Unfolding Huckleberry Pack Tragedy—We Have Been Here Before

By Bob Ferris
 
A little more than 20 years ago I started administering the wolf compensation program for Defenders of Wildlife.  huckleberry_pupsThat meant that every compensation claim during my nearly eight years with the organization had to go through me to get signed and then paid.  That also meant that I had to know the wolf side of the equation and understand the rancher or livestock owner's side as well.  So I look at the Huckleberry Pack (video of pups in 2012 below picture above right) situation through that lens and what I am seeing (and hearing) bothers me.
 

The lack of agency transparency and the clear bias towards the livestock producer’s rights rather than responsibilities is troubling in this situation involving an endangered species, but what irks me most is that I have written this piece before–twice in fact (1,2).  This is the Wedge Pack incidence played out again only with sheep instead of cattle and on private lands rather than public.   
 
Certainly Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has made progress in terms of trying to do what is right by the species under their care, but it is very much a work in progress and very far away from the model we see to the south in Oregon.  The agency has to do better and one way to get them to do that is to respectfully ask Governor Jay Inslee to intercede.  So please click the below button to take action on this critical wolf issue and also spread it around to other activists.  
 
 
 
 
 

13 thoughts on “Unfolding Huckleberry Pack Tragedy—We Have Been Here Before

  1. james says:

    Please stand up for wolfs they have to right to live like anything else! please share this page and take action!.

  2. DONT YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND PLAIN ENGLISH AND COMMON SENSE WOLVES ARE ESSENTIAL TOO OUR ECO SYSTEM AND SURVIVAL OF US ALL . STOP HUNTING AND KILLING THESE LOVELY ANIMALS ABD HUNTING THEM TOO EXTINCTION WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU IDIOTS . IF YOU KEEP KILLING ALL THE WILDLIFE WE WILL NOT SURVIVE WITHOUT THE ANIMALS . NOW WHAT PART OF THIS DO YOU IDIOTS NOT UNDERSTAND . STOP THIS NOW .

  3. Navaneeth says:

    Stop killing innocent animals…we don't have any hecking right to kill them…!!!

  4. Tim says:

    Karen Wilkins could you please explain how wolves are essential to our eco system and our own survival. Serious question. I’m not saying they are not, I would just like to understand why so many people don’t think others have the the right to protect their property and animals. Im not against wolves but you cant just let whatever happen. If the wolves are living in the wilderness naturally thats fine, but if their killing peoples pets and livestock isnt that a problem?

    1. Jennifer Lockett says:

      I think people who let their pets roam outside unsupervised are exposing them to dangers outside of wolf predation. Cars, cruel people, eagles, other large raptors, exposure to disease etc are all potential threats to non-human animal companions left to the outdoors on their own.  Although I live in an urban area, there are eagles nesting not far from where I live and they will take small pets if they are outside unattended.  So my cats stay inside where it is safe and I make certain to provide stimulation with playtime and an environment that provides fun without the dangers of the outdoors.  

      In terms of our own survival – I'd say the less we care about those we should be seeking to co-exist with, the less we care about the environment at large.  As ecosystems decline, so do the opportunities we have to connect with the larger world. And thus become even more dissatisfied with modern life.  It is sad that many animals have become extinct, when there is no reason for them to be outside of human greed and self-interests.  And not to think that is a problem is textbook narcissism. A world full of narcissists? Gross. We may still exist and survive, but will it be a life worth living? Maybe for some.  But it probably won't be a fullfulling one. 

      For the predation – from what I understand the farmer parked his flock in known wolf territory.  I have the capacity for reason, but if my roommate decided to bake a fresh peach pie and leave it in my room I'd probably eat some without asking first.  I think people need to be smart about raising livestock with predators around.  And that takes effort.  I've found most to be cognitively laxy.  WDFW is protecting this one, single sheep farmer from incurring the expense of non-lethal deterrance and taxpayers are incurring the cost of an ill-advised slaughter.  He should have implemented preventative measures from the start, beginning with not putting his sheep in their path. The alphas could have been monitored with collars – they weren't.  Knowing their habits and exact movements in their territory would have gone a long way to preventing this.  Washington state will also reimburse farmers for loss of stock IF they are using proven strategies designed to prevent predation from wolves.  And this farmer wasn't do anything. It would be a lot cheaper to replace the stock than hiring an aerial gunman to cruelly hunt down and massacre this pack for doing what comes naturally to them.  Which is to eat prey animals.  Very stupid, fear based, ignorant reactions.  WDFW director is stepping down soon.  I hope the next one possesses more critial thinking skills than the current one.  This is very sad and unnecessary. The wolf killed on Sunday was a 3 month old female baby. 

  5. somsai says:

    Well no one could ever accuse you of being a quick study. 

    How would a wolf compensation plan be measured a success? Ranchers would be happy to accept the wolf in their midst because the compensation would more than make up for the loss of stock and all the hassel of extra precautions to guard against predation etc. Didn't happen, ranchers still pissed. Only scientific study I ever heard of showed one confirmed kill for every 7 head of cattle lost. All that time, all that money, and you blew it. Failure. 

    Water under the bridge.

    So they have to wipe out a pack. I mean so what, who cares. What effect will wiping out the Hucklberry pack have on the species, absolutely none, and I'm sure you know that if you can think back to those classes in wildlife biology I thought you had. But what really bothers me is that you fully understood and agreed that lethal control would be used on wolves when you helped to bring them here, and you agreed. That's the price of having wolves in the Rocky Mountains. 

    Wolves will be managed (killed) under state control when they are at whatever level the individual states see fit, as long as that level is above whatever minimum population that is agreed on. What was it anyway? Ten packs or producing pair per state? You must know those numbers by heart, you did after all agree right? And if you forgot you can just dial up Jamie who used to run the USFW but through the revoving door of our govt amazingly found herself a cushy high paying (pay off) job at Defenders (of certain kinds of). 

    Donations down? Carter flogging his book to flagging sales? Ed had the good sense to get while the getting was good, maybe you should consider it.

    1. bob says:

      Hey Robb,

      Fence business slow?  No Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation fundraiser this evening in Colorado?  As usual you are coming into a conversation armed with rhetroic and little in the way of facts.  These are a state listed species in this area so we are dealing with state numbers not federal and trying to get the state to obey the spirit of their own laws.

      Bob Ferris. 

  6. verna says:

    Im begging you stop the slaughter killing of our beautifull wolves,they are a part of the eco system,because in the not to distant future there wont be a wolf left in the world,this is so sad to know that our beautifull wolf will become extinct.But also they belong to our beautifull world,they are a part of this world the same as any other creature

    1. Tim says:

      They’re not slaughtering your beautiful wolves, they are managing them. As far as the wolves going extinct, that doesnt seem to be the trend. Why can’t the wolf lovers and haters use common sense and realize that while we shouldnt kill off every wolf we also shouldnt have an issue with removing a few if needed. Im not sure where all of you that think N.E WA can handle an infinite amount of wolves live, but I live there and it cant. Its not fair to the wolves to let their numbers grow to the point where theres no other choice but to remove them. This isnt the remote uninhabited land that many of you seem to think. There is only a limited amount of natural prey and once those are gone then what? The number of wolves has to be low enough to allow the prey species to reproduce to support healthy wolf packs. We can only support a few packs for any length of time and we are already past that. Its all about a healthy balance and that takes management. Ther is only so much room and food for them. Why cant many of you understand that?

  7. eh-hmm says:

    Wolves are not attacking any of the fat corporate ranchers in Ferry/Stevens Cty, WA.  The corporate vermin are attacking the wolves.  Period.

  8. Ida Lupine says:

    Because as time goes on, the amount of 'room and food' and habitat for them will continue to shrink due to human needs taking precedence as our population and needs and sense of entitlement continue to grow unabated, habitat, recreation, energy, anything and everything will take precedence.   There needs to be protections from humans for them and other wildlife.   A rancher has to have some responsibility for their own livestock.

  9. Janice Sampo says:

    Please stop these killings against the Huckleberry Wolve Pack!

  10. marie Milne says:

    Please don't kill these beautiful animals… They are not dangerous and the world needs them x

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