Mexican Wolf A Rural Viewpoint
Anyone wanting to help Tim can send to:
Tim Sundles Legal Defense Fund
Runft & Steele Law Offices, PLLC
1020 W. Main St., Suite 400
By Sharon Beck
I am endlessly
impressed how ranchers always manage to dig deeper to help others in need. The midyear
Oregon Cattlemens Association conference was no exception when Tim Sundles from
The WTF sent Tim and his wife Diana an honorarium to visit Oregon and tell their story about living with wolves, killing a wolf that was attacking Diana, becoming the subject of intense interest from federal law enforcement people and finally Tims indictment on federal charges of attempting to poison a wolf and illegal use of a pesticide on federal lands.
Tim is an avid
outdoorsman who loves to pack, hunt and camp. He is very familiar with all the wild places
Knowing the kind
of scrutiny US Fish and Wildlife is capable of when investigating a wolf kill, even though
Following was the
intense agency questioning of family, friends and neighbors and clients until Tim decided
to put up a website of stories and pictures about peoples experiences that differed
broadly from what the government was telling us, such as wolves kill only what they
need to eat, and wolves very rarely kill livestock. He
published studies that said the government overstated the prey base in
lightening struck! In early 2004 someone put some of the special meatballs out on
public land and a dog picked up one before any wolves, plentiful in the area, found it.
The dog lived and the authorities gathered up the meatballs then USFWS made the
leap to the assumption that the poison was meant for wolves and Sundles was
responsible so they raided his house and grounds confiscating all manner of property as
potential evidence that he was the perpetrator. Well over a year later, on
I asked Tim to come and speak to the committee because we had visited his website many times and found it to be a valuable source of accurate information and I knew ranchers would want to help with legal expenses that will be far beyond his ability to fund alone. It was necessary to draw out information about the Tim Sundles Legal Defense Fund because Tim is not used to asking for help, pointing out that he just wants everyone to know what can happen when wolves come. Immediately following his presentation Dwight Hammond, no stranger to the heavy hand of government, got to his feet and offered a hefty check from Hammond Ranches followed by Mack Birkmaier who explained to Tim that it was an old western tradition that when our friends have trouble and need a helping hand we pass the hat. Mack and Bob Beck quickly filled their hats with cash and checks, stuffed it into a commemorative brief case that Bank of Eastern Oregon gave the conference registrants to mark the 100th anniversary of the Grant County Stock Growers and handed it to Tim. It was an emotional moment for Tim and Diana, our response was unexpected and their gratitude very evident; but the way I see it is its a small token of our gratitude to them for seeing how wrong the introduction of wolves is and trying to right it.
Anyone wanting to help Tim can send to: Tim Sundles Legal Defense Fund
Runft & Steele Law Offices, PLLC
Or you can send it to me the way Denny Jones did and Ill forward it.
David Nevin is lead council for Tim and John Runft (www.runftlaw.com) co-council and trustee of the defense fund. Helen Chenoweth Hage is his honorary Defense Fund Campaign Chairman.
Sharon Beck, Wolf Task Force Chairman