Modern Wolf Management and Policy in Washington State How Citizens Lost the Ability to Comment in Public on Management

By Cindy Alia, December 16, 2019

There are two ways to deal with a problem, one is to work to create legislation and regulation factually based on actual, real, and measurable impacts, consequences, and effects on the citizens of Washington state, as do those individuals currently losing or spending revenue to solve the problem. Alternatively, the problem can be dealt with by driving emotional pleas and litigation enabled by building a base of those who have bought into the emotional landscape as acolytes of a distinct group of serial sue and settle organizations also referred to as the environmental cartel, those standing to benefit financially.

Without a doubt, wolves in Washington are a problem that has been driven by both ends of this spectrum.  In 2019 the course of the problem should have taken a turn in the long divisive road that has been created by wolf management.  The time had come to make determinations on delisting wolves as endangered species in the state.  In truth, the animals are not endangered when counted as a species of this planet, however, decisions made regarding how prolific the animal is in this state have led to the current population and a listing as endangered within the state.  These hair-splitting determinations are created at the state level by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and driven by the environmental cartel, most notably the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and their litigious nature.  WDFW has to some extent been responsible for the divisiveness of the debate and terms of management with their verbiage and production of descriptions and news on their website.  The articles are far from dispassionate and factually neutral.

WDFW has managed wolves in this state and has also filed comments to the federal government regarding the delisting of the wolf from the list of federal endangered species.  CAPR agreed with the comments of WDFW and filed comments reflecting that agreement.

By its own account WDFW has determined wolves are at or near what is termed recovery levels and has decided to embark on that turn in the management road they are labeling Post Recovery Wolf Management.  This is certainly a long-anticipated acknowledgement of the current probable population of wolves.  Yet, a thoughtful review of information used to describe the recovery level would lead one to believe the population level is most likely greater than what official counts imply.  For example, the count only includes wolves that exist within packs that have been determined to exist based on certain criteria that is not applied uniformly throughout the state.  Study results produced by Washington State University examining scat revealed the probability of under counting the wolf population.

Along the Post Recovery Wolf Management road, WDFW had planned to engage the public with a plan for 14 public meetings late this summer of 2019 throughout the state for discussion of a Post Recovery Management Plan.  Almost before the journey began, the meetings were cancelled due to threats WDFW determined would put the WDFW staff and public in harms way.  Because of the threats, the meetings were whittled down from 14 public meetings to three webinar-based meetings to be accessed on-line.  The unfortunate result of this response to threats is the public input will be skewed because the participation rate will drop due to fewer meetings coupled with less participation due to the internet-based platform. 

“WDFW cancels in-person open houses on wolf post-recovery plan and will schedule online, interactive webinars this fall

OLYMPIA- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is canceling a series of in-person wolf post-recovery planning open houses and will schedule online, interactive webinars this September and October.

“We’ve seen incredible intensity around wolf issues this summer, on both sides of the issue. For outreach to be meaningful, our meetings have to be productive. Unfortunately, we’ve received some information that indicates to us that the meetings could be disrupted, possibly creating an unsafe meeting environment for the public participating,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “Based on our initial outreach to stakeholders, we think digital open houses and a robust survey will be our most productive means of gathering feedback on this initial scoping effort.”

The open houses were aimed at helping to inform the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process that will be used to develop a post-recovery plan. The first step in the SEPA process involves scoping.
“Scoping helps us determine proposed actions, alternatives, and impacts to be considered in the post-recovery wolf plan,” said Julia Smith, WDFW wolf coordinator. “The scoping process is intended to improve decisions, find early resolutions to potential conflicts, and frame the relevant issues. We want this to be a thoughtful and constructive process for all involved.”

In lieu of the public open houses, the Department will hold three live webinars open to all, where participants can receive information, ask questions, and learn how to provide input. The dates for these digital open houses will be announced soon. The Department’s work to develop this plan is a multi-year effort. As wolf management options begin to take shape, there will be further opportunities to engage with agency staff.

The public scoping comment period will remain open until Nov. 1 and the Department is encouraging interested parties to
provide input on the scope of the future wolf plan. The Department is accepting comments via online survey and in writing. 

“We will schedule additional in-person engagement opportunities later in the process, once we have a draft plan and are requesting comments.  We will do our best to ensure that those meetings will be productive and safe.” Susewind added.
Washington’s wolf population has been growing since 2008. WDFW proposes to develop a post-recovery conservation and management plan to guide long-term wolf conservation and management under state authority.

More information and the survey on wolf post-recovery planning can be found at Live webinar dates will be posted there as soon as they are announced. Written comments can be mailed to WDFW – Wolf Post-Recovery Plan Scoping, PO Box 43200, Olympia WA 98504-3200.”

Shortly after the meeting cancellations, Governor Inslee felt compelled to insert his opinion of wolf management into the debate with a letter to WDFW Director Mr. Susewind: 

To which Director Susewind felt compelled to reply:

CAPR members have long been interested and concerned about wolves and wolf management in the state.  In response to the concerns expressed by CAPR members, CAPR provided formal comment to the WDFW on the Post Recovery Wolf Management.

Additionally, CAPR is concerned the conversation about wolves, and determinations regarding wolf management have been driven to a great degree by other than citizen concerns and input, and rather disproportionately driven by litigation from the environmental cartel, and threatening statements from members of the cartel organizations.  Disappointment and dismay at the cancellation of the 14 in person WDFW public meetings led CAPR to a Public Disclosure Request directed at WDFW to get some insight into the reasoning behind the cancellations of the meetings and the lost opportunity to interact with WDFW and others in the public on this topic of wolf management.

The PDR results were read and as a result questions were answered.  The documentation from the PDR showed an overwhelming and contemptible display of unconscionable behavior and threats coming from the acolytes of the environmental cartel, specifically the following named organizations:

Center for Biological Diversity;

Kill the state officials responsible for that crime. NOW.immediately.Ask, if I can help I have no arms, but I can shoot and use my hands

Hunt the Hunters

Save Wolves Now

I would like to take lethal action

Our nation needs to take lethal action against WDFW!!!

Protect the Wolves

Hopefully the helicopter will crash and kill all these dumbf**ks

Can I say rocket launcher

Shoot them in the knee caps as they are not human to destroy wild life that was here before thy were! Shame Sham!!!

Shoot the bird down in the sky

Wolf Conservation Center

I wish someone ANYONE would shoot the sharpshooters!  I feel that would be a better solution.

I would k1ll every man that wants to kill nature.  This is what nature needs now, de4d stupid people.

Western Wildlife Conservation

They also flew over my land I pulled out the 3030 I will shoot the SOBS down the next time


Wish I could be there to shoot down that plane

Shoot down the planes!!!!!

In addition to these facebook postings of threats, other threats not specifically identified have been listed by WDFW and others:

“Prior to enactment of ESHB 1465, the Department has lethally removed wolves 3 times, 2012, 2014, and 2016.  Each time, we see effected producers harassed and receiving death threats, to them personally, their families, their children, and employees.  Department staff also received death threats.  Even stakeholders working with the Department have received threats.”

In total, these threats are coming from the radicalized environmental cartel and their acolytes.  WDFW and the FBI are taking these and other similar threats seriously.

Contrary to reporters and news organizations who would stretch the truth for the sake of appearing balanced, or perhaps because of threats, this point must be made clear; the danger, threats, and misdirection of resources to solve the wolf problems are absolutely not coming from ordinary law-abiding citizens, not from the ranchers or others in agricultural pursuits.  If nothing else is learned, it must be recognized our policies cannot be led or determined by litigation or threat, but rather from well-reasoned, factually based determinations that will result in sensible policy to manage wolves without harming people, pets, and livestock.

December 17, 2019