Wolf Haven has rescued nearly 200 wolves
On April 17, an Our Views column of The Olympian summarized the recent court ruling against Susan Sergojan, former director of Wolf Haven International. There is an important error in the article and several critical omissions. It was Wolf Haven’s own animal care staff that videotaped an ailing Akela in an effort to convince Sergojan that he needed euthanasia. Staff (and volunteers) were united in their concern for Akela and released the video to media in an effort to proceed with the euthanasia.
The article casts an unfounded shadow on Wolf Haven. Everyone at Wolf Haven has worked overtime in the fulfillment of our basic mission to rescue and provide lifetime care to captive born wolves. Wolf Haven was found fully compliant with Department of Agriculture inspections prior to this single incident, and since late 2005 received a score of 100 percent on annual inspections. Wolf Haven has rescued nearly 200 wolves, often from horrific circumstances.
Many people are unaware that Wolf Haven is a participant in the Species Survival Plan for red and Mexican wolves. Wolf Haven is one of three pre-release breeding facilities in the U.S. for Mexican gray wolves. Two packs of Mexican wolves have been released from Wolf Haven to Arizona’s Apache National Forest.
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Wolf Haven enjoys support from conservationists, federal/state agencies, other nonprofit organizations, and the public at large. We wouldn’t still be here, 28 years later, were it not for the recognition we receive for our efforts. Please visit Wolf Haven and see for yourself.
John Blankenship, Executive director Wolf Haven International
Rob McKenna is just doing his job
Rob McKenna is exactly what I want in an attorney general — someone who puts the law first and lawmakers second, no matter who they are. We need health care reform, but not the kind just passed in Congress.
It is also interesting to note that McKenna’s objections would not apply to a public option if we had been offered one, or even apply to socialized medicine. Gov. Chris Gregoire and the rest of the Democrats should take a moment to remember how Rob McKenna stuck by the law and the legal process through all three of the vote counts and recounts that put her in office, at great political risk to himself.
I think we should all be glad to have an attorney general with so much backbone and shows so little partisanship in times like these. So please, let the man do his job. If the voters did not feel that he represented them, we would not have put him in office — twice — with no recount needed.
John Heimburg, Olympia
Clear-cut not the cause of slide
The Olympian’s coverage of the Ranch House settlement contained erroneous charges that clear-cut harvest caused the slides that destroyed the restaurant. Here are the facts:
An exceptional weather event caused two debris avalanches to start in 60-year-old mature timber with no clear-cutting or roads involved. One stand had been thinned. The two debris avalanches combined to proceed for an extended distance, striking and heavily damaging the restaurant.
The restaurant was — and is — sited on a historic outwash plain subject to similar occurrences since the last ice age. Slides occurred through the historic past and will continue in the future regardless of land use activities.
To blame timber harvest, especially clear-cutting, is rhetorical obfuscation at its finest. To ignore the obvious problem of re-locating the restaurant on a historic geologic hazard site is foolhardy. This is not an issue of timber harvest; it is an issue of hazard avoidance, or lack thereof.
So, why did the Department of Natural Resources settle? It is a sad reality that it is cheaper to settle than it is to seek true justice. DNR and trust beneficiaries, however, deserve to have the full story told.
Bob Dick, Shelton
State employees are taxpayers, too
Hooray for still another logical statement from our illustrious Senate leaders as appeared in a recent Olympian: “Majority Democrats, led by Senator Lisa Brown (Spokane), pushed for the temporary layoffs (of state employees). They argue that state workers should share in the sacrifices that taxpayers face as a result of tax increases.”
Apparently, these folks do not realize or accept that state workers are real people who are also taxpayers — drink beer and/or water, use tobacco products and eat candy.
It sounds to me like double punishment — pay the new taxes and lose 10 days pay as well.
Isn’t stupidity wonderful?
Jack Bozarth, Rochester