Profanity Peak Wolf Pack Rescue
UPDATE 9/5/16 from LARC co-founders Matthew Simmons and Dr. Lorin Lindner:
We returned this week from Washington state. We were buoyed up with promising news the first two days but it has been going downhill from there. Here is a timeline of what occurred and what still needs to happen…and quickly:
First Weeks of August: Five adult wolves were eliminated (we say slaughtered) by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and a 5 month old pup is also accidentally killed by DFW. The decision was made to kill them by a policy developed recently by the Wolf Advisory Group – made up of cattle ranchers, government officials, conservationists and environmentalists including HSUS, Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife (think about where your donations go!). The thinking on their part is that removing wolves who are depredating on cattle will keep the peace in a highly conflictual area where cattle ranching is the primary industry and where counties in Eastern Washington are practically bankrupt otherwise. The Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) believes that removing some wolves will not interfere with the overall long term recovery of wolves in the Pacific Northwest. While all this may or may not be true, the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) is offering an alternative solution – we will remove the remaining members of the Profanity Peak Wolf Pack without killing them – and bring them to our sanctuary.
We understand that removing the wolves presents a number of problems. One is that it gives the cattle ranchers a “Get Out of Jail Free” card – allowing them to graze their cattle without responsibility for the potential losses they may suffer…and grazing them on public lands no less! The other big problem is that sanctuary is no substitute for living wild – but we feel it is better than death. And yet another problem is that wild wolves may not adjust well to living in captivity. The reason we think our option is a viable alternative is because of the six remaining members of the Profanity Peak Pack – four of them are pups. We believe they will make an adequate transition and we have seen this happen before.
We were given counsel by the California Wolf Center. This is what their Director says: “We greatly value our relationships with state and federal agencies and respect the tough position they are in. We also respect the sensitive nature and hard work put in through WAG efforts. We are simply stating that this rescue is a viable alternative that does not appear to undermine any groups (agency, WAG or ranching community), it solves the problem while avoiding lethal control – a win-win for all stakeholders including the wolves“ ~ Karin Vardaman
August 29th – LARC’s co-founders, Matthew Simmons and Lorin Lindner leave on the last flight out of Los Angeles and fly into Spokane, Washington then rent a car and drive to the town of Republic in Ferry County (where the Profanity Peak wolves live) – just a few miles from the Canadian border. Our hope is to meet with the DFW and local officials to gain permission to remove the remaining wolves of the Profanity Peak Pack to our sanctuary.
August 30th – Matthew and Lorin meet with Sheriff Ray Maycumber at 8am, the same time that a group of governmental officials and conservationists go up into the forest to demonstrate how rough the terrain is in the Colville National Forest and to justify the use of lethal means to remove the wolves. At 3pm Matthew and Lorin expect to meet with these officials when they return from their tour but only Commisioner Mike Blankenship appears in the meeting room. Both Sheriff Maycumber and Commissioner Blankenship have no opposition to removing the wolves without killing them. They ask us to get permission from DFW and to move forward.
August 31st – Matthew and Lorin hike the Colville National Forest and follow wolf tracks, wolf scat and USFS maps to near where the wolf den was located and adjacent to the roadless area that goes to Profanity Peak. Later that night we fly to Seattle and drive to Olympia, the Capitol, determined to have a meeting with the head of DFW, Jim Unsworth. Everyone else from DFW had been returning our calls except him and we planned to wait at his office until he got there because no one else can make this decision other than Jim.
September 1st – Matthew goes to the DFW office in Olympia at 7am only to learn that the building is closed to visitors due to death threats surrounding the controversy about the wolves. Jim Unsworth finally calls back. Matthew presents our non-lethal option that will cost the taxpayers nothing, save the wolves, and help everyone with a win-win solution. Jim Unsworth says he will get back to us. Matthew and Lorin visit Wolf Haven International, an amazing wolf sanctuary that has taken in several of our rescued wolves and who is also a member of WAG. They express their deepest sorrow for the loss of the wolves but express to us that taking wolves into sanctuary is not really a viable option, in their view. They also do not want to undermine the work they have been doing to build coalitions and community on the ground in an area rife with conflict. LARC comes away conflicted because we do not want to interfere with any progress that is being made. In addition, we believe that stricter management practices on national forests need to be put into place by the National Forest Service and ranchers need to be held responsible for their cattle. However, we are still determined to rescue the wolves, if allowed, because we believe the pups will thrive in a large, isolated enclosure. Lorin and Matthew attend the Rally for Wolves at the Capitol and leave for home later that night.
September 2nd – Multiple calls to DFW go unanswered.
September 4th – LARC learns that the Lethal Removal has resumed despite our offer of a non-lethal alternative.
DFW IS TAKING ACTION THIS LABOR DAY WEEKEND TO TRAP AND KILL THE REMAINING WOLF PUPS FROM THE PROFANITY PACK AND THE TWO ADULTS WITH THEM.
Here is the Action you can take immediately:
Contact the Washington State Governor Jay Inslee at: 360-902-4111 (firstname.lastname@example.org), and the Director of WDFW, Jim Unsworth, 360-902-2225 (or email@example.com) and provide some or all of the following details:
· There is a non-lethal solution that is: viable and does not compromise the big picture of wolf recovery; Rescuing the wolves offers a win-win alternative that saves these wolves, yet prevents further conflict
· LARC is offering a win-win scenario for all stakeholders – ranching community, agencies, conservation groups, WAG, public and the wolves. The lethal removal action is creating a huge divide among all communities. The non-lethal removal is the ethical, moral way forward that meets the needs of all parties.
· LARC has the ability, support, and skill to safely and successfully trap and remove the wolves within a reasonable amount of time
· To ignore this option in order to stick to literal protocol is not necessary. Nor does it help stakeholders (ranchers, conservation groups, public and wolves) move forward in a positive way.
· Removing the wolves alive is more humane than lethal control
· Secure housing is available for these animals – giving them the best possible “captive” life (large habitat, isolated, natural enclosure that will allow the wolves to be “wild” – not on public display) – it is recognized that it is not as ideal as wild living, but better than death.
· WDFW choosing to trap and euthanize these animals on a holiday weekend is unfortunate and does not reflect well on their approach or manner in handling this issue.
· Lethal control costs taxpayers thousands of dollars per wolf; LARC’s non-lethal rescue will cost the public zero dollars.
LARC has received support from the local Ferry County Commissioner and Sheriff’s department. Should WDFW move forward in killing these pups and adult – the long term result considering the above will be detrimental all around. Killing the animals will not make this go away.
You may also want to review the two articles below and reference them in your letter. One is a wonderfully written Op-Ed piece by a conservationist that appeared in the Seattle Times and the other is an article written in the Oregonian that refers to LARC by Kale Williams, “One man’s 1,000-mile mission to save a Washington wolf pack,”
“More wolves killed because of the sacred cow at the public trough”
Thank you all for how much you care about these animals and for allowing us to share this with you – as painful as it is. Taking Action Soothes the Soul…so thank you for taking action!!!
For the Wolves,
Matthew Simmons and Dr. Lorin Lindner
Press Release 9/4/16
Profanity Peak Wolf Pack Lethal Removal Resumes Labor Day Weekend
LARC OFFERS A NON LETHAL OPTION
Contact: Matthew Simmons 310-963-1182/ Dr. Lorin Lindner 310-995-3116/ firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE (WDFW) IS TAKING ACTION TODAY TO ELIMINATE THE 4 REMAINING WOLF PUPS AND 2 ADULTS FROM THE PROFANITY PEAK WOLF PACK. The Lockwood Animal Rescue (LARC) has offered a viable non-lethal option for these animals:
- There is a non-lethal solution that is viable and does not compromise the big picture of wolf recovery. Rescuing the wolves alive does not compromise the years-long hard work undertaken by the Wolf Advisory Group (WAG).
- LARC is offering a win-win scenario for all stakeholders – ranching community, government agencies, conservation groups, the public and the wolves. The lethal removal is creating a huge divide – non-lethal removal meets the needs of all parties.
- LARC has the ability, support, and skill to safely and successfully trap and remove the wolves within a reasonable amount of time with at no cost to taxpayers or WDFW.
- Through LARC, the animals will still be “removed” and no longer pose a threat.
- Removing the wolves alive is more humane than lethal control
- Secure housing is available for these animals – giving them the best possible “captive” life (large, isolated, natural enclosure that will allow the wolves to be “wild” and not on public display) – and while this is not as ideal as wild living it is better than death.
- The Ferry County Sheriff and a Commissioner do not care how the animals are removed as long as they are “removed” – there is NO reason to kill them.
- Lethal control costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per wolf; LARC’s non-lethal rescue will cost the public nothing.
California Wolf Center has shared their point of view: “We greatly value our relationships with state and federal agencies and respect the tough position they are in. We also respect the sensitive nature and hard work put in through WAG efforts. We are simply stating that this rescue is a viable alternative that does not appear to undermine any groups (agency, WAG or ranching community), it solves the problem while avoiding lethal control – a win-win for all stakeholders including the wolves“ ~ Karin Vardaman