Man building fence for WDFW paralyzed in fall

Washington governor’s program to put cows on state wildlife areas results in a second serious injury-

A second man has taken a fall while building fence for the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Family asks for help after man is paralyzed in canyon

Susan Perez said she had been fearful for her husband’s safety when he first started working on the fence along George Creek Canyon about two weeks ago.

“He said, ‘You should see the hill I work now. It’s 2,000 square feet straight up,’ ” she said. “They have no safety harnesses. They have no cleated boots. They have no safety devices whatsoever.”

The steep slopes, the cliffs, in the area are inappropriate for the livestock grazing, the whole reason the fence-building is going on – and it’s dangerous for the people involved.  Another man fell into a canyon on the other side of Pintler Creek in February doing the same thing – building fences so WDFW can put cattle on lands purchased for wildlife.  This is the third injury the Department has sustained for these grazing projects, projects which cost the state of Washington $800,000 when the state is already $6 billion in debt.

Some background on Washington grazing:

Grazing on Washington state wildlife lands, and an ugly political deal by governor Christin Gregoire






  1. Tilly Avatar

    Everything about Washington state’s pilot program to introduce grazing on wildlife areas is embarrassing.

    It is costing the state a fortune, it is fouling lands purchased for wildlife, it has cast a terrible pall over the integrity of the agency through its constant secret dealings with the livestock industry, and now this.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    So did Governor Gregorie win a whole bunch of new east side votes after catering to the cattle association instead of the public?

  3. Salle Avatar

    All this destruction and injury for the sacred cow…

    I wonder why the state isn’t offering assistance for the medical expenses for these workers… Don’t they have workman’s comp in that state?

    Spinal cord injuries, especially those resulting in paralysis, are life altering in the extreme not just for the injured but their families as well. Agency officials and the governor should be ashamed for the project and the harm they have rendered at all levels.

  4. vickif Avatar

    I wonder where OSHA stands on this?

  5. dbaileyhill Avatar

    Something screwy must be going on. Having worked in WA doing work while hanging on both exterior and interior walls, it is a serious offense to work without the proper safety equipment. One must be “tied off” to prevent falls even on extension ladders. A huge fine is given and the job site is shutdown for a period of time, which also can contribute to further money loss if the project is not complete on time.

    An accident like this should never have happened.

  6. Todd Avatar

    If an injury even a fraction as severe as these had happened while working on a wildlife project the papers would be flooded with headlines like “Is the Cost Worth It?”


  7. dbaileyhill Avatar

    Todd, I agree.

  8. Brian Ertz Avatar

    i understand that there was a helicopter accident within the WDFW not too long ago – the response was to ground the helicopters for an extended amount of time. apparently there’s a double standand here.

  9. JB Avatar


    Helicopters are expensive; blue-collar laborers are not.

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Brian Ertz