Target: Governor Jay Inslee of Washington
Goal: Protect wolves from retribution killing within the state of Washington
Wolves have fallen victim to retribution killing. Farmers all over the Unites States fear a wolf’s presence near their livestock and will stop at nothing to ensure a wolf does not make a meal of their livelihood. While this protective offense is understandable, many farmers will shoot a wolf before developing more wolf-friendly deterrents, such as fortified fencing or livestock relocation. In order to gain adequate protection from trigger-happy farmers, wolves need the law on their side. In Washington State, lawmakers seem to have turned their backs on one group of wolves, instead encouraging farmers to shoot nuisance wolves without first exploring other options.
Farmers in Washington are experiencing significant livestock depredation. In causation, wolves have been experiencing significant lifestyle changes for many years, including changing climate and habitat loss. In order to survive, many wolves will prey on livestock if given the opportunity. Of course, farmers do not welcome this behavior. In attempts to force farmers to find alternatives to killing wolves, several activist groups in Washington approached the government with requests to enforce rules for when a farmer is allowed to kill a wolf- urging for alternative solutions to murder. These requests have been denied and, instead, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has allowed a sheep owner to kill several members of a Washington wolf pack.
Retribution killing is often a hasty reaction to a wolf’s presence, or the loss of even one livestock member. Many livestock owners do not go to extensive lengths to protect their animals, instead taking the easier route of killing wolves. With strict rules in place and enforced in favor of wolves, livestock owners would be forced to consider all protection options, instead of murder. Killing the wolves does not solve the long-term issue of livestock deprivation; it only further endangers wolf populations and devalues their lives. Urge the governor of Washington to side with the state’s struggling wolf population.
Dear Governor Jay Inslee,
The wolf population of Washington State needs your protection. Particularly the Wedge Pack and Huckleberry Pack have experienced retribution killing from upset, yet lax farmers. Many activist groups have approached you about better protecting these wolves, encouraging harsher rules for when a farmer is allowed to kill a wolf; you dismissed their concerns in favor of farmers with hefty livestock numbers.
Mr. Inslee, I urge you to reconsider this skewed support. With harsher rules in place, farmers would need to devise alternative solutions for protecting their livestock, instead of resorting to killing many wolf pack members. The wolves are victim in this scenario, too, facing sever habitat loss and adapting to a changing climate. They are only trying to survive. Please help the wolves and livestock survive, and exist together without incident, by instating rules for farmers. The wildlife of Washington is your concern, along with farmers. Please stop favoring one over the other.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Retron via Wikipedia