I HARDLY think that referring to someone who commited a FEDERAL CRIME as cowardly and morally/socially irresponsible is in ANY way an extremeist or radical viewpoint.

    It simply is what it is. This individual who commtted this illegal act has stolen something from us all…taken something that was not his to take. My own and other’s outrage over this llegal act is absolutely justified and reasonable.

  75. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    It takes time and study to understand trophic cascade, habitat enrichment, ungulate health and interaction with predators and new thinking in ranch management. Hopefully, instead of hate and name calling there can be a concerted effort on the part of those of us who understand why we need wolves to help with the learning curve of those who have to live with them without having them refer to us as bunny hugging, granola eating city folk who don’t understand them or their lifestyle. Don’t just hate someone who doesn’t understand. . get a grip and jump in and help. Remember that to call someone a stupid lowlife is to close the door to any meaningful conversation for ever. The people who claim the Whites are good people shouldn’t be condemned either as they are the most likely ones to have some meaningful conversations with the wrong thinking that makes things like this happen. I know some perfectly wonderful people here in Washington state who still think the old SSS is an honorable way of life. . why? Because they don’t understand any other way and why should they when people who think differently call them every kind of lowlife name, so they maintain the perception that people in the city or government want to tell them how to live. That is not a way to teach. Over the years I have read this blog I have seen Layton, for instance, time and again point out patiently when thinking people “loose it” and resort to hate. Yeah this is a sad thing but if we don’t find a way to bring understanding to people who live next to wolves, we won’t hear about most of the things that happen like this.

  76. avatar Moose says:

    I hope Mr Ekstrom at the Fed Ex drop point doesn’t receive any grief from any ‘White-sympathizers’ in the area for alerting the authorities.

    I found it interesting the White’s played the victim-card when the authorities first showed up at their door…..classy.

  77. avatar Save bears says:

    Linda Hunter,

    All I can say, Very well said!

  78. avatar jerry b says:

    Linda Hunter…any ideas on “how to raise the learning curve” amongst those who seem culturally incapable of accepting wolves. You can bring up the term “trophic cascade” amongst even carnivore ecologists and even though they deem it important, it’s an “off the record” concern.
    Sooooo…..how do propose to educate ranchers??

  79. avatar Moose says:

    Linda,

    I agree…nicely said. I don’t however think this particular case was due to a “lack of understanding”. Layton as the ‘voice of reason’, huh?

  80. avatar Virginia says:

    Linda Hunter – you are of course the voice of reason, kindness and forgiveness. However, for me, the more I think about the acts of these “good people” the angrier I seem to feel. In my opinion, what they did is despicable, I don’t care how much everyone wants to “understand” why people could condone this behavior. It is a reflection of an attitude that animals and wildlife are expendable. I don’t see my opinion as being “name calling”, but as an expectation that people should know better than to so disrespect the life of any animal.

  81. avatar Save bears says:

    Ranchers don’t consider wolves as wildlife, most consider them blight on their herds, until such time as they understand they are wildlife, we will continue to see acts against them, changing culture is difficult, but it never comes without meaningful education…

  82. Linda,

    You have made some excellent points.

    While I feel outrage at this act and believe those involved should be held fully accountable for such illegal actions I certainly do not advocate hate as a solution to anything. I do not believe that any human is without some redeemable value….we all have our lessons in life. It is not our mistakes that define us but what we take from them and how we seek to grow from such. There are some who have committed the very worst of crimes that have turned their lives around and become advocates of those they once victimized….anything is possible. There is, and should be, a distinction between hating the action and attitudes that foster such and understanding the culture from which such actions spring forth and the human weakness that propegates such. To create positive change ALL these dynamics need to be addressed.

    Still I certainly hope the criminal justice system makes a clear example by sentencing such individuals to the FULL extent of the law to send a message that such actions will not be taken lightly…..a clear message of cause and effect to demonstrate that such actions are not without significant negative personal & financial repercussions.

    I agree that a raising public awareness is absolutely key to successful co-existence with ALL our wildlife….as well as with each other. In some ways this incident brings the need for such to the forefront early on in this and may yet, (though tragic) bring more focus to the necessity of begining to address the issues of appropriate wildlife management now before populations reach levels that will present challenges to effective co-existence.

    I must say I am disappointed there has been so little media attention on this incident as such might help put a spotlight on our need to begin to pro-actively address this new dynamic in our ecosystem. Some media coverage could proove to be a useful tool in raising awareness. There is still much mythology deeply ingrained in the human psyche in regards to this species that is fear based and not fact based. Such only contributes to this type of incidence and can most effectively be changed thru raising awarenss.

    As disheartening as this incident is, it does provide us with some opportunities to shed more light on the entirety of these issues and to begin a dialog to exchange ideas that may be very helpful in finding effective ways to co-exist.

  83. avatar Ryan says:

    “It is a reflection of an attitude that animals and wildlife are expendable. I don’t see my opinion as being “name calling”, but as an expectation that people should know better than to so disrespect the life of any animal.”

    Virginia,

    See here go we down the road of holding your opinion as a morally higher than those of others. Which will alienate any portion of the population that does not agree eye to eye with you.

    Jerry, Moose, others..

    “Educating ranchers” will be near impossible. What you percieve as some great ecological addition, they see as a direct threat to their livelyhood. The anti enviromentalist mindset runs deep in many rural areas, the dichotomy of opinions and flat out hatred on both sides the fence makes it near impossible to reach any sort of agreement. For example, many here revolt at the thought of a coyote getting shot, where as the many rural citizens do it with the same guilt you feel for smacking a mosquito biting your arm. As Save Bears said, changing culture is difficult.

  84. avatar Ryan says:

    JL,

    I’d be careful what you wish for. The media would most likely interview some ranchers/farmers who would do the poor me side of the equation and the unedcuated masses would side with them most likely. We do live in a nation that is getting progressively stupider by the generation.

  85. “We do live in a nation that is getting progressively stupider by the generation.” Ryan

    LOL…
    Well, I can hardly disagree with THAT…sigh! But all the more reason why the sooner we begin the process of public education the better. We’ve got alot of work to do!

    When I say media attention I (of course) am in hopes of objective and balanced reporting that seeks to show all sides of an issue. I actually have seen this in regards to some of the reporting and editorials on such incidents involving wolves in a number of publications in different States.

    Despite our easily misled populations of reality tv junkies we do have some US citizens capable of forming a lucid thought or two.

    Though raising the “learning curve” can be a slow process it has proven historically to be the most effective way to create lasting positive change in the world.

  86. avatar Ryan says:

    JL,

    They wont read it, maybe we can get Brittany Spears or Angolina Jolie to get involved. Unless its sensational, people won’t pay attention. Maybe if they had girls in Bikinis doing the reporting. Its truly scary, we are a nation of sheep as a whole who know more about who Paris Hiltons new BFF is than the economy and what brand of clothes tom cruise is wearing then issues affecting the enviroment. For Christ Sakes, people think Al Gore is a genious 🙂 . All kidding aside to truly have a grasp on any issue facing the west including this one, there needs to be some knowledge of both sides of the main issues and underlying issues, with out that no real solution will be found.

  87. avatar Moose says:

    Ryan,

    I’m under no preconceived notion that with just a little more understanding ranchers will all of sudden embrace wolves. I do think it makes sense to work with those ranchers (and hunters such as Craig above) who are willing to make an effort to co-exist with wolves. Yes, that also means allowing them/or a designated service the ability to kill wolves that attack their livestock/pets on private property. I also am in favor of an EVENTUAL limited hunting season on wolves in those areas where game numbers are down.

    I share some people’s distrust here of how many in power in Montana/Idaho/Wyoming want to proceed. They don’t have a good track record to date. However, I have more of an investment in the Midwest (I own land in the UP of MI)…I am very confident the DNRs in those states have excellent wolf management plans in place. Even if they opened hunting seasons there right now (which they will NOT) wolves will not be at risk. As I have stated in previous threads – any attempt to relist the wolf in the Upper Midwest is a bad idea.

    I like the diversity of opinion on this blog as well….many of us don’t fall neatly into the broad-brush categories of ‘wolf-hater or wolf-lover’ that get bandied about here so often.

  88. Out of curiosity does anyone here know if their have been any confirmed/validated reports of actual depredation of livestock/pets or other problematic/destructive behavior in regards to this particular pack?

  89. avatar Virginia says:

    Ryan – you and I certainly disagree on our “opinion” of “values” and the moral of respecting the life of an animal – so be it.

  90. You are not alone in your philosophy Virginia…

    ““The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”– Mahatma Gandhi

  91. avatar Virginia says:

    JL Wortham-Morgan – thank you very much!

  92. avatar Ryan says:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”– Mahatma Gandhi

    J.L.,

    It should be noted that Hindus do worship animals, which is in direct conflict with the more prevalant Judeo Christian values on the North American continent.

    Virginia,

    It illustrates my point, I consider myself much more edcuated on enviromental issues than the average “redneck” out there and we’d be hard pressed to find common ground on many wildlife related issues. Imagine trying to find an acceptable middle ground with much more hardline people than myself.

    Moose,

    Its been proven that game numbers our down in many units already due to numerous factors, but yet any measure of predator control with regards to wolves or cougars is met with intense backlash.
    Mighican is a much different situation than the west as availaible prey animal populations are much higher.

  93. Ryan,
    I am well aware of Gandhi’s belief system as well as other things that might surprise you.
    Also, not everyone in the US is Judeo-Christian by far. Not that your reference as to religious belief systems is relevant to the quote, it’s original author nor it’s context here in this dialog. Religion is NOT the issue here nor is it the mother (or father) of morality either. I know of many atheists and agnostics with more moral fortitude than the most “pious” of religious followers and leaders.

    Also Gandhi’s philosopies, principles and practices (and I have studied them in some depth) transcended the limitiations of specific belief systems and despite being Hindu by faith he is specifically noted for the influence of his study of Christ’s teachings/methods and implementing these in his very successful non-violent resistance methods, his philosophies and his leadership skills.

    I do not find anything extremeist in respecting life, both human and animal. It would behoove us all to seek reasonable solutions that serve BOTH species. Having a grasp on BOTH sides of the issue (including the environmental, economic, political, psychological and philosophical factors, etc.) I still see there is much room for more creative and effective solutions to co-existing that may serve all.

  94. avatar JB says:

    The idea that you can change someone’s culturally-derived values via “education” is naive. Our beliefs about what is right/wrong regarding the use of wildlife and other natural resources are generally formed early in life and firmly held.

  95. avatar Save bears says:

    JB Said:

    “The idea that you can change someone’s culturally-derived values via “education” is naive. Our beliefs about what is right/wrong regarding the use of wildlife and other natural resources are generally formed early in life and firmly held.”

    And thus the problem will continue, education won’t work, so the divide will continue, it has already been shown that he law won’t stop those against wolves, now we should give up on educating them..

    Of course I beg to differ, after many years, I can say I have had success in educating people/ranchers to the value of wildlife.

  96. avatar Ryan says:

    J.L.

    You completely missed the point of my comment. I’m glad that your so enlightened, but one person cant solve this problem.

  97. avatar Elkchaser says:

    If y’all continue to look at it as the hunters and ranchers just need to be educated on the issues, you are only addressing half of the problem. The wolfies and the enviros could use some education from the folks that have built the west too. Go walk a few miles in their shoes with them and you might see that you have more in common than you think.

  98. avatar Save bears says:

    Elkchaser,

    I have been walking the middle ground for many years now…I am of a firm belief that understanding and education on both sides will eventually help to find a solution..unfortunately, I don’t quite believe in the myth of “Those who built the west” but I will concede they did conquer the west and wildlife and native Americans paid the price of that war…but I will say, understanding where we come from, will eventually lead us to where we need to be…

  99. avatar Elkchaser says:

    Savebears,
    I wasn’t referring to you. There are several on this blog who appear to have no real understanding of the whole issue, but are quick to put down everyone who does not agree with them.
    I agree that the west was “conquered”, but that was only after all of the east had been “conquered.”

  100. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Wolf advocates “educating” ranchers or predator killers is condescention. The hope that it will solve anything but uplifting the sense of self-importance of the self-appointed educator is a big and real problem that more often than not represents a self-inflicted gag/deterrent to speaking up about the disproportionate hold on political power that the few aggies have. This is a cultural and political issue – educate people that aren’t predisposed to the Culture of Death about why they should care and be interested, educate those that already care about how to speak up and take action to be represented in wildlife and public land issues. How would you like to be “educated” about how your culture and community just don’t get it ?

  101. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian,

    How do you suggest things should be changed? They, the killer’s already feel they are having it shoved down their throats! and we continue to have things like this happen, I just happen to believe, that we can educate the next generation about wildlife and the benefits of a balanced ecosystem, I agree your never going to educate the “Old” timers but as with many things the future generations are the answer to the problems and issues that face this generation. Court orders, laws and regulations are not going to stop those who believe they are right, time and time again, we still see wolves being illegally killed and those are just the ones we know about….

  102. avatar Cobra says:

    Maybe an open mind and common sense would go a long ways for everyone on all sides of the issue.

  103. avatar jerry b says:

    I agree with Save Bears in that educating the next generation is the way to go.
    Washington DFW recently sponsored a program with the Cle Elum school district in which the kids actually went into the field and participated in the collaring, weighing etc of lions. This was done to foster the acceptance of lions in that area and teach the kids the importance of large carnivores as part of ecosystems. I was told that it was extremely successful.
    Of course the animosity towards predators in Montana and Idaho is much greater than Washington so even if Montana or Idaho Agencies would sponsor a program, I’m not sure it would be allowed in the schools.

  104. The Idaho Legislature is getting ready to slash the public school budgets something awful.

    The specifically eliminated any money for field trips. There will hardly be money for the most basic education.

    At this rate the literacy level of teenagers will be at third world levels in 4 or 5 years.

  105. avatar Save bears says:

    I just read an article that the school budgets have also been drastically cut in WA as well…

    Fortunately, there are still some of us that go and work at the outdoors schools and such to teach, I do several outdoors classes about predators and wildlife every year. I am doing one next month in conjunction with several agencies that covers three days and we will have around 300 5th and 6th graders that participate, they will learn about living with wildlife, weed eradication, water conservation, back country camping and a host of other subjects, it is one of my favorite times of year, when spring comes and we can get into the field again with the kids..

  106. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    There a two distinct ideas – educating the ranchers – one idea – educating others not culturally predisposed against Eco-awareness, another idea. Don’t switch goal-posts on me Save Bears 😉 I believe the prospect of educating ranchers & “old timers” with the hope of ameliorating conflict among people is futile – that was the pretense of your earlier suggestion. Educating youth, I’m all for it – I hope to be contributing to that effort with the outreach & articles about soils and flowers that I contribute to this forum.

    But I will say this – experience in the country is key. No substitute. Furthermore, I find “education” that makes a point to avoid the real conflicts, contentious issues, and disproportionate power brokering surrounding these issues is counterproductive. There are real problems – the deficiet I see is in folk willing to “educate” honestly about the extent and nature of them. I don’t see how you maintain the honesty that I am familiar with while pretending that such conflict is not a part of it. There is too much “education” that conflict is the problem and not enough education that helps people understand that it is unavoidable – even worth it and valuable, if what we gain in willingness to struggle is Wild to enjoy into the future. That’s where I think we differ, respectfully Save Bears. I value the fight because I believe, and continue to experience first-hand, that struggle, hardship, pressure, controversy, and contention are often times the only way to break loose situations where extractive interests hold far too much control right now. Comfortably in power and pulling the strings, these folk won’t allow it any other way – they have too much to lose in fairness.

    Educate the youth to value the wild and be willing to fight for it.

  107. Well stated Save Bears & Cobra! I completely agree!

    “The idea that you can change someone’s culturally-derived values via “education” is naive. Our beliefs about what is right/wrong regarding the use of wildlife and other natural resources are generally formed early in life and firmly held.” JB

    JB, Only if one looks at results from a single generational viewpoint. If one looks beyond such, history demonstrates otherwise. In a larger historical perspective (across generations) raising awareness is key to creating lasting positive change.
    AND believe it or not beliefs can be expanded or even entirely changed in a single individual within a single lifetime…human beings are only as limited as we CHOOSE to be.

    Brian,
    There is plenty of “education” needed on both sides for us to gain the insight needed to find common ground. To shift perceptions and to gain the insight and understanding necessary to resolve the issues at hand we need to stop seeking occassions to be offended and HEAR and HONOR each other’s knowledge, needs and viewpoint.

    “Rancher”, “hunter” or “wildlife advocate”…”wolf lover”, “wolf hater” are nothing but labels and labels tend to exclude more information than they provide.

    Let us for a moment set aside our sense of feeling offended and discuss the needs that we are seeking to be met on both sides of this issue with an open mind. Beliefs are limiting but IDEAS are limitless.

    Has anyone any additional positive/pro-active ideas (beyond mutual education which is a given IMO) on how we might resolve the issues that prevent us (humans & predators) from co-existing?

  108. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian,

    Not once in my many post on this blog have I ever stated the conflict does not exist…I just happen to think a few here relish the conflict more than the solution..but as you said, we do differ. In none of my educational efforts do I ever downplay the conflicts that have existed for many generations, I hope my educational efforts not only point out the conflict but allow people to learn why, how it started and how we can solve them…

    And I didn’t change goal posts on you at all, but I also know how valuable teaching kids can be on teaching parents, over the years I have had several parents show up at my classes, and the reason they stated they wanted to is because their kids came home and started asking the question “Why?” then I have an opening to talk to the adults as well..

    As I have stated, I worked an outdoors show a week ago in Spokane, WA and took the same approach with people who would tell me wolves kill in fun, which we both know is not true, and actually had a few that listened and then told me they didn’t even think about the aspects of wolves leaving a kill that I was talking about.. I learned along time ago, that trying to bust down a wall is more difficult than finding away around that wall..

  109. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Has anyone any additional positive/pro-active ideas (beyond mutual education which is a given IMO) on how we might resolve the issues that prevent us (humans & predators) from co-existing?

    If you can catch a leprechaun, he’ll tell us how to get to the end of the rainbow, once you get there, you’ll find a lamp. Rub the lamp and the genie that pops out will undoubtedly have the answer to this question – and, perhaps – the resolution to the middle-east conflict – but be careful, after those two you’ve only got one left.

    if the goal is to stop conflict from happening – then it’s already lost – and i got news for ya – there’s gunna be a whole lotta Wild that’s lost too while we wait around “educatin'”.

    the natural world ain’t prone to resolution of conflict – it’s hubris to set as a standard of human conduct the transcendence of such and it’s hubris (see: “anthropomorphism“) to project that standard of abstraction onto the natural world.

    the natural world is full of conflict, but when it happens in the natural world we (advocates of the wild) understand it to be something other than “bad” – it’s the natural world and it’s beautiful – or not – depending on how you look at it. the harmony of the wild is full of strife – that strife is constructive as much as it is destructive. That’s the problem. The people who are adversarial to wolves, or any species or community of species as a function of “conflict” between a given human action and its effect on the environment are sometimes unaware. Sometimes not. Sometimes they don’t care or are actively antagonistic toward those things that we value – they laugh and ridicule the Utopian idea that we should live in harmony with the natural world. Perhaps that innate seed of malevolence in the human race just needs educated. Good luck, I’m sure that there is much comfort in such an idea. I hope it’s true.

    Now Save Bears says :

    And I didn’t change goal posts on you at all, but I also know how valuable teaching kids can be on teaching parents[…]

    (emphasis added)
    Then Save Bears said:

    I agree your never going to educate the “Old” timers but as with many things the future generations are the answer to the problems and issues that face this generation.

    and:

    Of course I beg to differ, after many years, I can say I have had success in educating people/ranchers to the value of wildlife.

    Look – from what I have gathered, many of the folk that are antagonist toward wolves and other wildlife are very educated. But like many things, people go to the info that supports their world-view – lord knows folk that have gone through the futile enterprise of a conversation on this blog about elk/wolf relations with one of our anti-wolf contributors should understand that. The point is how willing or unwilling an educated group of people are to raise hell about what they value – that’s what gains traction. In my experience, whatever “education” wolf-advocates have been doling out hasn’t gotten a lot of folk to the IDFG meetings, FWS delisting hearings, etc. Even the rancher guy from Montana that Defenders perpetually parades in front of contributors as a shining example of a newly ‘enlightened’ rancher is on their dole for at least five figures ! This brand of “education” that holds resolution of conflict among people as the focal standard of conservation is a prime example of the kind of condescension that anti-wolvers (whose “education” foments a unique willingness to stir up conflict as demonstrated by their presence at the hearings, meetings, etc. and has the responsive attention of their local & federal politicians btw – in contrast to the feel good “education” which begs to be taken for granted by any vote-grubbing politician) recognize and despise.

    In addition – harmony between ranchers and wolves does not necessarily mean harmony between ranchers and the natural world. but when the standard is “harmony” – we’re apt to overlook such detail. Take for example this photograph of a rider and his cattle used on a website built to engender such harmony by wolf advocates. This photograph documents what appears to be a livestock-blown-out shit-hole, illustrative of any number of ecologically destructive impacts inflicted upon the landscape – and it’s not a unique event, it’s pervasive all across the west. Yet if we could just get ranchers to co-exist with wolves – problem solved – right ? It doesn’t seem to me that the trophic-cascade is having that much of a positive influence on that riparian area ! (in fact, it looks like, among the other ‘problems’, that’s a constructed water-hole that in all likelihood is depriving a stream or seep of natural water-flow) and that gets to the heart of it. you can’t educate the practitioners of an activity into co-existence with a wildlife community, and by necessary extension – the properly functioning landscape upon which such communities depend, when the activity itself is biologically/ecologically inconsistent with the proper functioning condition of said landscape. You can teach a rancher to value wolves (generally speaking, if you can catch the leprechaun) and co-exist with them, but the context in which a wolf is truly wild – one of the primary reasons wolves are said to be valued by the very people advocating for “co-existence” (i.e. trophic-cascade, “nature”) is inherently diminished by the activity of running cattle on a landscape that receives less than 12″ itself. Animal-rights wolf advocates may be happy with that – i certainly value wolves in their own-right, but if one’s advocacy – if one’s prescribed “educational outreach” is to include a consistent and honest attempt to extend appreciation for the system of a landscape and its community of wildlife as a whole, avoiding that hypocrisy while making everyone happy is a pickle beyond my level of education to solve.

    that’s why i say, educate folk about the importance of the wild and our common public landscapes – find a compelling way to educate them, encourage them to experience the out-doors often and hopefully ignite in them a passion that makes them decide that those values are worth fighting for. but educating them that avoiding conflict is the best way to achieve protection for those landscapes and wildlife communities ? i don’t think that’s practical, honest, and what i think we’ll find is more of the same – wildlife advocates who enjoy the outdoors, but who are predisposed to an aversion to controversy – IDFG rooms full of angry wolf-haters with one “conflict”-happy advocate with his camera (i.e. too many times it’s been me alone – or with others not averse to controvery, and not for a lack of resources put into “education”) , and ten-thousand “educated” wolf advocates too afraid or unmotivated by what they believe in to be content to click-send a form-letter to the recipient’s trash-bin on the other end of the computer.

    wolves are worth fighting for – public lands are worth fighting for – wildlife is worth fighting for. Those adversarial to these things hold power now and they are content to keep a hold on that control – so long as this monied/political interest holds such disproportionate influence – and exercises it without the wildlife’s interest in mind, conflict is their choice – it will be in conflict that opportunity for change continues to be realized.

  110. Brian,
    Im not really sure how your post (as addressed to mine quoted) is addressing the actual question quoted (despite the “charming” little “tongue in cheek” leprechaun analogy) all I am reading is more about how it cannot be changed citing reasons I think most of us are already well aware of. More adversarial focus on problems/obstacles with no input on possible solutions. I think also your definition of what others here (at least myself) mean in regards to co-existing in “harmony” (as you stated) with the wild is somewhat assumptive….especially in light of the reference to anthropomorphism, which I find condescending.

    Perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly enough. While I do honor HUMAN values of respect for all life, I have no illusions as to the nature of the wild nor the complex dynamics of how that plays into the balancing of the ecosystem. I also understand that when these 2 worlds meet, conflict is inevitable.

    While we don’t yet fully understand the full impact of these 2 worlds colliding we are learning more about such over time. There is a growing awareness in the human community that our encroachment into the wild, the human impact on the environment has pushed it to (or possibly past) it’s ability to adapt and re-balance itself. Something has got to give. Since nature has done all she can to accomodate the human element the changes needed to re-balance the system (as we have known it) falls to US. This is unequivocal.

    Certainly it is human nature to resist change, yet we are an adaptable speicies when we need to be. I agree it is a monumental undertaking to shift an established paradigm that is many thousands of years old of human values that believe we can do and take what we want without consequence. Yet the law of cause & effect is begining in nature to demonstrate otherwise. Awareness of such is in it’s infancy but is growing in the general public’s awareness.

    I understand the people presently in power are most resistant to a shift of this paradigm, yet power bases DO shift. Political and social attitudes are already begining to shuffle in regards to environmental issues. This current shift in the social and political climate provides some unique opportunities for change as well as some unique challenges, especially with the interplay of current economics.

    Yet challenges can also be opportunities for those creative enough to find ways to turn them to one’s advantage but this, of course, would require some creative and pro-active thinking. As my Grandmother used to say (forgive the referrence in the literal sense) “there is more than one way to skin a cat”.

    Lamenting over the obstacles, past failures, conflicts and the current state of such will prove to be unproductive and cause us to miss these unique opportunities.

    SO, I again pose the question.

    Has anyone any additional positive/pro-active ideas (beyond mutual education which is a given IMO, and is on the table, Thank you Save Bears, I agree such is essential) on how we might RESOLVE the issues that prevent us (humans & predators) from co-existing?

  111. avatar Ryan says:

    “Has anyone any additional positive/pro-active ideas (beyond mutual education which is a given IMO, and is on the table, Thank you Save Bears, I agree such is essential) on how we might RESOLVE the issues that prevent us (humans & predators) from co-existing?”

    JL,
    Its going to take some realizing that in certain situations and areas that its not a realistic possibility for predators and man to coexist. Most on this site aren’t willing to accept that.

  112. Ryan,
    While I agree that there will always be conflicts to resolve and there will always be challenges in such a complex dynamic, I disagree that reasonably effective co-existence between humans and predators is beyond the realm of possibility.

    Such a dim and limiting view is a self-fullfilling prophecy and part of the problem and not the solution. Very sad and disappointing though not entirely surprising from some individuals here.

    So I take it you are out of creative ideas and therefore resign any hope of possible solutions to the realm of unrealistic? Well life is about choices and you are certainly entitled to yours…however such is a singular viewpoint that others may not choose to adopt.

    If all had such a dim viewpoint, no progress would ever be made in anything.

    Perhaps others here are simply not so limited in their thinking.

  113. avatar Ryan says:

    JL,

    Appearantly I’m not being clear, if a large predator takes up residence in my back yard, there is no realistic possibility of us living together in harmony. Same as if a pack of wolves takes up residence on a private ranch.. The chance of co existencance is not good. On the same hand I have no issues with a managed presence on public lands. That viewpoint is un palitable to many here. Hence why we are at an impass. I will guarantee with utmost certanity that as long as the lawsuits continue, the poaching will increase.

  114. avatar John d. says:

    So more legal people (some not all), annoyed that they can’t kill one animal because they believe nature needs a boot up its backside in order to work efficiently, will turn to poaching to make the supposed ‘problem’ go away.
    That’s really not respecting nature is it?

  115. avatar JB says:

    JL, Save Bears:

    To clarify: Education tends to work on the uninformed (and usually uncaring) masses, as well as those too young to have well-formed attitudes. However, people who are politically-involved and invested in these issues fit neither of these descriptions; they are unlikely to change, no matter how much information they are given. There are multiple reasons why this is true–biased processing of new information, lack of trust of info sources, and the fact that such beliefs tend to be deeply-held, to name a few. Again, from a psychological perspective, it is naive to think you will change the deeply-held beliefs of people who perceive a vested interest in the status quo, especially when we’re talking about ranchers, who tend to be older, culturally homogeneous, and highly skeptical of “outsiders”. I’m not saying that you won’t find exceptions to the rule; rather, I’m simply saying I would not invest my resources in the exceptions.

    Brian’s points in support of the “adversarial” approach are well made. We (conservationists) should not be afraid to use the courts or any other legal means at our disposal for fear of retribution from the “other side.”

    JL asks: “Has anyone any additional positive/pro-active ideas…on how we might RESOLVE the issues that prevent us (humans & predators) from co-existing?”

    I support educational efforts where these measures have some chance of success (e.g. mass appeals and youth programs), the same way I support collaborative efforts where they have some reasonable chance of success. Unfortunately, given the ranching industry’s influence in SOME areas of the West, neither of these efforts are likely to succeed. Frankly, I don’t think resolution of these issues is realistic (or reasonable) as a bar to judge the failure/success of our efforts; rather, our efforts should be weighed based upon the outcomes for species, habitat and ecosystem. In these measures, I see signs of progress and reasons to be hopeful. 🙂

  116. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    JB says :

    our efforts should be weighed based upon the outcomes for species, habitat and ecosystem. In these measures, I see signs of progress and reasons to be hopeful.

    hear hear !

    JL – creative solutions involved those that may make some people unhappy – that’s ok when there isn’t a reasonable likelihood of having it otherwise. deciding that point at which conciliatory effort is wasted is as important as anything.

  117. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Ryan you say: Appearantly I’m not being clear, if a large predator takes up residence in my back yard, there is no realistic possibility of us living together in harmony.

    Let’s say a grizzly bear moves into your backyard, just for an example. What would you do? Would you shoot it? I think not. Because I have lived with brown bears not only in my backyard but on my porch and I find as I think you would that it is the coolest dang thing that can ever happen to you. Maybe you would have to be there to appreciate it, but several people who came to stay and work there swore they wouldn’t be able to live with predators in their backyard either . . and they changed because it doesn’t take long to realize that most of what we know about wild life is superficial . . when really put in that situation and get to spend enough time with predators so that you can really see them as they are, not how they are in our dreams and media. I wish I could give the experience to every single person who has anything to do wildlife politics, ranching, hunting or living in a remote setting.

  118. avatar Ryan says:

    Linda,

    Funny you should mention that, I had a grizzly in my back yard as a kid outside of Kenai. (granted it was only there for a short time). It was a cool expirience, that being said I’ve delt with cats and coyotes, and it hasn’t been with near as good results.

  119. “JL,

    Appearantly I’m not being clear, if a large predator takes up residence in my back yard, there is no realistic possibility of us living together in harmony. Same as if a pack of wolves takes up residence on a private ranch.. The chance of co existencance is not good. On the same hand I have no issues with a managed presence on public lands. That viewpoint is un palitable to many here. Hence why we are at an impass. I will guarantee with utmost certanity that as long as the lawsuits continue, the poaching will increase.”–Ryan

    Ryan and anyone else who may be interested in my upcoming novella (below)….hehehe

    Now THAT is clear….a reasonable concern….
    If a wild bear were to take up actual residence in a backyard setting this would be especially problematic….such a choice of residence would indicate habituation to humans which generally ends badly. I don’t think this is something safe for either predator or human residents and thus it would need be removed obviously. At which point, I think I would have to consider a better fenced backyard if I wanted to ensure it wouldn’t be able to move back in or consider that living in bear territory simply may not be for me.

    Bears (or other large predators) wandering thru or nearby to human settlements is also potentially problematic. Yet certain measures can be undertaken to discourage such and to limit potential confrontation/conflict.

    On ranch lands it IS trickier. Yet there can be options other than SSS to resolve the issue. New ways of discouraging predator proximity to human residences/settlements, etc. are being explored and new technologies may be developed to be useful in such. We might also consider drawing upon some of th knowledge of the native cultures who have learned to co-exist more effectively with the wild.

    Educating individuals (ranchers, farmers, residents, etc….those who live in areas of proximity to predators) on more effective ways to discourage predator presence and to limit potential conflicts. There are removal options and other appropriate management actions including (in extreme problem cases that cannot be resolved by other means) selective euthanization. Programs for compensation of livestock losses to predation are another option. Financial incentives for those willing to allow predator presence on private lands. Some of these options have been tried in varying combinations…some have helped, some have failed or fallen short of expectation, only providing limited results. Finding a workable balance of effective options that limit the risks, losses and inconvenience to the human part of the equation without wiping out predator populations won’t be easy but the right combination of factors could bring at least a certain measure of more effective co-existence.

    There are also personal “common sense” choices that can be more or less effective in the human populations that seek to take up residence near wilderness areas….this being more in regard to private residents, not ranchers or business residents. There are certain risks invloved in living near predator territories. Acknowleding such risks and adjusting for them to limit such should be considered. As with the coyote/cat dilema, personally (as I keep cats and raise dogs) should I choose to live in a predator area I should know the risks and either resign myself to the potential losses an/or take appropriate measures to minimize such risks. If I choose to let my dogs run loose on unfenced property, there is a risk of losing them to predators. If I take such a risk and lose a pet, am I to blame the predator? Should I track it down and kill it? If I live in an urban area and do the same and one of my dogs (or cats) is hit and killed by a car should I SSS the driver of said car or take accountability for my choice to unnecessarily exposing my animal directly to a known risk factor?

    Education, as I propose it, isn’t as simple (lol) as trying to enlighten ranchers to the benefits of wildlife conservation and respect for animal life. It is about keeping ranchers informed about new and old effective ways to minimize risk factors for predator confrontations. It’s about working together to find more effective solutions and sharing such when they emerge. It’s not about enlightening them to how they are “wrong”, it is about working together discover and apply more effective methods to limit risks and resolve issues that may serve both agendas.

    It is also about general public’s education on how to most effectively limit risk of conflict and the dangers of interaction with such whether they live in the wilds of the Cascades or the coyote plagued hills of Los Angeles.

    It is about letting people know that a wild moose is NOT flippin’ Bullwinkle. Every deer is not Bambi and a wild cougar is not Kimba. Sounds like basic common sense doesn’t it? Surprisingly though there is a dire lack of such in the general populace.

    I live in the Spokane area. Every year we have a dozen or more Moose wandering into town to feast on the urban landscaping until it either wanders off or has to be removed/relocated. Almost every year some idiot (Hey y’all, watch THIS) is shown on the news trying to interact (usually with bad results) with one of these dangerous behemoths….sigh! And a number of these individuals were raised locally! Hell, I was raised in LA and I know better than to mess with Mother Nature….sheesh!

    It is also about educating the young to both respect the wild for what it is instead of romanticising it into the realms of Disney and leaving them with that. It is about teaching that life is sacred (bear with me on ths for a moment) that wildlife should only be “taken” as is absolutely necessary and always with respect, honor and compassion….not for convenience or sport…..and never in such a volume as to jeopardize sustainable populations.

    This is not to say I am against all hunting, even of predators but hunting should be allowed only in such ways to keep populations appropriately balanced (when nature and other means cannot) AND only in tadem with addressing ALL factors that have unbalanced populations of prey animals and allowing for populations (when possible) to rebalance themselves. Also, since losses in a wildlife population due to hunting are primarily additive (the taking of the strongest, genetically superior stock in most cases) I feel that public hunting as a control measure should only be allowed when populations of such predators is established and stable enough (strong, diverse gene pools) as to be able to retain sustainable populations. Something we are a LONG way away from in WA state with our one documented pack.

    In cases where smaller populations require culling I feel this is best handled by those with the knowledge on how to do so selectively so as to preserve the genetic diversity and avoid taking the healthiest, genetically superior stock.

    I don’t believe in allowing hunting of predators as a singular control measure to deal with declining ungulate populations when the cause of the decline is multiple issues that have gone unaddressed as is happening in Alaska with diseased, parasite ridden, starving/weakened, fertility challenged and developmentally challenged Caribou herds….this due to trophic mismatch causing nutritional deficiencies, human encroachment with pathogens and parasties that come from proximity to domestic livestock, climate shift and a myriad of other causitive factors. In cases like this culling large numbers of predator populations alone wont solve the issues that are causing the decline. Dealing with the health issues, nutritional demands and significantly lowered birth rates caused by the declining health of the herd would be more productive AND would also make the herd less susceptible to predation in the first place.

    However, I am in support of APPROPRIATE wildlife management. Management that addresses all issues and seeks to find the most effective and least harmful ways possible to facilitate balance and the most effective co-existance possible.

    There will never be a perfect plan unfortunately. But we can certainly seek to find more effective ways to co-exist. Sure it is a MONUMENTAL challenge, and not by any means a new one…..human beings have been and will continue to be challenged with the dilema of co-existence with each other and our environment since time unremembered. I don’t imagine we will solve this completely in our lifetimes, I simply hope we can improve our results somewhat.

    🙂

  120. avatar lynn says:

    Why can’t you live with a predator on your land?
    I live in rural BC, Canada. There are bears, coyotes and cougars all passing thru my land. I also have dogs that live outside and inside. I do not have to execute them just because they are there. Just because a predator exists near you, does not mean that it is going to attack you.
    If anyone should have to move or be sacrificed perhaps people should be re-located? There certainly are a lot more of us in the world.
    Aren’t we the biggest predators, killing everything in our path?
    From bears, to wolves, to ants and trees.

  121. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Like Lynn says why can’t we live with a predator on our land in the lower 48 states? Thousands of people do live with predators close by in Canada and Alaska and further north they live with polar bears. I don’t understand the not in my backyard thing we have in little ranchette suburbia. Does it in fact come from an unbringing of watching Disney movies or horror films poorly done. If a wolf pack walks past your house so what? If you see a grizzly and her cubs grazing out your kitchen window in spring so what? If you don’t bother them they will move up higher as the snow melts and you will just have a great memory of them being there. It seems simple for people who live in spots like that just to keep their stuff together and not unintentionally supply a nutrition source that grizzlies or wolves associate with people. I know, I have read the stories of game officers who are kept busy night and day with bears who learn to raid cabins and knock over trash etc etc. . I guess I agree with Lynn . .maybe those folks should be trucked into the city and let loose in a more appropriate habitat.

  122. Wherever one may choose to live there are risk factors that need to be addressed to prevent potential conflicts/dangers. Whether it is locking one’s doors and leashing dogs in the city or properly disposing of garbage (so as not to attract predators), and keeping pets/children, etc. from predator access. Good fences make good neighbors, human or otherwise. Educating people on limiting risk factors in whatever environment generally serves all. A little common sense prevention can certainly help limit risks of conflict.

    Yet this particular case, from what I understand, was not about a predator killed because of any actual conflict. This case was about a predator killed for sport. I don’t recall reading about any reports of this particular pack being responsible for any livestock depredations or property damage prior to the killing….has anyone else here any knowledge that such was the case?

  123. avatar JEFF E says:

    JL,
    first i would like to say how much I enjoy your comments, all the more valuable as you are from Washington and we don’t hear nearly enough form that region.
    I too have wondered if there has been any negative incidents with this pack as I have not heard or read anything along those lines. USFW should have that info one should think.

  124. avatar David says:

    I think it all comes down to are we as humans willing to manage ourselves to the point where we allow other species to coesist with us. It seems we have made a mess of things in so many areas that a little reflection may be in order now that we easily have the ability to destroy almost every creature including ourselves.
    For myself I would really like to see wolves in Olympic National Park in Washington which is plenty large enough for several packs.
    thank you

  125. avatar Cosmicrose says:

    There have been no reported incidents with this pack here in the Methow Valley. The individuals involved have been extremely outspoken concerning their dislike of ANY perceived predators in the area.. not simply wolves. Our area has recently become home to a number of wolverines as well. The Whites have expressed their displeasure about this in the local paper often.

    Before wolves.. it was cougars that were the main focus of alarm for these individuals. The elder Mr. White sells video pertaining to hunting cougar. I’m certain you will find more than a few of these (cougar) stuffed and mounted in his home. I can’t remember the number since it was 11 years ago when I stood in his living room… slack jawed. He muttered something about finding the law distasteful which banned the use of dogs in the hunting of cougar I was only there in his home for 20 minutes yet know these things because he openly told me. Even though it had nothing to do with my being there to do computer work.

    Whatever his feelings towards predators.. he’s maintained them for a long time and I seriously doubt they have as much to do with his fear of losing livestock as his dislike for these animals. Fear driven… highly emotional… dislike. I would posit that these were no more than trophies… just like the others… to him and his family. There are a lot of people who feel like this… who do not see the wrong in such a perception but rather a naivety in those who have a different perception of cooperative living. One perception is more profitable than the other too oddly enough.

    I’m not trying to badmouth these people. Their actions speak for themselves. Anyone can read the opinion pieces Mr. White has submitted to the Methow Valley News and be able to come to their own conclusions as to the validity of what I have related. I have raised farm animals here for more than a decade with only one predator incident and that was a weasel which killed one of my chickens. I have lost ONE cat as well but that was due to an OWL. I dare not say anything about owls in these parts or I will stir up a hornets nest fer sure. (guess they will be in the next Kill Bill episode) I just would like the general public to understand that luckily there are fewer folk in this valley who behave as indifferently as this travesty exhibits toward either wildlife or the environment. I know of a good many people that work very hard to keep this wonderful place wonderful for all who dwell here. There is a cooperative spirit which permeates this place more than anywhere I have ever lived before. May it continue to remain so… cosmicly speaking

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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