We did our best, but these Foresters in Washington state are well-schooled in The Way of the Bureaucrat.  Despite the sole known Washington wolf pack’s rendezvous site being at the best, most available water source for public land cattle on the unit, livestock described by Don Johnson as looking feeble and “like bait”, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest has decided that it wants to experiment with Washington wolves and allow livestock to be put out on top of them to see whether conflict will arise.

Anxiety grows as wolves rebound in Methow Valley  – The Seattle Times

We were able to rattle the cage enough to secure a few conservation measures from the Forest which may help the Lookout pack, including (but not limited to) :

  • During times that cattle are in a unit with den or rendezvous site, the permittee will be required to inspect the area at least twice per week.
  • Sick or injured livestock must be removed from the allotment.
  • “Livestock carcasses on the allotment must be moved from the allotment, destroyed by blasting with explosives, or electric fenced if they would attract wolves to a potential conflict situation with other livestock, such as a salting ground, water source, or holding corral.”

(Emphasis Added)

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly volunteer to help with the blasting.

We were also assured that the Washington wolves would not be “controlled” if a conflict did arise.  Of course, the real threat is the long-term, the threat that the wolves will acclimate to the taste of easy & tender calf, and the local media’s reactionary tendency to put the blame on the wolves.

Let’s hope for the Lookout pack’s sake that we’re wrong.

About The Author

Brian Ertz

6 Responses to Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest Experiments with Lone Washington Wolf Pack

  1. kt says:

    Look at the PDF. Are these agencies out of their minds? Are the RANCHERS being encouraged to have dynamite for routine bloated stinking dead cow removal on public lands? If so, WHY would they encourage ranchers to have dynamite at their ready disposal for use on public lands? This places the public – in MANY ways – at risk. Nearly all ranchers hate wolves, and hate a lot of other things, too – like the federal government. Illegal actions have already occurred in the Methow area where we already have lawless behavior – i. e. the shipping of a package oozing blood from an illegally killed wolf carcass – where follow-up from the initial story on this seems to have been nil.

    What if they blow up the dead cow carcasses when hikers are coming up a trail? What else might that dynamite be used for? What if mistakes are made, and not all goes off immediately? You have to remember there is seething hatred, now being fueled to a new level by crazy right-wing talk radio (I overhear it nearly daily as my neighbor plays there radio outside at times). Hatespeak against the federal gov’t and the Obama admin. is rampant – take a listen to I believe the fellow’s name is Michael Savage (Weiner). These areas like Methow do indeed have backwoods white supremacists and just plain crazy gun nuts – a la Tim McVeigh. At times “hybridized”/one with the local cowmen. And locals who may be associated with giv’t agencies like Wildlife Services, too. So the federal agencies quivering in fear of not allowing a rancher to turnout his cows on PUBLIC LANDS cautions SOMEONE to have dynamite at his disposal??? This also shows how poorly the Obama administration is dealing with public lands issues. They have no clue.

    This is insanity – and like the Marie Bulgin U of I story, shows the depths federal or state agencies will go to prop up he destruction of public lands with welfare livestock grazing. Yet in many ways it is really the rancher mindset of abuse, bullying and dominating-all that helps fuel hatred of the federal gov’t in the rural West.

    WHEN are there going to be prosecutions in the illegal Twisp,Methow wolf killings and oozing blood package shipping? WHAT is going on here? Are these locals going to skate free?

  2. To read of these Methow Valley cattle operators worrying more and more about a pack of wolves, is like children around the campfire telling monster stories until they are panicked.

    Not a thing happens, and yet they all become frightened.

  3. ProWolf in WY says:

    To read of these Methow Valley cattle operators worrying more and more about a pack of wolves, is like children around the campfire telling monster stories until they are panicked.

    That has been happening all over the country. It is not just with wolves either. In Iowa people had been reported seeing mountain lions and there was a town hall meeting where people where talking about setting up bounties on mountain lions in that area. These things are like witch hunts.

  4. Gerry Miner says:

    “So the federal agencies quivering in fear of not allowing a rancher to turnout his cows on PUBLIC LANDS cautions SOMEONE to have dynamite at his disposal???”

    Why would they not allow them to turn out their cows? Nothing has happened with the wolves. And it isn’t a case of just telling people they can’t put their cows on the allotment that is legally theirs to graze. It would take a long time to get an allotment taken out of use–the “federal agencies” can’t just say that a rancher can’t put his/her cows there.

    And there are plenty of places where cows graze and wolves don’t kill them. So in this case, it sounds like both sides are panicking before anything has happened.

  5. ProWolf in WY says:

    Gerry, panicking is the normal way of dealing with wolves or any large predators, whether they are a threat or not. There are too many examples to count, but probably my favorite is a Montana senator who said that there would be a dead kid within a week when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone.

  6. Brian Ertz says:

    taking precaution to prevent a fully federally protected species from being exposed to livestock conflict, for which their entire history, perpetuated even to this day, of media & polical reaction that fosters codified persecution of wolves is not a hysterical reaction. It’s the law.


June 2009


‎"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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