Washington State to Kill Pack of Endangered Gray Wolves

The North American Gray Wolf.  image courtesy of wikimedia.

The North American Gray Wolf. image courtesy of wikimedia.

OPEN LETTER to the Department of Fish & Wildlife in response to the decision to kill an entire pack of endangered wolves in Washington State.

Director, Jim Unsworth: director@dfw.wa.gov



Dear Mr. Unsworth,

I read about this motion to completely exterminate a pack of endangered wolves in Washington State as a result of Human Wildlife Conflict.

I’ve been reporting on HWC since 2010 from four African Nations: Kenya, Botswana, South Africa & Namibia.  My work is published in National Geographic, Africa Geographic and more.

In nearly all instances, co-existence solutions are readily available.

ranchers discovered two calf carcasses in addition to an injured calf, leading to the decision to eliminate the pack” – I find it hard to believe that this was the only conflict that could lead to such a drastic decision.  What did they attempt to try in lieu of shooting?  Fencing?  Livestock guardian dogs, donkeys or llamas?  Electric light sensors?  There are more solutions to name here than the rifle.

I invite you to share documentation with the public on what these farmers have tried before appealing to the SHOOT AND BURY tactic.

As a wealthy nation in an election year, I appeal to your mythological American sense of ‘exceptionalism’ and say WE ARE NOT THIS.  WE CAN DO BETTER, BE BETTER.

Human Wildlife Conflict is an understandable global issue that afflicts not only these hard working farmers in a conflict situation with endangered wolves.  I will happily connect you with farmers in other nations from Europe to Africa who can assist.  Not just livestock farmers but NGOs who’ve been toiling in these trenches for decades.

I ask again you release documentation to the public of the methods and tools the ranchers have employed before seeking to kill and entire pack of endangered wolves.

We need not vilify the rancher.  We need not murder the wolf.  Don’t bring shame on the American people as those who lack the skills and fortitude to forge a better path in crisis.



Marcy Mendelson

North American Gray Wolf image sourced from creative commons

North American Gray Wolf image sourced from creative commons

UPDATE: From The Seattle Times

“WSU researcher monitoring the den says the conflict is predictable and avoidable.

“This livestock operator elected to put his livestock directly on top of their den site; we have pictures of cows swamping it, I just want people to know,” Wielgus said in an interview Thursday.

McIrvin, of the Diamond M Ranch, near the Canadian border north of Kettle Falls, Stevens County, in northeastern Washington, did not return calls for comment Thursday. The allotment Wielgus monitors, and McIrvin grazes, is on public land in the Colville National Forest.

The cattle pushed out the wolves’ native prey of deer, and with a den full of young to feed, what came next was predictable, Wielgus said.”

Read the full article: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/profanity-peak-wolf-pack-in-states-gun-sights-after-rancher-turns-out-cattle-on-den/

UPDATE 2: Huffington Post

Defenders of Wildlife did not perform their due diligence as an environmental group when it came to protecting the family of 11 wolves known as the Profanity Peak Pack in NE Washington state. They let a repeat offender rancher get away with putting his cattle on pristine, rugged public land right on top of a wolf den, which provoked predation and led to the state authorizing all wolves in the pack be killed. Two wolves were gunned down by helicopters on August 5, four more were killed by August 26, and the remaining are slated for death. This is happening in a state that has barely 90 wolves.

What does “authorized killing” really mean?

Read the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/defenders-of-wildlife-defenders-of-livestock-why_us_57c254cee4b06384eb400f16


One Comment

  1. Patricia Tricorache
    Posted 27 Aug ’16 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I think your letter is right on the money. Are you doing a petition? I think it would have more weight than an open letter.

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