“KURZ and MALETZKE impeded an official investigation and lied during questioning to a deputy (Chief Criminal Deputy Brown) by not providing the name of the FS employee, by failing to provide information about wolf presence during the rescue, by lying to Deputy Brown about the distance to the scene and the condition of the route.“
Introduction by Editor
Steve McLaughlin is the Republican candidate for Washington’s State Public Lands Commissioner. He has degrees in Biology and Public Health as well as an extensive background in military service. He is also the founder of Liberty Watch Washington. On July 13 he posted a public response on Facebook to media reports about the incident in which a Forest Service watershed researcher was chased and driven up a tree by a pack of wolves. According to his account, U.S. Fish & Wildlife and Washington Department of Wildlife agents both impeded and tried to hide details of the attack from local law enforcement officials attempting to investigate the incident. It appears that the Washington wildlife officials also put the well being of wolves before that of the endangered researcher when they delayed her rescue by helicopter. And for whatever reasons, the identity of the researcher–possibly due to embarrassment because of a common misjudgment of wolves predatory nature–was withheld from the local Sheriff’s Department. On July 13, Steve McLaughlin posted the following on Facebook.
OKANOGAN WOLF INCIDENT UPDATE
On July 12, a forest service worker conducting a watershed study was surrounded and was forced to evade a wolfpack by climbing a tree.
1. A WA Department of Natural Resources Helicopter was dispatched to the scene by the NE Washington Inter-Agency Communications Center in Colville.
2. WDFW told the helicopter crew to stand down. In the interest of public safety, the crew continued on their mission and effected the rescue of the FS employee. Upon arrival at the scene, the flight crew spotted several wolves surrounded the tree where the FS employee was taking refuge. OKANOGAN COUNTY DEPUTIES WERE NOT PRESENT DURING THE RESCUE.
3. Lethal removal of wolves was authorized by the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Incident Commander. This call was supported by Sheriff Rogers. NO WOLVES WERE KILLED.
4. Okanogan County Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Brown launched an investigation to determine if wolves in the area of Tiffany Springs could pose a threat to the public.
5. On 13 July, Deputy Brown and a team of investigators drove to the scene and began to proceed to the scene of the incident. Enroute to the incident, the investigation team encountered USFWS Biologist, Gregg Kurz and WDFW wolf specialist, Benjamin Maletzke. A conversation ensued. When asked, KURZ told Deputy Brown that the girl would not provide her name for security reasons. Deputies are still trying to get her name for investigative purposes and I will not provide her name for her own safety. KURZ also said the employee did not flee, but instead deployed repellent. KURZ said the employee was ineffective, so she climbed a tree to evade the threat. KURZ also informed Deputy Brown that the scene of the incident was actually a wolf rendezvous site.
6. KURZ also informed Deputy Brown that if he proceeded to the site, he would be charged with interfering with a federally protected species. Deputy Brown told KURZ that he faced arrest for impeding an active investigation. Deputy Brown and team proceeded about 1 mile to the incident scene.
7. While enroute to the scene, deputies located game cameras and a well cut trail to the site. During the conversation w/ KURZ, deputies were informed that the route to the incident was quite a distance away and there was significant deadfall along the route, contrary to what deputies found.
1. Many thanks to my friend Commissioner Franz for the use of the helicopter and aircrew as well as affecting the rescue!
2. WDFW showed incredibly poor judgment in calling on the helicopter crew to stand down when human life was threatened. the flight crew deserves a reward for their actions
3. OKSO deputies were correct in their decision to exercise lethal control if it was necessary as this was a rescue situation from threatening wolves. I encourage those reading this to see my previous post on the stages of habituation to human activity. The Sheriff’s office had the authority to act, the duty to act, and they were correct in their decisions.
5. KURZ and MALETZKE impeded an official investigation and lied during questioning to a deputy (Chief Criminal Deputy Brown) by not providing the name of the FS employee, by failing to provide information about wolf presence during the rescue, by lying to Deputy Brown about the distance to the scene and the condition of the route.
1. WDFW MUST stop the lying and withholding of information to the public about wolf presence. WDFW is creating A PUBLIC RELATIONS NIGHTMARE FOR WDFW and USFWS. In the wolf management plan, the WDFW will partner with ranchers and the public to minimize wolf/human/livestock conflict. Clearly the partnership is broken because the department is not acting in good faith. Each partner should act in a manner that contributes the the success of the other partner!.
2. My comment stands about the need to remove the WDFW conflict specialist for failing to act and for calling the FS employee “Stupid!”
I’m certain there is more to follow. We’ll see how truthful WDFW really is…..or isn’t!
Thank you for reading our latest report, but before you go…
Our loyalty is to the truth and to YOU, our readers!
We respect your reading experience, and have refrained from putting up a paywall and obnoxious advertisements, which means that we get by on small donations from people like you. We’re not asking for much, but any amount that you can give goes a long way to securing a better future for the people who make America great.
For as little as $1 you can support Free Range Report, and it takes only a moment.