Reflections on the killing of the Profanity Peak pack in Washington state

By on September 9, 2016 with 43 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Editor’s note: A previous version of this blog incorrectly stated that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife asked the U.S. Forest Service to withdraw the grazing permit, but the federal agency rebuffed the request.

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife last week authorized the killing of up to all 11 members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack in eastern Washington, not far from the Idaho border. It’s a tragic and maddening development that reinforces the need for continued HSUS involvement in discussions surrounding human-wolf conflicts in the area.

The state permitted the killing of the wolves because some members of the pack killed cattle set out to graze in a national forest. In fact, wildlife researcher Rob Wielgus noted that the cattle had congregated around the den site of the wolves, creating something of an irresistible predation opportunity for the carnivores.

This lethal control action was a bit of a departure for Washington, which has had the strongest state-based management plan to minimize wolf-human conflicts and to resolve those conflicts by non-lethal means. At the center of this management plan is a multi-stakeholder body known as the Wolf Advisory Group (WAG). The HSUS participates as a stakeholder, given our intense interest in protecting wolves and humanely resolving conflicts between the animals and ranchers and other resource users.

It was in 2015 that the Washington legislature and the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife developed the WAG as a tool to bridge the gap between wolf advocates and wolf opponents, after years of seeing dozens of anti-wolf bills brought up for consideration by rural lawmakers. The goal was to facilitate some discussion among different players in the debate and to find some areas of agreement.

With the assistance of a mediator, The HSUS and 17 other stakeholder groups and individuals ranging from hunters to cattle producers to conservationists have worked for two years to develop progressive and proactive wolf management guidelines.

There’s no public hunting or trapping of wolves in Washington, and last year, not a single wolf was killed in the state for livestock protection reasons. In comparison, 54 Idaho wolves were killed by agents and landowners and 39 were killed in Montana for livestock losses. (Additionally, trophy hunters and trappers killed another 461 wolves in Idaho and Montana in 2015.) Wolves in Washington have generally been spared this kind of multi-pronged assault.

While lethal removal for livestock protection is used in many places wolves live – but not where wolves remain listed as “endangered”, and with severe limits in states where wolves are otherwise federally protected under the Endangered Species Act – Washington is the only state that requires the utilization of nonlethal practices, such as employing range riders to separate wolves from cattle. Unlike in Idaho, for instance, where a single complaint can result in the slaughter of an entire pack, in Washington, four separate livestock loss events must occur and nonlethal methods must be utilized first before wolves can be killed by authorities.

Of the state’s 19 packs, only the Profanity Peak pack has been in conflict this year. Livestock producers in other areas have dramatically increased their use of non-lethal deterrents and range riders, and most importantly, wolf poaching has significantly decreased. Last year, Washington reported no illegal kills of wolves, while Oregon reported four, Montana reported eight, and Idaho reported 14 wolves killed by poachers.

For Washington-based wolves, the killing of the Profanity Peak wolf pack has been the worst-case scenario. It has deeply saddened us, as these wolves did what comes naturally to them when someone placed cattle right in the center of their range. The HSUS is asking that the protocol that allows full pack removal be reexamined, and we are urging that the idea of killing an entire pack be taken off the table entirely.

It would be easy for us to withdraw from the WAG and leave this process to the other parties, but we feel strongly that our voice needs to stay a part of this discussion. If we leave, we will see outcomes that result in more wolf killing. We believe it’s important to continue the dialogue and continue advocating for the wolves. We also believe in sitting down with adversaries and with people who see the world differently from us, and working to sort through challenges. Indeed, that’s the very point of our work – to push people to exhibit a newfound focus on the well-being of animals.

While we always prefer dialogue to confrontation, we won’t stand aside when wolves are menaced by special interests. The HSUS is second to no group in effectively advocating for wolf protection. We led the effort to shut down wolf hunting and trapping in the Great Lakes region – halting the killing of more than 500 wolves a year. We launched two Michigan anti-wolf-hunting referendums, demonstrating for the first time ever that a majority of people in a state with a substantial wolf population opposes trophy hunting and commercial trapping of the animals. We faced down the NRA and the Safari Club and beat them head-on. We joined with a number of groups to shut down trophy hunting and trapping of wolves in Wyoming through the courts, and we worked with the Obama Administration to adopt two rules earlier this year to restrict the killing of wolves and other predators on 95 million acres of national wildlife refuges and national preserves in Alaska. We are working year-round in Congress to block riders that would subvert the federal court rulings and administrative rulemaking actions we’ve been able to secure.

We are trying to get ahead of intense conflicts in Washington state, which may have as many as 160 wolves in a growing population that is expanding its footprint into areas with plenty of human activity. At this stage, passing stronger wolf protection measures in the legislature is impossible, conducting a ballot measure is impractical, and appealing to the courts is a non-starter. We have a single option, and that’s to work with the key stakeholders to seek extra-legislative and extra-judicial outcomes that will protect the wolves as best as we can.

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Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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43 Comments

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  1. Melanie Weberg says:

    As a participatory member of the WAG, did you vote against the lethal removal of the Profanity Pack?

    If not, why?

    Why did it take you so long to inform the public?

  2. Patricia Randolph says:

    Since HSUS has such broad membership, it seems that putting together an education program that could be downloaded to teachers and universities, activist groups and HSUS staff throughout the country – teaching about the massive decline in natural predators and large mammals, the mass extinction as it threatens the human race along with all other species due to climate change accelerating – teaching about the role of natural predators in keeping rodent and mice under control which is a huge disease factor for humans – would be useful.
    In Wisconsin, with wholesale assault on coyotes, unprecedented shoot shovel and shut up killing of wolves has made the state a hotbed of lyme disease carried by the main hosts – mice and deer. ( Pre-hunt Joel Trick of USFWS Green Bay told me a “very conservative” estimate of illegal wolf killing in WI was 100/year – Professor Adrian Treves proved that the 3 wolf hunts DEVALUED wolves and increased illegal wolf killing ).
    Zoonotic diseases will dramatically increase with the destruction of natural predators. A Nevada researcher found the plague in a deer where wolves and coyotes were heavily destroyed. We must tie these policies to HUMAN disease.
    And finally, please do an overall education throughout the HSUS system to work at the ROOT of the problem, educating that funding state agencies on killing licenses as the main funding mechanism MUST be reformed to GENERAL public funds and a first time democracy in staffing, deciding boards and leadership. Pittman-Robertson gun and ammo taxes must be redirected to helping wildlife survive on a planet headed to extinction. Democratic funding is the reform we need. The whole system must be thrown out and built anew. The North American Wildlife Management plan is an agricultural model of farming for maximum killing yield – inappropriate to wilderness and a living world.

  3. Eric Mills says:

    There’s only ONE over-populated species on the planet: Homo sapiens (sic).

    For starters, remove all livestock–sheep, cattle, goats–from public lands. The predators always unfairly pay the ultimate price, and they were here first. “Welfare ranching” has to stop.

    x
    Eric Mills, coordinator
    ACTION FOR ANIMALS
    Oakland

    • Max Girouard says:

      Well said! Why do we have to have Cattle on public lands in the first place? A stipulation of the contract to use public land should be that if you incur losses as a result of predation that you are willing to accept that.

    • GAIL M GARABEDIAN says:

      I agree. This is maddening.

  4. Phaedra Dresch says:

    Thank you HSUS for your dedication. Hope they don’t actually get killed.If you put a steak in front of ranchers they would eat it. They have too many cows if they don’t have space to graze on their own land.

  5. Rose Nied says:

    So if this is the case, Wayne, WHY IS IT THIS IS STILL OCCURRING AND HSUS IS NOT DOING ANYTHING TO GET THIS HORRIFIC SLAUGHTERING STOPPED.

    I called HSUS today and the buck got passed back to Dan Paul who is the person who made the decision in the fist place to have allow this to happen. It is only recently that wolves have been taken off the endangered list and now half a pack in Washington have been killed…and one of them was shot from a helicopter and wounded and could not be found. Do you call this HUMANE??? These are our public ‘WIDLIFE” lands that we the taxpayers are paying for. Because of a ruling in 2009 these lands were decided to allow ranchers to raise cattle because at that time there apparently were no wolves to be concerned with…WELL, THINGS HAVE CHANGED…and wolves have now reentered the lands and I firmly believe that wild life should be allowed to live in wild life areas which Profanity Peak is. AND ON TOP OF IT, these ranchers are being subsidized as well for any cow/calf they lose along with other subsidies.

    The following is a letter sent to Mr. Paul…with no response I might add from either a phone call or email

    PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO BE FOR THE WILDLIFE…AND YOU ARE ACTING LIKE SHEEPS AND PASSING THE BUCK..NOTHING WILL GET DONE IN TIME IF YOU PERSIST IN AVOIDING DOING ANYTHING AND PASSING THE BUCK.

    Although I do not live in the State of Washington, I am an animal advocate and animal/wildlife lover. It has come to my attention that you were involved with the decision to approve the slaughter of the Profanity Peak Wolves.

    I know this situation is complicated as there are existing laws that really need to be reviewed again and possibly changed…but in the meantime I urge you to reconsider the HSUS decision on this pack and stop the killing.

    There must be other solutions to this problem then slaughtering the remaining pack who really are doing nothing but trying to survive in the wild. It is preposterous to think that having wolves that close to rancher’s cattle would not have a similar outcome. And recently the Fish and Wildlife stated something to the effect of “Would you want these wolves that have already killed and have not changed their behavior to be released in another area or left there” (I am not sure of the exact words but the meaning is similar)…That also is preposterous. Wolves will not and DO not change their behavior. I can’t believe a representative from the Fish and Wildlife would make such statement!

    Clearly the issues are:

    1) Rulings that ranchers should be able to profit on public lands that taxpayers pay for and also be subsidized should be revisited. This rule which was made in 2009 was supposedly prior to wolves living in this area. I am against the ranchers ability to raise cows on public lands. This land should be designated for wildlife which wolves are.

    2) Until recently, wolves were considered endangered. They have been taken off that list but this might also be looked at again.

    3) The rule about 3-4 times killing a domestic animal, giving the right to kill the wolves should be revisited as well.

    But more importantly the ranchers, from my understanding are leaving their sheep unattended by human beings. And the wolves are being blamed for being wolves. If you have not had food for 48 hours and someone sits bacon and eggs in front of you for breakfast…what would you do.

    There has to be a more humane way of dealing with this. As long as they are shooting they could shoot tranquilizers, gather up the wolves and either relocate them in state or out of state or to a rescue (which I know there are several).

    The “Humane” in Humane Society does not sound very humane to me when killing of half this pack has already occurred and has HSUS’s blessing. One of the wolves was reported shot from a helicopter and only wounded left to wander around injured and wounded. It is my understanding that they initially could not find this wolf. Do you call that “HUMANE”?

    PLEASE reconsider and PLEASE see if some other arrangement can be made with the Fish and Wildlife Department and with the ranchers. Let’s put the “Wild” back into wildlife and allow the wild wolves to live and prosper in the wildlife of the State of Washington.

    Thank you.

    Rose N

    • DOA Henneman says:

      The so called “Rangeriders” of Stevens and Ferry County, Wa proudly proclaim (sneer and gloat!) that they have no damn intention of doing anything but shoot, shovel and shut up. They openly brag that they shoot any wolf or dog (peoples pets) that resembles a wolf on sight. It has NOTHING to do with their lied about “predation” it is out of jealousy toward the better class of people moving in who are more educated, love wolves and point out these losers faults, such as higher than average divorce rates, rampant crack/methamphetamine and alcohol abuse among their white trash offspring and their inbred and rampant corruption. That’s the REAL reason they are murdering innocent wolves, to drive out civilised “newcomers” and keep the area to themselves. I witnessed this for at least the last 10 years. We must remove these criminals, starting with the so called “ranchers”, and following up with their relatives whom overly represent them in the local paper, sheriffs office and local governments!

  6. Rebecca Wolfe says:

    Please follow up on this article with more specific information:

    1. When did the WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife request that the U.S. Forest Service pull the allotment in the area where Gray Wolves are present and are recovering from completely wiped out by the 1930’s?

    2 What were the reasons provided by the USFS for denying the request from the WDFW? (If their refusal happened before wolves began returning, then it is time to reopen the discussion regarding USFS’ grazing policies and the need for a reappraisal of their allotment practices.)

  7. Laura Meltzer says:

    Livestock are commodities which can and will eventually be monetized. I get that. Why then are losses of livestock to predators not simply compensated for by an insurance program instead of trying to rid the predator? The premiums could be subsidized by the ridiculous sums now spent on wolf eradication programs. Every day in courtrooms throughout this country we estimate (speculate) on the value of limbs and lives lost and order financial compensation. It can’t be somehow impossible to do that for the future value of a cow, even a breeding cow. When livestock is lost to a predator, a claim for compensation should be made. It’s all about the money to ranchers and therefore any losses should be paid for by insurance. Wholesale slaughter ironically won’t compensate a rancher for the loss already sustained. Insurance actually would.

  8. Victoria Parisio says:

    U.S. Forest Service needs to be re-examined if that’s the way they are going to behave, that is not the way to treat animals at risk. Wolves should be put back on ESA, especially with USFS behaving like this and just killing them willy nilly. There are other ways to handle them. And I’ve been hollaring at these people for over 5 years on what to do. And they just don’t want to listen, but who wants to listen to someone like me. So go and talk to Dr. Laurie Marker, who has had some success with this, only with Cheetahs and herding animals and giving the people with the herding animals, dogs to prevent the herding animals from being attacked. There are certain dogs that are specially built for doing this, and I have told them about this. But NO, they don’t want to listen.
    s

  9. Mark D. Blitzer says:

    As a Washington resident and a supporter of wolf recolonization–no wolves have been reintroduced to the state, they have all come in on their own–my first knee-jerk reaction is to condemn the rancher involved and call for criminal prosecution. Also due to him, an earlier pack was destroyed. But Wayne is correct–there is no alternative to the WAG–all points of view need to be taken into account, lest we have a repeat of the slaughters taking place in neighboring states. To the extent that this particular rancher is lagging, I really want the ranching community itself to take a firm stand and work with the rancher in question. Some peer pressure can’t hurt. I fully support the HSUS (and the two other environmental groups to which I belong and who are also members of the WAG) in staying the course. Washington IS different in that in this state the vast majority of residents support wolf recolonization. Even in Eastern and Central Washington wolf country there is not monolithic opposition–far from it. Now, if there is a third issue with this rancher, then I think things may need to change, but let’s hope that won’t be the case..

    • Julie Long Gallegos says:

      There is no third issue with the rancher. He hates wolves, caused one earlier pack to be exterminated, and refuses any government compensation for his livestock loss; he has said that would be admitting that wolves and livestock can co-exist. His plan worked well the first time, so he did it again. His behavior is repetitious and pathological. And he does it on the taxpayer’s dime; for WE paid for these extermination “gifts” to him.

  10. Marc Bekoff says:

    Corrected comment:

    Thanks Wayne — I appreciate what you wrote but in my humble opinion I can see why WAG benefits from your presence but I don’t see how you benefit from it — And I also don’t see why you think that there will be more killing if you clearly say you are against this round of killings and step off WAG, especially if there are additional sanctioned ‘authorized removals’ as WAG calls the killing of the wolves — killing to stop presumably more killing just doesn’t sit well with me and I’d love to see you all just say enough is enough and step off WAG — my 2 cents …

  11. Chris L says:

    I have read that simply tying red rags onto fences every few yards keeps wolves away. Is this true? If so, why isn’t it being pushed and implemented???

  12. Barbara Griffith says:

    I live in Washington state and I believe that the grazing permits of the ranchers need to be revoked and no more given out. Some of these people will never except a wolf unless it’s dead. Other ranchers all over the country raise cattle and sheep but do not use public lands to do it. Many of them grow their own hay and feed that is what the users of public lands need to start doing. It’s the same problem with the wild horses, the ranchers use thousands of acres of public land and pay little for its use, all the time complaining about the wild horses destroying the grazing of their cattle when in reality it’s the cows and sheep that are the ones destroying the grazing because they eat differently than a horse they only have back teeth to chew their food so they have to pull up the grass with their tongue, horses have both top and bottom teeth and cut the grass off like a lawn mower all the while leaving seeds that come up in the spring in the manure piles as they graze.

    • Max Girouard says:

      I agree completely! this is a scam! we are not getting our money’s worth out of this public land used by Cattlemen so we should put an end to it. Leave the public land for the rest of us. if we had to we could form a Kickstarter and buy the grazing rights ourselves and just let it lay fallow.

  13. edda blume says:

    Did the HSUS vote against the killing of the Profanity Pack?

  14. jason keedy says:

    Hi Wayne – In a world where it’s hard to know where anyone or any entity is coming from, I am putting faith in you that you truly are for the equality of animals. After hearing you on Onpoint I got the feeling you were in it for the right reasons so please keep on the good fight. It’s funny I had just sent a tweet out asking why we hadn’t heard from you on the Profanity Pack issue and I read this the next day! As a Washingtonian I take pride in our use of reason and compassion as regards wildlife and wild lands. While my work keeps me in Alaska half the year, my heart is always back in Spokane. Thanks for giving wolves a voice.

  15. Mary Lou Loesch says:

    The pack of wolves, recently slaughtered, had a right to live. The cattle on National property gathered in front of the wolves den. The cattle don’t belong there. National property is for everyone and everything. It’s not there to donate to private businesses for their exclusive use.
    Stop slaughtering wolves.

  16. Sara Summers says:

    Well penned article. Deeply disappointed in the outcome of this scenario. Gunning down the alpha pack members pushes a pack toward instability, increasing the likelihood of predation. Yet, this is the “solution” that was taken. If the cattle were grazing on federal lands, let’s use science based management protocol. At the very least move the cattle away from the denning area. Killing them was not good management.

  17. Rose Marie Lampo says:

    Oh what self serving babbling. A sanctuary offered to relocate the pack at zero cost and zero effort required from Washington state. Mercy was dismissed as “a bad precedent”. Be deeply ashamed of your complicity in needless deaths.

  18. Oliver Starr says:

    Dear Wayne – there’s another option. One that doesn’t require HSUS become complicit in the slaughter of wolves on public land to protect an individual private rancher’s interests.

    Use the weight of the HSUS to inform the public that wolves are being killed using our tax dollars to protect the profits of a for profit operation. Especially when that operation is a bad actor.

    Over the past few years the public has repeatedly picked up the bill to clean up on behalf of Diamond M and the McIrvin Family. I’m sorry but the public doesn’t like ranchers living off our land and using our money to kill our wolves.

    I’m well aware of the complexities faced by the WAG members. As a grandson of a cattleman and lifelong wolf advocate I understand the polarizing nature of this argument, but when a rancher knowingly turns out 1500 head of cattle within earshot (and four miles is certainly earshot for wolves) of a wolf family group den, anything that happens to those belching, farting, crapping, forage destroying invasive domestic pests is on the hands of those that dropped them in harm’s way.

    Wolves and Americans shouldn’t have the pay the price for the McIrvin family’s operation. HSUS should be strong enough to know when they’ve been literally roped into a cruddy deal and should have stood strong instead of trying to defend the actions of WDFW and the decisions of the WAG.

    Shameful and disappointing.

    Sincerely,

    Oliver Starr,
    Wolf Advocate and professional animal handler

  19. Brooks Fahy says:

    Hi Wayne, and thank you for your post.

    It is precisely because of all the great work HSUS has done that we have been asking you to publicly acknowledge the real travesty of what has been, and is, going on in Washington state, where wolves remain endangered.

    The Profanity Peak wolf pack was wrongfully slaughtered. They were set up for the kill. The rancher, a known wolf-hater, put his cattle to graze on pristine, forested public land in the core of the pack’s territory. His cattle, of course, displaced the wolves’ normal prey–elk and deer. The cattle then became prey. The rancher did not use anywhere close to an adequate level of nonlethal deterrents to prevent predation. He also put salt blocks near the pack’s den, according to WDFW, which drew the cattle right to the wolves. And so, the wolves predated on the cattle.

    After this WDFW’s Wolf Policy Lead had the gall to state in a TV interview: “Is that really the wolf population we want to repopulate the state? Wolves that have demonstrated that behavior and see livestock as prey items.” In other words, wolves being wolves (let alone being set up!) and doing the job nature gave them as apex predators should not be themselves?!

    So WDFW has now killed at least 6 of the 11-member pack and is actively trying to kill the rest. This situation is an outrage! The slaughter of the Profanity Peak Pack must be stopped. And cattle should cease being placed in wolves’ territory unless truly adequate nonlethal control methods are in use. There are also areas where it is inappropriate to have livestock, and this is surely one of them.

    In closing, we’d like to say that we have more in common with HSUS than we do with most other conservation orgs. We believe individual animals matter. We look forward to continuing to work with you toward our common goal of changing the paradigm of wildlife “management” in America.

    Brooks Fahy
    Executive Director, Predator Defense
    http://www.predatordefense.org

  20. john rosapepe says:

    Wayne:

    I will refer you to your press release.

    “Tenino, WA –
    For Immediate Release
    August 23, 2016

    Joint Conservation Wolf Advisory Group Statement

    By Wolf Haven International, the Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, and Conservation Northwest

    The authorized removal of wolves in the Profanity Peak wolf pack in northeast Washington is deeply regrettable. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is however following the protocol developed by the Washington State’s Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) – a diverse group of stakeholders. The WAG and WDFW have committed to evaluate how the protocol worked on the ground this season in order to improve it for next year. In addition, we intend to conduct a thorough and open-minded assessment of the issues raised for all stakeholders involved.

    We remain steadfast that our important goals remain the long-term recovery and public acceptance of wolves in our state alongside thriving rural communities. In the meantime, we ask our community and the citizens of Washington State and beyond to engage in respectful and civil dialogue as we work through these challenging events. We believe that ultimately we can create conditions where everyone’s values are respected and the needs of wildlife, wildlife advocates, and rural communities are met.”

    You support the protocol, you support the killing of the wolves, you can’t have it both ways. Your language of “is deeply regrettable” while nice on paper doesn’t alter the fact that you support the protocol and you (HSUS) will not speak out against the murder of the wolves.

    Your good work in Michigan does not mitigate your support of the killings in Washington State. In fact it has nothing to do what is going on in Washington State so why trot it out? It is meant to deflect from your support of the killing of the Profanity pack. One good act doesn’t balance out a bad act.

    And you have forgot to mention that the Kettle Range Conservation group, the one conservation organization on the ground jn this area and who sits on the WAG, refused to sign onto your letter and has spoken out against the killing of the Profanity Pack.

    Please let me know- a simple yes or no whether HSUS supports the killing of the Profanity Pack?

    Awaiting your reply.

    Sincerely,

    John Rosapepe

  21. Dr. Carole Francis-Swayze says:

    September 10, 2016, 7:23 p.m.

    Let me see if I’ve got the straight. Instead of moving a herd of cows which were grazing on public land virtually on top of a wolf den to safer private pastures, a group of decision makers, including the owner of the cows along with self-proclaimed wolf protectors, agreed to slaughter the pack instead.

    I would have loved to observe the group dynamics at work where this decision was made. Who took control of the discussion? Who was bullying who and who was acquiescing? For what gain? Was this a tit-for-tat/pay-to-play kind of thing with promises of favors down the road from the owner if the so-called wolf protectors complied with his desire to kill the wolves?

    And what about the owner? I thought ranchers were cowboys, skilled horsemen among other things who could move their cattle at will where they wanted them to go. Apparently not this bunch. I can only imagine a group of fat and sassy braggarts getting rich off the public at the expense of the indigenous wild life.

    What a disgusting scene. Where are the voices of outrage who would put themselves out there to protect the wolves? The wolves need a group of people much like the Native Americans who demonstrated with force and fury to stop the encroachment of an oil pipe line on sacred Indian lands.

    It makes me ashamed to admit I’m a member of the species who’s capable of such horror. God help us.

    • DOA Henneman says:

      Your assessment of the players involved is entirely accurate. I am from the area and can attest to the fact that wolf hater and stockman Senator Joel Kretz and Conservation Northwest CEO scam artist from Chicago, not only DRINK together, but conspire to kill wolves together for profit. These people should be fitting in a jail cell. How long?

  22. Rebecca Sherman says:

    Why is HSUS supporting the slaughter of wolves in Washington? I thought HSUS believed wolves should be federally protected. What animal conservation group would support the mass killing of any animal? Is HSUS politically driven?

  23. Kathy says:

    How is it that ranchers can put their cattle out to graze in federal lands? That is just bait to the wolves who need to eat! That practice should be abolished!

  24. Joe M. Ratliff says:

    I am a retired BLM soil scientist, with a comprehensive and scientific background in managing public lands and their related natural resources.

    Most of my federal work occurred in Nevada where public lands comprise more than 80 % of the state’s lands, and also where millions of domestic livestock (primarily cattle) are allowed to freely graze on these lands for the ridiculously low charge of $1.56/AUM (animal unit month).

    Nevada’s apex predators are cougars and coyotes, and if a wolf were introduced here it would last about 10 minutes. The state’s so-called Wildlife Commission (made up primarily of ranchers, gun nuts and politicians) totally support unscientific predator control programs which result in the culling of thousands of coyotes, cougars and non-target wildlife species annually. Which, in turn creates major environmental problems associated with the overpopulation of smaller, non-predator species such as mice, rats and rabbits.

    I am very saddened when I regularly hear about wolves once again being the target of politically inclined, stupid, ignorant and myopic human beings who are only interested in their own special interests. And that, and for many other reasons, why I have been a supporter of HSUS and similar groups for years.

    I can tolerate stupidity to a point since it is genetically infused in a human. But, I do not tolerate self-perpetuated ignorance or selfishly driven monetary interests when they have direct negative effects on the natural ecosystems, pets, farm animals and all the other critters that I respect and love.

    Please keep up the good work and I will do everything I can to do the same!

    • GAIL M GARABEDIAN says:

      It’s very sad and frustrating. The collective ignorance of our own species will ultimately be to our own demise and a blessing to the world.

  25. GAIL M GARABEDIAN says:

    I just don’t understand this at all. The lawmakers that authorized this must be blithering idiots to choose to kill these beautiful endangered animals. They could have relocated them as an alternative for starters and the rancher who is responsible for this whole disgusting fiasco should die a slow death. Be sure to remember this when it comes time to vote.

  26. margarita clayton says:

    The government is all into KILLING our wildlife; this is criminal; this time, wolves, coyotes & etc. This time cattle was set in wolf habitat, under their noses-for a reason? – to have a reason to kill the wolves for devastating the cattle? We are all here on this planet for a reason – predators need to be here!!!
    Thanks to the HSUS for notifying us.

  27. Martha Hall says:

    Dan Paul is our rep on WAG, our Wolf Advisory Group. Hold him accountable. Ask him to hold meetings around our state to explain to us what he’s doing on WAG. He’s obligated to do this as our member on WAG. He’s suppose to keep us informed about these issues. At the meetings ask him the hard questions. Did he vote for the Protocol for Lethal Removal which is very bad for wolves for a number of reasons as we saw this summer but is great for ranchers? Does he believe the Profanity Peak Pack was just a “bad” pack and needed to be slaughtered? Or did he question the merits of the rancher or allotment? Does he support WAG when its membership is stacked against wolves with only 6 environmental groups and at least 10 ranching and hunting groups? Does he support the consensus method used on WAG that makes it impossible for WAG to ever do anything that is very good for wolves because of its membership? Is he speaking up for wolves on WAG as ranchers do for their cattle or is he going along with the consensus model WAG uses with its emphasis on members getting along and supporting whatever the majority
    decides which will always be anti-wolf with the current make-up of WAG?
    Why did he sign on to the letter with 4 of the environmental groups emphasizing that they support killing the Profanity Peak Pack?
    PLEASE Don’t stop donating to the Humane Society until you meet with Dan and ask the hard questions. Give him a chance to explain.

  28. Maggie Frazier says:

    Once again – rancher=1, wolves=0! Slight exaggeration but it seems any species of wildlife that doesn’t produce profit must be slaughtered if it interferes with a “profitable” enterprise! Although in this instance, a livestock corporation that cannot exist without using and abusing our public land is not what I would call a profitable enterprise! Between the very small amount the BLM charges for grazing allotments AND the many subsidies that are handed out – these “ranchers” would not exist if they had to actually OWN the land where they grazed cattle & raised feed for those cattle. Too many of these producers have the mistaken idea that they OWN the allotments! They do NOT! Using a grazing allotment is a privilege – NOT their RIGHT! This needs to change – for the sake of our public lands and the wildlife that should be allowed to live there!

    • Martha Hall says:

      Maggie, you will hear that our state can’t do anything about the grazing allotments. This is partly true. That’s a Forest Service – federal- and we’ll
      have to elect a strong Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and a Democratic president to ever change this. HOWEVER the state could work
      with the Forest Service and “administratively” address some of the grazing issues. This is possible. How hard is anyone working on this????? At the
      last WAG meeting it appeared like no attempt was made. The FS person in charge of the grazing allotments in question was at the meeting and ready to answer questions but he was totally ignored by DF&W, WAG members, and the facilitator. WHY? Grazing leases are tweaked every year through
      yearly operating plans. That’s where little changes can occur. Like no cattle near dens and rendezvous sites. Decreasing number of livestock to fit that year’s conditions such as wolves, fire, amount of grazing feed, having unused allotments available in emergencies, and eliminating allotments in places not suitable for grazing or changing boundaries to decrease sizes if it is too large to manage cattle on. The allotments – several- where the Profanity Peak Pack lived was not suitable for grazing for all of these reasons – impossible to protect livestock in its remote, rugged and forested acres. Leases like this can be bought out too. The FS could do this on some that provide good wolf habitat. Meanwhile, long-term, we do all need to work hard to get the big changes thru federal legislation which some groups are working on.

      • DOA Henneman says:

        The SO called “ranchers” in this case are The McIrvins/Diamond M of Laurier, WA and they are NOT real ranchers. They are Real Estate developers who sold off millions of dollars of their departed father’s massive land holdings in a development called The First Thought River Tracts of Orient and Laurier, WA!!!!!! They rape the land and POISON people’s pets whom they feel might expose them!

  29. Martha Hall says:

    It took this slaughter of the Profanity Peak Pack to wake some of us up to the serious problems that exist in our WDFW and its advisory committee on wolves, WAG. We should have been watching last winter and spring when the events unfolded that set the stage for this horrific war against another wolf pack.

    What went wrong? 1. WAG membership (18 members) is dominated by members representing the interests of ranchers and hunters. Our 6 pro-wolf reps don’t ever have a chance to getting very much. When they try to discuss
    the really important things like basing decisions on science and grazing on public lands they get nowhere. So some quit trying very hard. I think that’s wrong. The one who stood up for wolves is now being pushed aside for not
    going along with WAG’s decisions. 2. The WAG facilitator’s role also has to
    be questioned. WDFW is paying her $850,000 for a 2 yr contract which is
    almost up. The contract seems to pay for just her, one person. So when she
    couldn’t attend the key meeting last spring, it was cancelled. That meant
    WAG didn’t discuss the details of when wolves should be killed until May –
    on the eve of the 2016 grazing season on public lands. Getting consensus
    on something that was good for wolves was impossible so our reps settled
    for a very bad Protocol for Lethal Removal. I think they know what should
    have been in that Protocol but they accepted one that was acceptable to the
    ranchers and hunters. I think this is wrong. Only one of our reps did not.
    Before the cancelled meeting, our reps had WAG talking about effective measures to prevent wolf predation. This was lost in the rush to get new
    Protocol in May. 3. The facilitator convinced WAG to use a consensus model
    that silences minority opinions – and our 6 reps will be in the minority on any and all issues that will really help wolves. All members must support the
    “consensus” which is the majority view – ranchers and hunters. They can’t oppose or speak out against it after “consensus” has been reached. This is
    probably why most of the pro-wolf members are so silent right now. This is
    a tragedy – another pack is being slaughtered and they are silent – four even
    signed on to a press-release supporting the killing of this pack which is pretty unbelievable. This wasn’t required. They are now heroes of the ranchers and hunters who are praising this action. WDFW can now constantly say that the
    environmentalists and animal rights groups support this slaughter of the
    Profanity Peak Pack. This is horrible too. 4. The Protocol for Lethal Removal is very bad. Our reps have to know this – should have known it before approving it in May. They know what should have been in it. It set the stage
    for the killing of another wolf pack. The best reason I’ve heard so far is that
    if they didn’t accept the majority consensus on this in May, Protocol would have reverted back to last year’s Protocol which is worse. This leads me to
    the next problem…. 5. If WAG, with its current membership and consensus model and facilitator, cannot come up with good Protocol for Lethal Removal, why should it be supported? Its current role of rubber-stamping what ranchers, hunters, and the WDFW want is really bad. I suggest that our reps threaten to quit in mass IF the problems with WAG aren’t fixed. Meanwhile
    none of our WAG reps are calling for rallies, letter writing, etc. They are supporting all of this. 6. WAG seems to function on the belief that some wolves have to be killed in order to have social acceptance of wolves in E. Washington. That really needs to be questioned. Predator Defense does a good job of addressing this. They say that killing wolves only gets social acceptance for killing wolves. I think they are right. We are suppose to accept collaring wolves so DF&W has the GPS data to track wolves down from helicopters and kill them. We are suppose to
    accept that the Profanity Peak Pack was just a bad pack and needed to be
    “eliminated”. WDF&W has so demonized this pack. Donny says we don’t
    want this pack repopulating Washington State. Every member needs to be
    hunted down and killed. WE are suppose to buy this. Most of our reps have.
    It’s horrible. This pack was set up to fail by WDFW and WAG. We should hold them accountable, not this wolf pack. SO FOLKS – PLEASE STAY ANGRY AND DO SOMETHING. CALL AND E-MAIL OUR REPS AND GO TO THEIR MEETINGS – THEY SHOULD HAVE MEETINGS IF THEY ARE OUR REPS . GO TO OLYMPIA ON NOV 4-5. GO TO WAG MEETINGS.

    • DOA Henneman says:

      Isn’t it interesting that the only packs “needing killing” are the ones in the corrupt and inbred Tri County area? (Stevens, Ferry, Pend Orielle) Senator Kretz jurisdiction,…..

    • DOA Henneman says:

      Isn’t it interesting that the only packs “needing killing” in the ENTIRE state are the ones in the corrupt Tri County area? (Stevens, Ferry, Pend Orielle) Senator Kretz jurisdiction,…..

  30. Debra says:

    There was absolutely no reason for killing off mosy of the Profanity pack! The wolves are only being killed because of all the asshol greedy RANCHERS WHO HAVE NO BUSINESS USING PUBLIC LAND FOR THEIR LIVESTOCK!!! KEEP YOUR LIVESTOCK ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY! !!! AND LET THE WOLVES LIVE ON THEIRS☺

  31. Bob Murch says:

    Allowing subsidized grazing on public lands poses a great risk to the livestock, especially when the ranchers do little to help prevent encounters with wolf and cougar predators. Rather then allow the killing of the predators, the grazing permits should state that the rancher assumes the risk of being allowed on public lands and will not take any adverse actions against predators who also occupy the public lands. Any violations of such stipulations will result the loss of all grazing permits and appropriate monetary penalties. The bigger the ranch the greater the consequences, and there is no doubt that predator killing would significantly diminish.

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