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Author Topic: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden  (Read 4009 times)

Offline andersonjk4

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An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:12:22 AM »
This is a long winded post to begin with, but I hope all will take the time to read through it eventually.  Moderators please feel free to relocated as seen fit, but I wanted to get this in front of as many eyes as possible:

After reading a few of the threads on here regarding the WDFW's hiring of the conflict resolution consultant and reading mostly negative comments I decided I would do some research and try to gather more information on the situation.  My thinking was "If this is really as bad as everyone was/is making is seem then we (hunters) need to do something to change this".  I started by going back and reading the paper she published with the WDFW: People and Wolves in Washington: Stakeholder Conflict Assessment and Recommendations for Conflict Transformation
 (https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01719/wdfw01719.pdf)
In this paper I discovered that the author portray's hunter's as an important stakeholder in the wolf recovery debate and gives, in my opinion, a very accurate assessment of the sentiments of hunters towards wolves, wolf recovery and the WDFW handling of wolves in general.  I then went to the Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaboration, the organization she represents, website.  There I found a strong message of coexisting and coming together for the good of wildlife.  What I didn't find was any mention of or indication that the voice of hunters was part of their collaborative.  This is where I decided I needed to take some action and not just get onto the forum and rant and rave.  I decided to reach out to Francine Madden and let her know that I thought were portrayal of hunters in her paper was fair, but in order to bring in the support of the hunting community I urged her to consider adding a legitimate hunting presence to her organization's committees.  I fully expected a canned "thank you for your email and your comments will be considered" type of email in response and for her to not really take it seriously.  Instead I received a very thoughtful and thorough response almost immediately.  I will share my email and her response below.  Out of courtesy, I made sure she was ok with me sharing our conversation and she was more than accepting of me wanting to share it. 

My intent in sharing this and starting this thread is not to push any wolf related agenda or try and convince anyone of any wolf related issues.  (I have not stated mine or any other wolf related opinions in this thread or my conversation with Francine for a reason).  The only agenda I am pushing here is to get the voice of the hunter heard and try and get us a seat at the table.  My intent is to try and show hunters that our voice can be heard if we are willing to put forth the effort.  That being said Francine is looking for continued input from the hunting community and this may end up being a good place for constructive discussion regarding the next phase of the wolf recovery plan development.

My original email:

Hello,

I have been following the work you have been involved in with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding wolf-human conflict resolution.  I read your paper People and Wolves in Washington: Stakeholder Conflict Assessment and Recommendations for Conflict Transformation, and appreciate your consideration of all user groups and how their stake in the issue.  Within this document, I feel you have portrayed a fair assessment of hunters and our sentiment toward wolves and wolf-human conflict.  However, I have seen a high level of distrust and negative sentiment from the hunting community toward you and your organization.  This stems mainly from the affiliations of a majority of the committee members you list on your website.  Many of these affiliations have a reputation for being staunch anti-hunting or at least not pro hunting.  You stress coexistence on your website and I feel from reading your work that you understand the stake hunters have in conflict resolution and in wildlife conservation in general.  I would urge you to consider recruiting some intelligent individuals from the hunting community to join your committees.  This would go A LONG WAYS in giving your organization some credibility within the hunting community.  This, and I think you would find a majority of hunters share the same level of respect and compassion toward wild animals as the other members of your committee. Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

Jake Anderson

Washington Resident and Hunter
     

Offline andersonjk4

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 10:14:42 AM »
Response from Francine Madden:

Hi Jake,

First of all, I can not thank you enough for reaching out directly and sharing these thoughts, concerns and suggestions with me. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness, kindness, and direct communication about these issues.

Second, I completely agree with you that hunters are an incredibly valuable and equally committed member of the conservation community -- In fact, conservation would not be half of what it is today without the hard work, diverse contributions and important role of hunters play, not just nationally but globally as well -- AND I completely agree with you that having a balanced board/committee is critical to our credibility and how we are perceived - by any group/community. You articulated that incredibly well and I am humbled by your kindness and your accuracy.

Please be rest assured that we have been aware of this current imbalance, that our website is actually woefully out of date by years (currently being re-developed, but it's still too long overdue), and most importantly, we also are very acutely aware that we have not yet replaced our hunter representative after he retired. And your email is exceptionally timely as this exact issue came up at our December board of directors meeting. It is one of the top items on our organizational "to do" list for 2018... 

So, thank you. While these are issues we are aware of, it is always helpful and appreciated for someone to reach out and give us a friendly reminder of these issues, of how we are being perceived and how an action -- or in this case an inaction or delayed action on our part -- can compromise our credibility or have an unintended negative effect among members of your community.

Please also accept my apologies on all accounts. Especially for any unintended negative impacts in your community. I would also like to ask your advice: As my organization enters it's final year of engagement on the wolf issue, do you have any suggestions or recommendations for me on how to repair any damage in the short term or engage with the hunting community, especially as we enter into a discussion about post-recovery planning? Is there anything I can do in my work in WA to rebuild the trust in the short term, recognizing that the recruitment process we are currently engaged in to get back to our board balance will likely extend beyond our WA timeline. I have both ears open if you have any suggestions for me.

Thank you, Jake. I wish you and yours a happy new year!
Francine

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 10:25:40 AM »
That was a very good letter to Francine and a very nice response from her.  Good for you for taking that step. :tup:
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Offline andersonjk4

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 10:29:45 AM »
Here is my response back:

Francine

Thank you for your quick and thorough reply.  It is reassuring to me personally to hear that giving the voice of hunters a seat at the table in these important wildlife matters is a top priority of your organization.  As far as short term advice goes, I think making it clear to hunters that our voice is heard and our stake in wildlife conservation is being considered would go a long way.  People who "google" your organization see no links to the hunting community (aside from many state fish and wildlife agencies) and many affiliations with organizations regarded as anti-hunting.  Establishing a public list of "stakeholders", which includes hunters, would a first step and something to be considered when creating your new website.  But ultimately bringing the voice of the hunter to the table will be the biggest and most legitimate thing I can think of. 

Online forums seem to be a large gathering place for many hunters.  Establishing a profile and presence within an online forum can be a great way to gauge hunter's feelings on topics and get direct feedback.  Forums tend to attract a lot of extreme views, but if those are filtered out some constructive information can be had.  This could be especially helpful in gathering information on the ongoing wolf recovery planning.  One great place to start for this would be  http://hunting-washington.com.  Other forms of social media (instagram, facebook, etc.) would obviously reach hunters as well. 

Would you mind me sharing your previous email response on the above mentioned hunting forum?  I could use this as a starting point in gathering some useful insights for you and/or the WDFW as wolf recovery planning discussions continue. 

As you expand your organization and continue your work outside of WA, i would suggest finding a representative from the hunting community who shares the same passion for wildlife conservation, and there are many.  Many of the big name conservation organizations (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, RMEF, etc) are full of intelligent individuals who would be great ambassadors for the hunting community. 

I acknowledge hunters have not been the most engaged user group in the past.  However, I feel this is changing and many now see the importance of having our voices heard (hence the reason I reached out to you). 

Thank you again for your time.  Your responsiveness and willingness to listen is greatly appreciated.

Jake

Offline andersonjk4

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 10:31:44 AM »
And here response to my second email:

Good morning, Jake!

I greatly appreciate your suggestions for both short/interim and longer term actions, as well as your insight and reflection that you feel the hunting community has changed in recent years with respect to its willingness to engage and share its voice more now. Your insights gave me an "Aha!" moment as I read it, as it enhanced and validated some of my own "then and now" experiences and gives me renewed encouragement as we go forward with our board development. I can't thank you enough!

Yes, please feel free to share my original email. And thank you for asking.

I will also follow up on your recommendations (board development, re-engaging and formalizing the voice of hunters in our organization, website changes, etc), as you suggest. I will note that the only recommendation I'm reluctant to follow-up on -- but I promise to give it further thought and consideration -- is engaging with individuals or communities, of any user group, on social media forums. As both an organization and a third party neutral, I barely engage to any depth on email (yours is a happy exception), and I/we tend not to engage at all on social media. Why? Well, besides my own old fashioned nature, face-to face just has so much more creativity, power and value for constructive, rich dialogue, input and feedback. And so much of change is about the relationships we create, the conflicts we reconcile, and can only do that well, in my opinion, through face-to-face engagement. Yes, this is my opinion, but for 20+ years I have consistently received this feedback from individuals and communities we work with. So, while I will continue to give your suggestion additional serious consideration, I wanted to be honest about where I am at present and what my reluctance is and why. (That said, while I have been familiar with and an occasional quiet visitor to the WA hunter's forum, I will re-visit it this week as I consider your recommendation...)

This leads me to another question, if you'll allow me... Are there or could we create more/better face-to-face opportunities for bringing the diverse hunting community together? In my work in WA, hunters will talk to me about the threats to and fracturing within the hunting community - and while I see the threats and the conflict, what I also see is an incredible opportunity because the rich diversity of the hunting community could actually be an incredibly powerful strength if harnessed in a collective, positive way. I actually think, perhaps more than any other user group, the hunting community has the power to bridge the east-west, urban-rural, left-right, etc, divide in your state (and in our nation)...and become an even more powerful agent for positive, durable change in WA and elsewhere... I just haven't gotten traction on or figured out a way to support constructive face-to-face engagement and empowerment on that path ...but I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Above all, thank you, Jake. I am humbled, inspired and honored by your reaching out and continuing discussions with me.

Francine

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 10:57:26 AM »
That was a very good letter to Francine and a very nice response from her.  Good for you for taking that step. :tup:

She did well in her responces.  And she is smart to avoid social media for these conversations.  That becomes "wack a mole" to readily for anything constructive.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 11:10:00 AM »
That was a very good letter to Francine and a very nice response from her.  Good for you for taking that step. :tup:

She did well in her responces.  And she is smart to avoid social media for these conversations.  That becomes "wack a mole" to readily for anything constructive.

agree - but I would personally guarantee her safety here should she choose to engage within this forum  :chuckle:   I haven't discussed this with the other mods, but I for one would be very open to a special rules open dialog with her should she choose to engage here.

Offline Gringo31

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 11:23:24 AM »
Thanks Anderson for doing what you are doing.  Talking is the first step.  As for her engagement on this forum......wow.  That could be tricky.  Let's back up a second and imagine that you were on the board as a common hunter.  But, you had to report back what you were working on to this forum.  Even if you were fantastic at your "job", you'd catch flack.

As it's been said, we as hunters do not stand together....we tear each other down.  We are unable (generally speaking) to speak with one voice.  There is just too much special interest (weapons, east vs west, seasons for weapons, etc.)

I'm impressed by this gal, her willingness to talk and the sincere interest in making a positive difference.  Not sure I'd mix with all of us clowns tho.  I think best case would be a person doing what you are doing.  This forum could make suggestions and someone like you could share the views that are worth sharing.   :twocents:
We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
-Ronald Reagan

Offline andersonjk4

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 11:38:45 AM »
Thanks Anderson for doing what you are doing.  Talking is the first step.  As for her engagement on this forum......wow.  That could be tricky.  Let's back up a second and imagine that you were on the board as a common hunter.  But, you had to report back what you were working on to this forum.  Even if you were fantastic at your "job", you'd catch flack.

As it's been said, we as hunters do not stand together....we tear each other down.  We are unable (generally speaking) to speak with one voice.  There is just too much special interest (weapons, east vs west, seasons for weapons, etc.)

I'm impressed by this gal, her willingness to talk and the sincere interest in making a positive difference.  Not sure I'd mix with all of us clowns tho.  I think best case would be a person doing what you are doing.  This forum could make suggestions and someone like you could share the views that are worth sharing.   :twocents:

I totally agree.  I fully expected to catch some flak for even attempting to engage with with her.  I left out some portions of our discussion mainly the part where she gave me her phone number and offered an invitation to keep communication with her.  I agree that having a representative to help share a collective hunters voice is probably best for all involved.  I'm not sure I am the most qualified for this task, but I will continue to stay in communication with her and try to keep our voice heard and strive for our seat at the table.

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 11:40:08 AM »
That was a very good letter to Francine and a very nice response from her.  Good for you for taking that step. :tup:

She did well in her responces.  And she is smart to avoid social media for these conversations.  That becomes "wack a mole" to readily for anything constructive.

agree - but I would personally guarantee her safety here should she choose to engage within this forum  :chuckle:   I haven't discussed this with the other mods, but I for one would be very open to a special rules open dialog with her should she choose to engage here.


Exact thoughts from me as well. We could come up with a scheduled time for dialogue between her and us. Maybe in order to avoid the "whack a mole" effect, the questions would be sent to a moderator and posed to her giving her a chance to respond to one at a time. That's 30 seconds of thinking about it so I'd appreciate some input on this topic. Maybe we come up with a solid plan and Jake can present it to her.
It wouldn't be too far fetched to think we could come up with a hunter representative for her group from the members here too. Something else to consider.

I'm also impressed by her willingness to cooperate.
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 11:43:56 AM »
Well to me it's obvious she's recruiting, right now the WAG is nothing but an echo chamber and as such lacks credibility. 



Offline jackelope

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 11:45:02 AM »
Well to me it's obvious she's recruiting, right now the WAG is nothing but an echo chamber and as such lacks credibility. 




I can think of a few people I would nominate without thinking twice about it.
:fire.:

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2018, 11:49:53 AM »
 :tup:

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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2018, 11:50:03 AM »
Having been in to numerous "public meetings" over the years,  She is your typical "consultant".   One word describes them, TRAINED.   They spend years honing their craft.

Was not surprised at her responding to Mr. Anderson, nor her vocabulary,  see it all to often.

I fully understand the term "dialogue" and know when my leg is being pulled.  There are two sides to every story and its their job to win any way they can for their side.   Compromise is not an option. 

But Thanks Mr. Anderson for doing what you did  :tup: , its a start, but I think the "fix" is already in play and lip service come easy to the "trained".

She sounds as slick as Mike Grady was!   Some on here will remember him!! :o
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Re: An Open Dialogue With WDFW Wolf Plan Consultant Francine Madden
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 11:52:39 AM »
:rolleyes:
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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