It seems as if the Bainbridge Island’s cougar is safe for now. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has indicated they will not kill the cougar unless it kills more livestock and WDFW is called in again. Your support and calls for saving the cougar came through loud and clear. Your voices have prompted WDFW staff and the Commissioners to look more closely at their cougar management program, especially as it relates to public education and we hope that they will pledge to use more science and less force. We will keep you informed as that progresses. We couldn’t have done it all without you!
That said, we are at a turning point for Washington’s wildlife. Governor Inslee is making new appointments to the Fish and Wildlife Commission. Currently the Commission is heavily weighted towards management by killing our wildlife instead of management using conservation science. As a result of that imbalance, the voices of all other citizens get drowned out by special interest groups. We need your help to make sure Governor Inslee knows that the people of Washington care about our wildlife, and want it to be managed responsibly, ethically and in accordance with the best available science.
Please take a few minutes to remind Governor Inslee and the Commission that they have a duty to manage the state’s wildlife for all of Washington’s citizens.
Take the following steps to make sure your voice is heard:
- address your email to “Governor Inslee, Commissioners, and Ms. Austin”, with a subject line of WDFW needs Science Minded Commissioners.
- send it to governor.JayInslee@gov.wa.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
- include your name and where you are from, so they know you are a Washington resident
- after you send your email, please forward a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep track of how many emails have been sent; and
- please ask two or three friends or family members who care about wildlife to do the same.
Your email does not need to be long, but it is important that it express your own thoughts about why it is important for the Department of Fish and Wildlife to represent all Washingtonians, and for the Commissioners who run the Department to prioritize conservation and listen to the science.
Here is some background information and talking points that might help you to write your email:
- Regardless of whether they hunt or fish, the next Commissioners that Inslee appoints must: (1) prioritize science in the management of wildlife populations; (2) understand that WDFW’s primary mission to “preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems”; and (3) be dedicated not only to conservation, but also to humane and ethical wildlife management.
- We challenge Governor Inslee to use his next Commission appointments to reform WDFW, and make sure it truly respects science, values conservation, and is committed to ethical wildlife management.
- WDFW has a responsibility to reflect the values of all Washingtonians, not just the tiny percentage that hunt.
- It is time for the Commission to stop listening to special interest groups, and start valuing science, and listening to their own experts.
We know you care about conservation, science, and ethics, it is time to demand that WDFW reflect your values.
Thank you for taking the time to speak out on behalf of our wildlife, and for encouraging your friends and family to do the same.