Citizens have asked: Who am I endorsing for county commissioner and why? I strongly feel Mark Beck is the best qualified candidate. Several years ago when Mark was our fire chief, I called him to discuss my plan for wildfire protection. He came out and had very helpful suggestions. I am disappointed in the leadership of Wes McCart as the leader of Farm Bureau when he failed to recognize and support Stevens County in the early planning stages to resolve the coming wolf problem.
Several years ago, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife created a wolf working group composed of 17 members from a list of 56 applicants, one of the members was John Stuhlmiller a Farm Bureau staff member and legislative lobbyist. Shortly after this Stuhlmiller contacted me asking for help on wolf behavior as he knew little about their habits and had heard that I had spent several years hunting wolves in Quebec, Canada.
The working group was sharply divided between environmental protectionists and the cattleman’s association together with sportsmen’s groups. After a long period of time and many heated meetings, the group voted on how best to manage the coming wolf population. Stuhlmiller and the sheep growers representative voted with the environmental group. The vote was 11 to 6 creating a decision throughout the state that the coming wolf population would not be detrimental to agriculture or wildlife.
At this same time McCart was involved in county farm bureau activities as county president. He could have and should have influenced Stuhlmiller to work with the cattlemen and sportsmen, as wolves and ungulates are like oil and water (they don’t mix). The signs were on the news of what has been happening in Idaho and Montana. This blunder will be quite costly to the economics of our county.
Former Stevens County Commissioner