After three years, Washington wolf poacher pleads guilty.

William D. White, plead guilty to numerous charges relating to poaching several animals and two wolves from Washington’s first documented wolf pack in decades. The wolves were members of the Lookout pack which came from British Columbia on their own to live near Twisp, Washington which is outside of the Northern Rockies DPS. These wolves were fully protected under the Endangered Species Act.

White’s son is still facing charges related to this case and William D. White may still face other charges related to eagle parts found in his possession. White is to be fined $38,500, will forfeit two guns and any remaining wolf parts in his possession, and, rather than spending three years in prison, will serve three years supervised release.

Twisp man pleads guilty in wolf killing case – – April 4, 2012.



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  1. Lesly Nixon Avatar
    Lesly Nixon

    Yes! One small victory at last!

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    The article says, “According to the court files, the case began in December 2008 when a FedEx worker reported to Omak police a package that was seeping blood.”

    William D. White’s wife had mailed the package. Did she wrap it too? My grim humor: “Sorry honey, but you forgot to buy enough strapping tape!”

    1. Chris Harbin Avatar
      Chris Harbin

      I work at the other major shipping company and you would not believe the stuff people ship. Recently we had a case of someone shipping wild baby squirrels which is not allowed and thusly basically smuggled the little guy. Fortunatley he was caught but he probably just uses Fedex or the USPS now. Not major like this wolf poaching but disgusting nonetheless.

  3. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    wish Idaho handed out sentances like that

    1. WM Avatar

      Jeff E.,

      A couple reasons to distinguish this WA case:

      -Case is filed in Federal court due to ESA charges
      -Wolves ESA listed in this part of WA (not in ID)
      -Consolidation of federal, state and Canadian charges for multiple violations in this case with fine of $38K + supervised release.
      -Federal prosecutor and maybe the judge, for good reason, wants to make an example of this guy until more wolves show up in WA

      Flip side. Four years forward from 2008, when this crime was committed, and a hundred miles to the east, ID can’t seem to kill enough wolves to hold the population at a level they seem to want. My prediction is in less than five years (2017) WA may be at the same decision point.

      1. JEFF E Avatar
        JEFF E

        I realized the federal/international aspect after I posted. You are right.(yes..I really did say that. 8*}. I know I find it hard to believe too) The multiple violations seem par for the course for this type of individuals, regardless of the state.

        It goes back to my personal conclusion that if a state such as Idaho was serious about “managing a sustainable population” of grey wolves then prosecute a few of these POS to the fullest extent.
        after a few 40,000 dollar pickups are confiscated then the message might sink in, plus show the state is fully committed to the endeavor.

        don’t hold your breath.
        Not as long as we have the Claims’ of the world running the show

        1. JEFF E Avatar
          JEFF E

          should be Clem’s

        2. Daniel Berg Avatar
          Daniel Berg

          I think a lack of prosecution for illegally killing wolves amounts to tacit approval. Clem has tacit approval of a lot of degrading activities written all over his face.

          1. JEFF E Avatar
            JEFF E

            bull seamen fetches a pretty high price I hear

  4. Daniel Berg Avatar
    Daniel Berg

    “White declined comment after the plea before U.S. District Court Judge Frem Nielsen, but White’s attorney, Bevan Maxey, said his client was simply trying to protect his livestock when he conspired with his son, Tom D. White, to kill two wolves from Washington’s first documented wolf pack.”

    From what I have heard in the valley, White is not a rancher in any commercial sense of the word. It is not a source of sustainable income for neither him nor his family. Their income comes from his wife, who is/was a school district superintendent in central WA, and from a septic business that he runs.

    His lawyer is really stretching the truth in trying to paint him as this oppressed rancher who is just trying to get by despite the best efforts of the federal government.

    Another thing I was told is that he is a great neighbor. There is a small in-holding with access through his land containing a yurt or cabin owned by a couple. Apparently he dumps some of the liquid from the septic systems he pumps in a big ring around the property in an effort to render the in-holding inhospitable.

    I would have liked to see him get a few weeks in jail, at least. People remember hearing about jail time. It would be better that people knew they were running a high risk of spending time in jail if they kill an animal protected under the ESA. $40k will be a big hit for him though…….

    1. JEFF E Avatar
      JEFF E

      sounds like an upstanding citizen.(end sarcasm)

    2. mikarooni Avatar


      Your description of the Whites matches what I have heard from friends in the area and why I have been, in earlier posts on this subject, so reluctant to take up the “poor rancher” line.

      I’m also not as upbeat as others seem to be about the sentences given to these miscreants who have been described to me, I kid you not, as a “greasy, foul-smelling, disease-spreading collection of malicious bums” living off a woman’s income and riding around pumping sewage in a dirty tank truck she bought for them. Given what I understand about who they really are and their behavior, including the illegal use of an environmental contaminant to vandalize their neighbors’ property and property values, I believe it would have been more appropriate to get them off the streets by incarcerating them for the three years rather than let them continue to roam around on supervised release (supervised… give me break; like the state authorities in WA supervised the Josh Powell and his dad?). So they pay a ~$40K fine and forfeit some guns. The money will come out of the wife’s earnings and, given what we already know about them, they can always just steal more guns.

  5. Larry Keeney Avatar
    Larry Keeney

    In all the accolades for this case don’t forget the very important role that AUSA Timothy Ohms played to achieve this settlement. It was AUSA Ohms against the opposing attorney and the judge concurring when the agreement was reached. AUSA Ohms has a long history of standing with USFWS Special Agents (as he does with other agency SAs) to pursue wildlife cases to the fullest. It is no secret that wildlife cases are often not the high attention investigations in the eyes of many Federal Judicial Districts and are routinely subjected to a quick settlement or brushed over to the state jurisdiction for handling. Not so in the Eastern District of Washington and especially if it lands on AUSA Ohms’ desk. This is another noteworthy action for justice, now you know who to thank.

  6. Nabeki Avatar

    No jail time, figures (rolls eyes). Maybe they’ll get him on the eagle parts.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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