[Author's Note: Before the cards and letters start flowing, I am really not making any statements in the above about taking pills or eating mushrooms one way or another, but I am advocating engaging in the type of advocacy some of us experienced in the 1960s or are trying to encourage during these times of needed change. Be the "White Rabbit" for the wolf and I look forward to seeing many of you at the auction this coming weekend. Bob]
By Bob Ferris
I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s and watched Westerns with my dad. We liked the action, wildness and, at times, the messaging contained in the films about cowboys, mountain men, desperados and the first folks in the Americans. Somewhere in the proteinaceous filing cabinets of my brain I am sure that I have a collection of favorite scenes and lines. And one of my favorites is the scene between Clint Eastwood and the late Will Sampson in The Outlaw Josey Wales (below).
I think of this clip because I was just getting briefed on Nick Cady’s trip to Washington to speak before the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf team on behalf of these recovering canids. Our intent in sending Nick to Olympia was two-fold. First, after developing a relatively strong Wolf Plan in Washington, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, under pressure from the livestock industry, has been steadily whittling away at protections for wolves. And clearly the Wedge Pack train wreck still stings and we wanted to make absolutely sure that happenstance was not repeated.
Our second intent was to bring what we have crafted through nearly two years of negotiation in Oregon north so that parties in Washington can benefit from all the hard work and lessons—both good and bad—that we have learned through our efforts in Oregon.
The message delivered by Nick and others in our collation is much like the movie’s in that it proffers a clear choice between a path of unpleasant and painful, mutual destruction or one where we figure out exactly what we need to do to live relatively peacefully together. Our preference is for the latter as our experience tells us that the most creative and effective solutions come from situation with similar dynamics, but we are also fully prepared for the former.
“Silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor.” Ginetta Sagan
In a comprehensive five-year process, Washington’s wolf plan was crafted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife with input from a 17-member stakeholder group; more than 65,000 written comments from the public; and a peer review by 43 scientists and wolf managers from outside the state. Yet despite the plan’s formal adoption by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in December 2011, department officials have publicly stated they view the plan as merely advisory and have recently proposed numerous amendments to Washington’s Administrative Code that significantly depart from the wolf plan’s provisions.
For additional information and background please see:
By Verlyn Klinkenborg
June 1, 2013
The 1973 Endangered Species Act provides federal protection — breathing space, in a very real sense — to plants and animals threatened with extinction. Had this task been left to the states alone, almost none of the species that have returned to health would have done so.
But the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service now plans to remove wolves from the endangered list in all 48 contiguous states and transfer control over their fate to the states. This may save the department from running battles with Congress, state officials and hunters about protecting the wolf. Whether it will save the animal is another matter.
Thanks entirely to federal protections, wolves have rebounded remarkably in some places. There are now about 4,000 in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and 1,600 or so more in the Rocky Mountain states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Interior has gradually delisted the wolves in all these places because, it says, their numbers are enough to guarantee survival. And it is not necessary to their survival, the service says, to protect wolves elsewhere.
Peter DeFazio » Congress members seek continued wolf protections