Amazingly, House Bill 2097 that threatens the endangered status of wolves in Washington state is still alive in the state Senate. It’s passed the full House and is now up for a second reading before the full Senate.
Even if you’ve already written, now is the time to call your state senator (type your address in here) and let him or her know that you oppose this bill. Leave a message tonight (Sunday) so they get it in the morning, or call first thing Monday before they vote.
While you’re on the phone, ask them to vote FOR HB 1026, which is also up for a Senate vote. It would prohibit a city or county from prohibiting the possession of a dog based upon its breed, imposing requirements specific to possession of a dog based upon its breed, or declaring a dog dangerous or potentially dangerous based upon its breed unless certain conditions are met.
Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
A bill by Washington Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, that asks the state to revisit whether wolves are endangered in Washington has passed the state house and is moving through the Senate, on track to pass.
H.B. 2097 calls for the Department of Fish and Wildlife—which has overseen the killing of wolves on behalf of Washington ranchers whose cattle graze on state land—to determine whether wolves are no longer endangered either statewide or in parts of Washington.
It also calls for more resources to implement nonlethal deterrents to wolf-livestock management, which would be a relief given that a former Washington State University wolf expert said he thought such deterrents were not being implemented properly.
A better solution would be for ranchers to stop grazing their livestock on public land. Barring that, if they do raise their cattle on public land, they could accept the risk that a small percentage might be lost to wolves. The state’s ratio of cattle to wolves is about 1 million to 120, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Yet 20% of the wolves have been killed, most of them for a single rancher.
The center calls for wildlife officials to “follow the science by ramping up nonlethal measures, opening their decisions to scientific peer review and public comment and do more to protect our endangered wolves, which after all is the agency’s mission.”
H.B. 2097 gets it half right. Asking an agency that’s acted on behalf of ranchers to decide whether to delist the wolves as endangered is the other half, and the reason to kill the bill.
Please contact your Washington state legislators (find them here) and ask them not to pass this bill.
If you have time to write more, here are talking points:
THANKS for you help in stopping the zoos from getting more of our tax dollars which they will use to confine and breed/capture wild animals.
The PRIVATE Woodland Park Zoo has its hand out for more taxpayer welfare in the upcoming King County Parks Levy.
Please urge the King County Council to remove the zoo from getting more tax dollars in the parks levy – money that should go to our beloved PUBLIC parks.
Woodland Park Zoo has already received more than $51 million dollars from King County taxpayers since 2008. In addition, Seattle taxpayers (who are also King County taxpayers) have forked over $133 million dollars to the zoo since 2002. The zoo also benefits from rent-free use of the valuable land on which it sits, rent-free buildings, and free ownership of its inventory: the animals.
It’s time for the PRIVATE zoo to be self-sustaining. Woodland Park Zoo’s gate attendance has declined over the past decade. The public is not supporting the caging and suffering of wild animals as they once did so it’s time to STOP financially supporting the Zoo.
Dear County Council,
Woodland Park Zoo is a private zoo, but it already uses valuable land rent-free. The parks levy should be for our beloved city parks, not a private zoo. Let this private zoo fund itself privately.
It’s hard to believe that’s what’s being proposed by this bill from Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda), Rep. Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) and Rep. Carolyn Eslick (R-Sultan), who start strong with mention of enthusiasm about wolves in Washington but quickly degrades into what appears to be sarcasm: “The ecological, economic, and spiritual benefits wolves have brought to eastern Washington needs to be shared with the rest of the state.”
Bainbridge Island “creates a natural border to keep the wolves isolated to an area where they can be protected, studied, and, most importantly, admired by the region’s animal lovers.
Therefore, the state should, “in an effort to perpetuate the species and minimize landowner conflicts, rely on the translocation of wolves as the primary tool for managing wolf-related wildlife interactions in the areas of the state where wolves are naturally occurring.”
Oh, and if they creat problems? “Lethal removal of wolves must be considered for every four confirmed wolf kills of domestic dogs; for every four confirmed wolf kills of domestic cats; and for every two confirmed wolf kills of children.”
Seriously, what century is this? Aren’t enough animals being farmed for fur — so many that companies sometimes misrepresent whether clothing they sell uses animal or faux fur — that we don’t need competitions to kill more? People are the beasts in this scenario.
Idaho Fish and Game are part of this depraved situation, which appears to be at least tacitly condoned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials, according to The Smokey Wire website, which is administered by Sharon Friedman, Ph.D., forest geneticist, Forest Service retiree (2012) and former chair of both the Forest Policy Committee and Forest Science and Technology Board at the Society of American Foresters.
What’s Idaho Fish and Game upset about? Of the 2.6 million cattle and sheep in Idaho at any given time, about 77 cattle and 61 sheep have been killed each year there since 2009, according to a post on The Smokey Wire by Matthew Koehler. That compares to fewer than 1,000 wolves, last time Idaho counted. It’s worth reading his whole post to learn more about this subject.
If you’re in Boise, please visit Idaho Fish and Game in person to let them know what you think: 600 S. Walnut, Boise, ID. If you’re not, please call them at (208) 334-3700 and call or email Idaho Fish and Game Commission Members:
You also can call the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which funds the wolf hunt: 800-225-5355.
Robb Krehbiel of Defenders of Wildlife sent out a call in The Seattle Times just after Christmas for Washingtonians to tell their lawmakers they want the next Interior Secretary to finish the job that Ryan Zinke stalled.
Zinke visited the state in March and committed his agency to completing a plan to bring grizzlies bak to the North Cascades by the end of last summer.
He didn’t do it, despite more than 126,000 public comments during the 15-week-long public-comment period and 45-day extension requested by local governments. “With 80 percent of Washington voters in favor of grizzly recovery, there is strong public support for the Interior Department to complete this process,” Krehbiel writes.
“With Zinke out as Interior Secretary, we need our congressional delegation to insist that the next office holder work with Washington state to finish the job and bring grizzly bears home to the North Cascades.”
Please find your Washington legislators here and ask them to tell the Department of the Interior to restart this project.
Here’s a celebration of a lack of empathy: To reward people who’ve learned coyote calls well enough to lure them to their deaths, the United States Predator Challenge invites people from three parts of the country to kill coyotes and bring their carcasses to three locations for counting toward a depraved contest entry.
The website reads, “We want to stress the importance that to win one of these regional contests will be HUGE… and to win the overall Championship will truly set the bar in the predator calling world.”
In an action alert, Project Coyote asks that you:
A quick roundup of this week’s animal news — with a request that you call the governor.
First, the grim: Cinder the bear, who was rescued as a badly burned cub in eastern Washington several years ago, was treated successfully by the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Center and released successfully by Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation. They found her in her den outside Leavenworth a couple years later, well fed and doing well. and found to be doing well when her radio collar was replaced in a den outside Leavenworth a couple years after her release. But this week, her skeleton was found: She was killed by a hunter last fall. It’s heartbreaking. As one commenter on the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation Facebook page put it, “She had a rough life.” As one of the rescuers said, wild animals including bears would prefer five days of freedom to a lifetime in captivity — so at least she had a couple good years. I’m trying to hold onto the latter thought. It’s more than some animals enjoy.
Now for the more hopeful: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is asking for $1.1 billion and a three-year ban on orca watching in an effort to save the southern resident orcas — the orcas who frequent Puget Sound. Please spread the word that whale watching is harmful. As Gov. Inslee called the temporary ban “a relatively small inconvenience to give them a break. … Someone who is starving should not be scrambling for that last morsel that can keep them alive.”
Finally, more good news: Amazon said it will stop selling illegal foie gras in California. That means they were selling it before. And a lawsuit pushed them to this. But at least they’re stopping.
The Center for Biological Diversity published a full-page ad in today’s Seattle Times calling on people to call Gov. Inslee and demand that he stop the senseless killing of Washington’s endangered wolves.
That makes tomorrow — Monday — a great time for us all to call at once, to send a message.
GOV. INSLEE: 360-902-4111
Please also sign the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition for Gov. Inslee.
The center’s ad reads: “Governor Inslee: STOP the SENSELESS KILLING of WASHINGTON’S ENDANGERED WOLVES. More than 20 wolves have already been gunned down by the state, including 18 to appease one rancher who refuses to take reasonable steps to protect his cattle, like removing them from known wolf den and rendezvous sites. It’s cruel, counter to science and a waste of taxpayer money
“Washington has more than 1 million cattle and approximately 120 wolves. Conflicts between cattle and wolves are rare, affecting only a handful of Washington’s cattle annually. In response the state has killed 20 percent of Washington’s endangered wolves, destroying wolf families and even killing pups.
Science shows that killing wolves is not effective at reducing conflicts and may actually create more. The only methods scientifically proven to work are nonlethal.
And yet: The state has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on helicopter snipers to gun down endangered wolves, and spent more than $1 million on a consultant for its wolf-killing program.
“HERE’S WHAT MUST CHANGE:
Also see previous posts on this blog: