Anti-wolf, anti-wilderness going after “pro-wolf” Washington state commissioners in hearing today
Efforts by Washington state anti-wolf forces intercepted-
Below is an alert from anti-wolf folks in Washington State. This is an interesting example of the kind of email campaign that is being used by anti-wolf forces in a state where pro-wolf opinion is strong.
Those who support wilderness and wolves and other wildlife might want to do just the opposite of the recommendations below.
– – – – – –
Eliminate Pro-Wolf Wildlife Commissioners Now!
This is the most important thing that you can do to help hunting and the increasing wolf problem in our state. The Republicans are giving us this opportunity on a silver platter. Remember, all four guys up for confirmation on the Wildlife Commission have had a state senate hearing and they were not voted on. They can sit unconfirmed until their term expires without ever having another hearing. They don’t have to be voted on, but now they are being brought up for a vote. The Senate Natural Resources Committee Chair is bringing these guys up for hearings even though he doesn’t have to. The writing is so clear. The hunting community and ranchers are being thrown a political bone. This session Republicans were unified on gun issues. They only had two or three defecters at most on the anti-gun legislation. The GOP finally has some political clout and they are willing to do what the Democrats do – share the wealth with people that support them. I am a political realist whose passion is preserving our Second Amendment and right to hunt. Republicans in this state want to be our allies, now we have to do our part. We may never again have a chance to make a bigger splash than this. The Republicans on the committee need to hear from us and so does Hargrove. There are pro-hunting Democrats who support managing wolves 100%.
First we need to achieve our goal with each of these commissioner confirmations in committee, then the commissioners will face a vote by the full Senate. There’s a fair chance of influencing these confirmations because the full Senate did approve two of Senator Smith’s wolf bills which are now in the House. These wildlife commissioner confirmations only go before the Senate, so we do not have to worry about passing in the House. Therefore we only have two hurdles, getting the committee to vote as we would like and then getting the full Senate to vote as we would like. It’s a numbers game and it’s hard to know exactly how many messages we need to send to accomplish this goal, so we need as many messages sent as possible. Ask friends, family and any groups you belong, ask anyone you think you can convince to send email or call today.
As of Friday March 22 a Washington legislator informed us that nobody is contacting the Senate Committee regarding the confirmation of the four Wildlife Commissioners on March 26. This is the perfect chance for hunters, fishers, ranchers, and other concerned persons to have a direct impact on the Wildlife Commission. The hearing for confirmations is at 1:30 pm on March 26.
Please take 1 or 2 minutes and call or email: DO IT NOW IF YOU WANT A CHANGE!
The committee assistant is Katharine Grimes (360) 786-7419 and ask her to forward a messages to each committee member to CONFIRM Wildlife Commissioners Mahnken and Carpenter and to OPPOSE Wildlife Commissioners Jennings and Kehne.
(copy and paste email list)
Kirk.Pearson@leg.wa.gov; John.Smith@leg.wa.gov; Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov; Jim.Hargrove@leg.wa.gov; Mike.Hewitt@leg.wa.gov; Adam.Kline@leg.wa.gov; Linda.Parlette@leg.wa.gov;
(copy and paste subject)
Confirmation of WDFW Wildlife Commissioners
(copy and paste message or write your own)
Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee
RE: Confirmation of WDFW Wildlife Commissioners
I am concerned about the safety of pets, children, and the elderly in rural areas where rapidly increasing wolf packs are now causing an impact. Wolves are rapidly moving into new areas of Washington so it’s imperative that wolves are managed in a responsible manner. I am also concerned about the future of ranching and our big game herds. Ranching, hunting, and fishing are vitally important to the rural economies in Washington. The Wildlife Commission establishes WDFW wolf policies and sets recreational hunting and fishing seasons. Ranchers, rural residents, hunters, and fishers are depending on the Senate to confirm wildlife commissioners who will maximize recreational opportunities and who provide relief to ranchers and rural residents suffering from the impacts of wolves.
Please CONFIRM Conrad Mahnken and Larry Carpenter, both of these commissioners are knowledgeable, they have shown an open mind, they will question WDFW on the issues, they are widely supported, and they both bring needed qualities to the commission that benefit Washington as a whole.
Please OPPOSE THE CONFIRMATION of Jay Kehne as an Eastern Washington Commissioner. He is a paid employee of Conservation Northwest a western Washington special interest environmental organization which opposes management of wolves, cougars, or any other predators and is often in opposition to predator hunting seasons. Kehne’s employment by Conservation Northwest is a direct conflict of interest with his appointment as an Eastern Washington Commissioner. As you must know, the County Commissioners of Kehne’s home county are opposed to his appointment.
Please OPPOSE THE CONFIRMATION of David Jennings an extremist environmentalist with a known radical anti-sport fishing agenda who has proposed closing Neah Bay to rock fishing a vitally important activity to the economic stability of that region. Jennings is also opposed to needed wolf management, rarely if ever supports hunting, wants to expand wilderness areas and create Marine Protected Areas (Water Wilderness). Please remove David Jennings from the Wildlife Commission he is considered by many to be the worst Wildlife Commissioner.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
43 Responses to Anti-wolf, anti-wilderness going after “pro-wolf” Washington state commissioners in hearing today
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Thanks Ralph, I’m on it.
Good catch Ralph.
Sharing this despicable plot against wolves and other predators – Thanks for this urgent alert –
Sharing this despicable political plot against wolves and other predators – Thank you for the heads-up!
One reason I did this was to see if this news site had the potential to make a difference on a critical event where 30 to 100 messages could make a difference because it appears the sub rosa campaign might all be on one side.
Conservation Northwest is also putting some stuff out in Social Media, but it has come pretty late in the game.
I sent 5. Everyone out do me.
This campaign may have originated with the “Hunt Washington” forum. If that site wasn’t the author, it has been primarily responsible for putting this message out.
Hunt Washington has a huge following. The number of unique visits the site gets per month I believe are in the tens of thousands.
The big cheese for that site is an anti-wolf outfitter who kind of sways back and forth between anti-wolf and very anti-wolf, based on his posts. He lacks most of the weirdness/craziness that typifies the high profile anti-wolfers of Montana and Idaho.
The powers that be over there are getting better at organizing support against wolves & other predators. They direct a lot of vitriol towards Jay Kehne (WDFW Commissioner & Conservation NW employee), as well as Scott Fitkin (District Biologist for N Central WA).
I thought Kehne’s term ran until 12/31/2016. What’s up?
All four individuals up for a vote were never confirmed. I believe Kehne could have sat the whole term without being confirmed by vote.
Hello, if Kehne and Jennings are not confirmed this time around, can they still sit on the WDFW commission without being confirmed?
My memory is now beginning to come back on Kehne’s appointment, and the scenario may apply to one or more of the other commission appointees. This Eastern WA commission seat was left vacant for some time, specifically at Governor Gregoire’s request (or her D party advisors). She made the appointments late, if I recall correctly, and the appointees served while under Senate review, but no confirmation hearing was held, possibly because they thought he wouldn’t get confirmed. That accomplished a couple things that extended the influence of D appointed commissioners if McKenna had won, and the D’s kept the Senate. But, now the D’s don’t have the Senate.
Kehne, in my opinion, is not really very representative of the interests of Eastern WA, and most specifically the Colville area from which he hails. I don’t have a problem with him or his CNW employer, and hope he is confirmed. Not so sure about this yutz from Olympia, Jennings.
If Kehne is denied his seat (as he may be because the Senate Committee on NR is no longer chaired by that boob, Kevin Ranker -D San Juan Islands), and the appointees come up for vote, as is happening, that could mean Governor Inslee who ran as a candidate who would represent “all of WA” not just the West side, will be put to one of his first challenges if he needs to select another appointee from Eastern WA.
Here is the back story on Kehne’s appointment in 2011-12. The R’s from the NE part of the state didn’t like it. And, one of them, though not named here, is on the Senate NR Committee reviewing the appointments today(vice chair, actually).
“”It’s not a personal attack on Jay Kehne, it’s just a conflict of interest in Conservation Northwest,” said Jim DeTro, Okanogan County commissioner.
Conservation Northwest is an environmentalist agency based in Bellingham. It has worked on preserving grey wolves in the state as well as helping the state to buy conservation easements in Okanogan County, both of which don’t sit well with DeTro.
“He gets a check from them and they’re definitely, definitely not Eastern Washington values that they represent,” said DeTro.
Kehne has hit back against these criticisms, saying that he has lived in Eastern Washington for 44 years and cites his 31 years of experience with U.S. Department of Agriculture natural resources conservation service “listening to ranchers and farmers and helping them with conservation on their properties,” he said.
“I’m a life long hunter and I know what worries hunters have about wolves returning to our state, I talk with them everyday,” he said. “I may not be anti-wolf like some people in Okanogan County, but then again, there are a lot of people all over Eastern Washington who have mixed views of whether wolves are good or bad.””
Hmm…so it’s a “conflict of interest” because he works for a conservation organization that supports wolves. Would said representatives also then feel it was a conflict of interest to appoint someone who works for a hunting group? Undoubtedly. [sarc]
++Would said representatives also then feel it was a conflict of interest to appoint someone who works for a hunting group? Undoubtedly. [sarc]…++
I would fully expect there would be such symmetry from the other side of the aisle from the D’s, which until this year held the Senate, and have held the governorship, almost forever (which means they have control appointments for that long). Again, the state is not homogeneous, and those on the Eastern side of the Cascades and west of I-5 are where the wolves are or will be, and they don’t particularly want them. They are, of course, fewer in voting number, which creates the rub.
My recollection, from recent memory is there has not been a Commission member directly employed by a hunting group. So, this may be an instance of first impression in WA. Query, whether such a member should recuse himself/herself from certain votes which directly affect one’s employer’s position?
“Again, the state is not homogeneous, and those on the Eastern side of the Cascades and west of I-5 are where the wolves are or will be, and they don’t particularly want them.”
Except that the commissioner in question is a “lifelong hunter” and a resident of eastern Washington, so it seems at least some on the east side of the state don’t have a problem with wolves.
” Query, whether such a member should recuse himself/herself from certain votes which directly affect one’s employer’s position?”
Interesting question. I would be supportive. Return query: What about ranchers/farmers appointed to such positions whose votes directly impact their own livelihood? What’s good for the goose…
A guy who worked for USDA NRCS gets a regular pay check/benefits/retirement. The fact that he listens to farmer/ranchers bitch does not even come close to being one. You ought to hear them talk about federal gov’mnt employees behind their backs (FS/BLM/staters). Kehne probably has consistently had one of the best paying jobs in most of the communities he has worked/lived over his career. That brings not only envy, but hatred among some.
That said, from what I can tell, he seems like a pretty reasonable guy, and again, I personally have no problem with his appointment – except I think he should have an at large position, instead of a statutorily designated E. WA position, because I do not believe he represents their regional interests.
whats good for the goose…
So conservation does not represent the values of Eastern Washington!?
Conservation might not be the values of the livestock operations and farmers, but this minority of the population has imposed its defective values on the people long enough, IMO.
Not sure if you understood my comment. Several states actually require some members of their wildlife boards/commissions to come from ranching or agriculture. Should these members recuse themselves when voting on policy that may impact their livelihoods? So, for example, if a corn/soybeans farmer was voting on deer harvest levels in his/her area?
I am certainly sympathetic to the notion that it is frustrating to have a commission composed entirely of people who don’t represent your views. This is why I have argued so strenuously for rethinking the structure of wildlife commissions/boards.
Should we elect the members of the state wildlife commission? I have thought about that several times.
I did understand your comment about board compositions and when they should or should not participate in votes.
I have actually seen or been involved in regulatory matters where individual board/commission members would participate in discussions on a topic, but then recuse themselves on a vote that involved their particular employer, but not recuse themselves when it affected a catagory in which their employer or their own business falls. That is why they are there, in a capacity set forth by statute, to weigh in and vote on matters that affect them generally.
Example: The state agency that regulates water quality in CO under the state and federal Clean Water Acts, has a commission which includes representation from industry. Coors Brewing (D appointment, by the way) held that seat for many years. This commission member voted on water quality standards and NPDES permit limits for waters of the state. He abstained if a voting matter directly (or even indirectly)involved the Coors NODES permits or enforcement actions for violations. That is how it should work, IMHO.
I don’t think a wildlife commission member should recuse him/herself from a deer harvest vote if it is generic to all units in a state (if prepared by staff). However, if something comes up that affects only that member’s interest, the high road would be to participate in discussion, but abstain from voting, and let others without the vested interest make the decision.
Should Kehne,if confirmed, participate in votes involving wolves? I think there is a valid question there, which should be asked and answered?
++So conservation does not represent the values of Eastern Washington!?++
Forgive the candor, here, but E. WA has the highest unemployment rates in the state. In these NE counties – Okanogan, Stevens, Ferry, Pend Orielle (where wolves first showed up)- the unemployment rate is about 12-15 percent. Source: https://fortress.wa.gov/esd/employmentdata/reports-publications/economic-reports/monthly-employment-report/map-of-county-unemployment-rates .
The rural economies here are focused on agriculture/forestry and mining, and I think the state even refers to the economy of Stevens county as “a frontier economy.” This is where Kehne lives.
Collectively the area is called, the “Forgotten Corner.” In that sense the area is not much different from rural parts of ID and MT, where human densities are low, and perceptions of wolves are that they just don’t want them, because they perceive they are most affected by them (right or wrong). In their view, “conservation,” however that term is defined, does not readily include wolves, just as it does not in several other areas of the US, yet this is where the wolves are, and growing in number.
Hunting of deer and elk is still a favorite recreational pass time there, as well as in culturally more refined areas like college town Ellensburg, fruit ranching Yakima (where a new Cabela’s store just opened), and wheat land/financial support center Spokane (the largest city east of the Cascade Divide, with something like 3 colleges).
To say Jay Kehne represents the core values of these communities with his own employment history, and values (even though he is a hunter), could in the minds of some who live there, be a rather large stretch. This part of the state is deep red by a fairly wide margin at the state and federal legislative levels, and if you doubt that, just take a look at Doc Hastings, their US Congress, House of Rep., from the 4th District, and Kathy McMorris-Rodgers from the 5th, both R’s. Again, solid red.
I don’t think the regional interests are looking for someone whose views seem to be in the “middle,” and who is currently works for and gets a monthly paycheck from the wolf advocacy organization, Conservation Northwest. It is also my understanding Kehne has in the past appeared before the WDFW Commission on behalf of CNW in an advocacy role giving testimony for input into the state wolf management plan.
Should those regional interests (R as they are) in that part of the state not question Kehne’s (D that he is) loyalty to that area, while employed by an organization based in the liberal, Puget Sound, college town of Bellingham, and pushing an agenda that is strongly urban – based, including its signature cause of wolves in WA?
It is also important to recognize a WDFW Commissioner presides over many issues besides wolves, that affects regional hunting and fishing opportunities, and other wildlife matters in the state. Regional input is important and is specified by statute, for appointment of Commission members. So, statutorily, this is how the Commission appointments are supposed to work.
“RCW 77.04.030 Commission — Appointment.
The fish and wildlife commission consists of nine registered voters of the state. …..Three members shall be residents of that portion of the state lying east of the summit of the Cascade mountains, and three shall be residents of that portion of the state lying west of the summit of the Cascade mountains. Three additional members shall be appointed at-large. No two members may be residents of the same county…”
And, by the way, Governor Gregoire let the Commission seat now occupied by Kehne remain vacant for over a year maybe longer, though the statute requires the governor to fill it within 60 days of a vacancy. So, who is playing politics, as they jockey to fill with their own party beyond their term of influence. See my earlier post on this aspect.
Addendum, paragraph 3 to JB:
NDOS should be NPDES permit.
Stands for National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, and specifies volume, and allowable pollutant discharge quality from a point souce of pollution, usually after treatment to reduce the pollution to an acceptable level for a receiving water body, like a stream, under certain specified low flow conditions.
I think much of the opposition to Kehene’s appointment is not personal, in that the head of CNW is Mitch Friedman. People in that part of the state have long memories of Mitch’s youth as a tree sitting earthfirster.
My broader point is/was that commissioners almost always have a vested interest. To a great extent, this is why they are there. How many hunters have sat on fish and game commissions while also working for groups that have taken a position on issues that the commission/board addresses? And it is a backward argument (in my view) to suggest that a farmer/rancher who is self-employed should not have to recuse himself when his/her personal interest is at stake, while someone who works for another group should. Perhaps that isn’t what you intended to argue?
Nevertheless, Washington’s dilemma regarding the representativeness of their commission is one I’ve brought up several times in other contexts, only to have my views summarily dismissed.
In my opinion, commissions/boards should need to be broadly representative of the diverse stakeholders that are interested in wildlife and natural resources issues. Rule by a single interest group is the problem (whether we’re talking about Idaho or Washington).
Thank you for posting. I almost missed the deadline. The hearing is at 1:30 today. I was able to speak to the committee assistant and was assured that if I e-mailed my comments to her that she would give them to the Senators before the hearing.
Jay Kehne is awesome!
WHAT IS THE E-MAIL ADDRESS?!!
ADDENDUM: Okay, I see them at the top. I’m going to send a summary of the torture that has been sanctioned by fish and game in ID, WYO, and Mt before 1:30 today!
The anti-wolf people are resorting to extreme tactics like they have been doing for quite a while. They only want people on the WDFW commission that represent and support their special interests. The anti-wolf group big game forever is telling people to send email messages in support of hunters and in opposition of those who are considered pro-wolf.
Here we go again, http://www.king5.com/home/7-eagles-near-death-after-eating-carcass-of-euthanized-horse-199966651.html. Excuse off subject for the wolf issue but this is also in Washington State. Before I retired I had several investigations like this one and each time it was, as this article explains, absolutely avoidable.
The problem starts usually with a well intentioned horse owner that contacts a veterinarian to humanely put down an aged or injured horse. The vet uses SODIUM PENTOBARBITAL a well known drug intended for this purpose. In the open spaces of a ranch the horse owner then proceeds to use his tractor to transport the carcass to a remote spot to decay. Along comes scavengers of all sorts for this new found feast. SODIUM PENTOBARBITAL is dispersed now throughout the carcass and is ingested by the scavengers. The smaller the scavenger the greater the secondary poisoning. In the case of eagles I have been able to walk up to those still surviving and pick them up without any struggle. But what usually happens is that ravens/crows attack the eagles on the carcass which have become nonresponsive due to the ingested SODIUM PENTOBARBITAL. I have recovered several eagles that have had their eyes pecked out by ravens and crows but are still alive. Don’t know why they attack the eyes but they do. The eagles actually do nothing to defend themselves, not even try to flutter away they just stand there in the drug induced stupor.
Problem that won’t go away: The horse owner has best intentions and the fact that he pays for a vet to administer a painless death speaks volumes as to his/her concern for animals. But no one including the vet who usually doesn’t really know what the rancher ultimately does with the carcass thinks about the potential for secondary poisoning. The only safe disposal is burning as burial is prone to digging up by bears. Large carnivores are not as much in jeopardy to outright death due to their larger body mass but can be disoriented for a time until it wears off.
On one of my cases I had good cooperation with the state veterinary society in sending out a news alert to members. My other course of action was to the largest supplier of SODIUM PENTOBARBITAL, The Fort Dodge Veterinary Supply Laboratory. Those I talked with there outright dismissed a request to add a warning on the label concerning the secondary poisoning potential to wildlife.
These instances have happened in every western state and probably further east. It will continue to happen in the scenario I listed above. Just thought those here should know and would be interested.
Outright dismissed? What’s the harm with adding this warning to the label? Sometimes I wonder if human beings really are the most intelligent form of life on earth. 🙁
very sad Larry
Good catch Ralph ….. & a BIG Thank You!!
As to the story about the horse, eagles, just very sad. There should be a warning to farmers/people who own horses that this would happen. Truly sad.
Larry – there are warnings on most of the vial labels and in the product inserts for veterinary euthanasia solutions. And most veterinarians in western states are aware of this problem – they should be, they can be on the hook for improper disposal of the carcasses as well as the owners since they prescribed (and administered) the controlled substance required to do the deed. It’s up to the veterinarians to monitor owner compliance with proper carcass disposal. There’s a reason why sometimes a bullet to the head is a better choice for euthanasia of large animals – wildlife included.
The warnings on my vials read:
This product is toxic to wildlife. Birds and mammals feeding on treated animals may be killed. Euthanized animals must be properly disposed of by deep burial, incineration, or other method in compliance with state and local laws, to prevent consumption of carcass material by scavenging wildlife.
That label is new since I was in the business 13 years ago. That’s good and welcome news. I certainly didn’t get much hope from the Fort Dodge folks back then and I did send the matter up the line in the USFWS. A couple of years later an agent in Nevada was again challenging Fort Dodge with this same issue but that was the year I retired so I lost track of any success he had. Hope that was the change needed. Puts a different focus on this recent Washington incident. Thanks for your update, appreciated.
Thanks for posting this Ralph, I am in regular touch with wildlife lovers in Washington and will make sure they see this. Others should call as well, and make a point to speak to the issue of the anti wolf campaign being conducted. How many people read here, thats a good start on calls?
Ralph, has anyone sent this letter to the larger media? Maybe to Jane Velez-Mitchell? Even after the fact this tactic should raise eyebrows, especially with some of the obvious conflicts of interest with people hand-picked by the anti-wolf, pro hunting, pro ranching organizations being unilaterally appointed. How does that represent government of, for and by the people.
We need to make sure that when these processes are corrupted those that are doing the corruption are taken to account and made visible in the bright light of the media. We’re destroying our ecosystems from the top down – these ugly thrill killers and welfare ranchers are responsible for an incredible amount of destruction that will haunt all of humanity for eons.
You do realize the D’s, recognizing there were probably not enough Senate votes to get Gregoire’s nominees appointed (Kehne and Jennings), did not come up for a vote. The Chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee admitted that, in the news article I posted above, from over a year ago. Under WA legislative rules, apparently appointees can still serve EVEN IF they don’t have their hearing and a Senate confirmation. Governor Gregoire’s advisors orchestrated that.
The majority balance has shifted, and now the R’s who chair the Senate NR Committee are playing politics. It is the way the system works – or doesn’t. So, who used the underhanded and corrupt tactics (if they were) first, in this instance? I would say, if the Senate requires confirmation of appointees it should occur timely, actually before individuals serve in the capacities for which they are chosen. What do you think?
Word is that none of the four commissioners came up for a vote yesterday.
Hi, I think I asked you this yesterday. If these four commissioners are not confirmed by the senate, can they still sit on the WDFW commission unconfirmed or if they are rejected by the senate?
I don’t know the answer to your question. It would be smart for pro-wolf people to contact the Seattle Times in which I just read an Examiner opinion piece by this anti-wolf Workman fellow.
Did any of these anti-wolf people get in and if they did, I hate to ask this question but ,How much of an impact could they have against wolves? Hate to ask that one, Wm you are on top of your game how could this hurt the wolf in Washington state ?