Apex Director Paula Ficara’s testimonial presented in Portland, Oregon at the May 18th Wolf Plan Hearing


Chair Finely, Director Melcher, and Members of the Commission,

My name is Paula Ficara. I am the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Apex Protection Project, a 501c3 non-profit wolf and wolfdog rescue, education, and advocacy organization based out of Los Angeles County. I spoke at the recent hearing held in Portland and am submitting my written testimony on behalf of our over 7000 supporters nationwide.

I attended and spoke at your hearing regarding the new draft of your Wolf Plan because we at Apex believe that the issue of “wolf management” is not a state issue, it’s a national issue and one we take very seriously.

Our nation’s general public is moving into a new era – an era of heightened ethical awareness in regard to the stewardship of our environment. As you know, wolves play a most important role in keeping the ecosystem healthy and in balance. The majority of the general public, not only in Oregon but nationwide, would like to see that instead of their population being kept at the bare minimum, wolves are allowed to grow to the scientifically recommended healthy number naturally and supported.

When California was putting its first wolf management plan in place several years ago, we looked to Oregon for guidance because Oregon had the reputation of being a leader in wildlife care. Regarding the present draft suggestions on Oregon’s Wolf Plan, we ask that you continue that leadership by following the guidance and recommendations presented by the environmental panel at the Portland hearing as well as that presented by Predator Defense and Pacific Wolf Coalition. We also ask that you do not allow the hunting and trapping of wolves in Oregon now or ever. Trapping and snaring is inhumane torture and should be made fully illegal; no exceptions. No animal deserves that kind of suffering.

Apex is fully aware that the ranching community feels alienated by the general public, especially the urban community, and that there is constant pressure given by the ranching community to government agencies to eliminate wolves. Apex is taking strides in supporting the ranching community through education about wolves and practicing non-lethal coexistence. We understand that this is a new way of ranching for many ranchers, but this is what the majority of their consumers is requesting. We also acknowledge that government agencies are not provided funding to help ranchers implement the new tools and techniques that support non-lethal coexistence. We ask that you develop innovative ways that the general public can help government agencies fund non-lethal practices and provide the ranchers of Oregon with the tools and support they need so that the predators they coexist in nature with are protected as well as their livestock. There are very successful groups working hand in hand with ranchers to dispel their fears and help them thrive with non-lethal coexistence practices. Two of these groups are The Working Circle Collaborative out of The California Wolf Center and The Blackfoot Challenge in Montana. We ask that you find a way to support, recommend, and make available their services to Oregon Ranchers. We believe public support is out there. We are already seeing it. We ask that you actively find ways of involving the public in this mission of finding middle-ground and continue protecting wolves ethically in your wolf management plan.

It was an honor to meet you all at the hearing. Thank you for the work you do and for your openness and welcoming us to your state.

Sincerely,

Paula Ficara
Co-Founder / Executive Director
Apex Protection Project
apexprotectionproject.org
paula@apexprotectionproject.org
(661) 575-9261

Apex Protection Project is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to protecting wolves and wolfdogs through educational experiences, rescue, and advocacy with the dream of living in a world where the wolf and all species are highly valued, protected, and respected for the balance they bring to the ecosystem and for the gifts they offer to humanity.