wolves in washington, protect the wolves

Read this and tell us what you think? Is Joel Kretz making indirect Death Threats against Dr. Wielgus? It would appear so to a prudent individual… Yet Kretz is still in office… WTF is WRONG in WASHINGTON STATE???? How is it that our Elected Officials let this Public Trust Violator to continue in any elected capacity? Look at the special interest influence by Tom Davis… Tom Davis needs to be removed from WAG as well!

Please sign our Petition to Impeach Joel Kretz: Washington Residents do not need this type of Politician… He is creating a huge Blackeye for Washington State.  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/113/746/578/impeach-joel-kretz-for-ethics-violation/

Joel Kretzs Indirect Death Threat: Attempting to get Individuals to harass Dr. Wielgus

“He ought to be drawn and quartered and a chunk of him left everywhere in the district,” Kretz said in an interview then with The Seattle Times, saying Wielgus had a vendetta against McIrvin.

Kretz, incensed, demanded an apology from WSU just as public as the remarks Wielgus had made — and got it. The university quickly issued a news release disavowing Wielgus’s statements and asserting that Wielgus had admitted he had no basis in fact for making them.

In a letter of concern written into his personnel file, Wielgus was instructed by Ron Mittelhammer, the dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences to have no further contact with the media without first clearing his statements with WSU. Wielgus duly went silent as the furor raged.

“He ought to be drawn and quartered and a chunk of him left everywhere in the district,” Kretz said in an interview then with The Seattle Times, saying Wielgus had a vendetta against McIrvin.

“I think he is agenda-driven; it’s incredible damage,” Kretz said. “This is not science, it is advocacy. I would say it’s beyond advocacy, it’s baldfaced lying to the public. I don’t want to see a nickel go through his hands.”

Wielgus says today that he could have been more diplomatic; his public remarks at the time included saying “go ahead and quote me: ‘Wherever McIrvin grazes … dead wolves follow.’ Quote me. He’ll be proud of it!”

Confusing message

Wielgus’ conflicts with the university would continue, after he emailed a news release reporting the latest findings from his lab to the state’s Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) and others as the group debated wolf policy for 2017.

Wolf kills of livestock were exceedingly rare, Wielgus reported, occurring in fewer than 1 percent of the livestock tracked by his lab. Only in the case of the Profanity Peak pack, where cattle and a salt block to attract them were milling around the wolves’ activity area, had there been multiple calf kills, more than anywhere else surveyed, Wielgus reported.

Wielgus had sent the release to WSU communications staff and administrators and received preapproval by Mittelhammer before putting it out as his personal opinion and not on behalf of the university, as they requested. But that strategy, intended to create distance between Wielgus and WSU, just created confusion.

In an email to Mulick, the WSU state relations director, Tom Davis, of the Washington Farm Bureau and a WAG member, objected that Wielgus was sending out a press release about his publicly funded research findings but labeling them his personal opinion. He also said he wouldn’t attend the meeting if Wielgus was allowed to speak.

Mittelhammer went into response mode, personally meeting with Kretz and other lawmakers, then attending the advisory group meeting with several WSU officials. He followed up with a letter to lawmakers on April 12 reassuring them “while an irritant, the deliberations of the WAG were fortunately not significantly affected by Dr. Wielgus’ attempt to influence the group’s deliberations through the dissemination of his so-called “press release” document.

“That said, on a more individual and personal basis, it did also appear that Dr. Wielgus’ actions did negatively impact a number of individuals in the room who felt that the document reinvigorated negative feelings toward ranchers by wolf protectionists.”

He assured the lawmakers he had sent Wielgus a second “memo of concern,” and promised to follow up with investigations of whether Wielgus had broken state law by illegal lobbying and sending the press release on his state email account. He also promised an internal review of Wielgus’ 2014 wolf paper.

By May, WSU President Kirk Schulz informed Mittelhammer he was concerned WSU might be branded with an “anti-ranching sentiment.”

In other emails, the university president and Mittelhammer agreed they needed to address the school’s relationship with ranchers in future faculty hires. “I feel that they need an internal champion or person that they can work with,” Schulz wrote.

“No evidence of research misconduct”

By then, WSU had cleared Wielgus of any scientific wrongdoing. On May 29, Christopher Keane, the vice president for research at WSU, wrote Kretz and Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, thanking them for meeting with him in Olympia to express concern about Wielgus’ research.

However, the result of the subsequent independent review completed by a WSU statistician was clear: “There is no evidence of research misconduct in this matter,” Keane wrote.

But for faculty at WSU, the message nonetheless was clear, said Donna Potts, president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the nation’s oldest and largest advocacy group for academic freedom. “It was very disturbing; I had never seen anything like it,” Potts, a member of the English department, said of WSU’s treatment of a senior faculty member.