Author Archive

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

May 13th, 2023 No comments

1 (193)

1 (190)

1 (189)

1 (191)

1 (194)

1 (192)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

My Dogfight With The Elite Dog Sellers Of The American Kennel Club

May 12th, 2023 No comments

AKC Censors Critic Of Cruel Marketing Tactics

Bouy, along the Snake River in Idaho (10/12/22)

Bouy, along the Snake River in Idaho (10/12/22)

Ms. Rackley mocked my suffering. Repeat: she mocked my suffering and my dog’s suffering.

I could be the first to ever be cancelled by the American Kennel Club (AKC). And I say “fuck these greedy and cruel psychopaths!”

Some might think that the event I describe below is humiliating or embarrassing to me personally, but I take exactly the opposite perspective.

This episode reveals the depraved and cruel commercial conduct of an elite member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the AKC’s apparent tolerance of that conduct.

It is no secret that my dog and I have suffered from his decline from chronic arthritis over the last 6 months.

Frankly, I’ve never been so preoccupied, depressed, and paralyzed with anxiety in managing his suffering and contemplating putting him down to end his suffering.

For an extremely active outdoor dog who loved the wild and acted more like a wolf in the wild than a domestic animal – yet retaining a domestic dog’s love of people – this crippling chronic disease is especially painful to watch.

Here’s the story:

To divert my mind from Bouy’s demise and explore finding a new canine lover, I’ve recently hit the AKC website to look for puppies.

I know I should have known better, because Bouy is a rescue dog and there is a surplus of gorgeous dogs to rescue out there.

But I did it anyway. Maybe we should just blame the internet. I’ll take some of the blame as well for being a fool.

Anyway, one elite commercial AKC dog marketer I came across was a woman named Chrystal Rackley, from Apple Valley Ca.

Not only did she snobbishly market the genetic endowment of her “AKC award winning” puppies, she turned out to be a cruel and greedy retaliatory bitch.

In calling her out for that cruelty, apparently she got my AKC account blocked and I can no longer look at beautiful pictures of puppies:

1 (187)

See my explanatory complaint letter below to AKC:

———- Original Message ———-

From: Bill WOLFE <>

To: “” <>, Bill WOLFE <>

Date: 05/12/2023 7:31 PM MDT

Subject: Inquiry regarding member conduct and blocked AKC account

Greetings – I am a longtime dog owner/lover and recently retired professional and traveling in an RV.

I write to you to file a complaint against an AKC member and because my AKC account has been blocked, for unknown reasons.

Here’s the story.

Over the last few months, as my 12 year old Lab has been suffering from severe chronic arthritis, I’ve medicated him and struggled with decisions on putting him down.

I recently began looking on the AKC website for a puppy to offset the emotional impact and form a loving relationship with a new canine friend.  I had very positive and empathic conversations in seeking a gorgeous fox red lab from one of your members, Susan Burkey (Arizona). But the timing of my dog’s health and that puppy litter did not work out. Susan completely understood this.

I then explored puppies with another AKC member, Chrystal Rackley, from Apple Valley Ca.

Ms. Rackley mocked my suffering. Repeat: she mocked my suffering and my dog’s suffering.

I found that deplorable and unacceptable conduct and wrote to tell her so.

Apparently, that negative exchange triggered my blocked AKC account.

I demand restoration of my account and for AKC to investigate and discipline the unprofessional and cruel conduct of Ms. Rackley.

I have lots of media experience and no reservations with going to the media about this ugly conduct. I don’t think that would benefit AKC reputation.


Bill Wolfe

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Murphy DEP Working With Forestry Industry To Promote The “Young Forests” Policy That Led To Glassboro Clearcut

May 12th, 2023 No comments

DEP Lobbying With Loggers In Advance Of Introduction of Senator Smith Legislation

Murphy DEP Commissioner Urged To Rein In Rogue Staffer

Dangerous Clearcuts To Create “Young Forests” Campaign Underway

This logging industry campaign must be exposed publicly by the media and stopped before the next version of Senator Smith’s legislation is introduced.

The DEP staffer who has been leading DEP’s controversial “Young Forests” initiative is working with the Forestry industry to lobby in support of that initiative. What is the “Young Forests” initiative you ask?

DEP’s Sharon Petzinger is scheduled to speak at a May 18 NJ Forestry Assc. event to promote “Young Forests” (under the cynical guise of “backyard forestry”):

1 (184)

That “brief dive” Ms. Petzinger will take is almost verbatim the political talking points in support of the “Young Forests” campaign, as I document below.

In a subsequent post, I will provide the letter I just sent to DEP Commissioner LaTourette demanding that Petzinger’s presentation be cancelled due to its highly inappropriate political lobbying nature.

For today, I want to focus on the origins and threats of the “Young Forests” initiative.

Ms. Petzinger, with the support of current DEP Assistant Commissioner John Cecil, has been championing “Young Forests” for years, especially at Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Mr. Cecil previously was head of forestry at NJ Audubon, where he wrote the Sparta Mt. WMA logging plan and another “Young Forests” oriented forestry plan on Wall Street billionaire Peter Kellogg’s Hudson Farm (with over a $330,000 Kellogg grant.)

Kellogg has close ties to NJ Gov. Murphy and his wife Tammy). Cecil’s fellow “Young Forest” advocate and colleague at NJA, Don Donnelly is now at USDA/NRCS and DEP documents reveal that he made inquires to DEP on the DEP clearcut at at Glassboro WMA. So the revolving door and all kinds of personal, organizational and financial connections are surfacing behind the scenes.

The implications of the “Young Forests” initiative were clearly exposed in the DEP’s illegal clearcut of over 20 acres of forested wetlands in the Glassboro WMA. Basically, using “Young Forest” pseudo-science, DEP thinks it is OK to clearcut mature forests to create “Young Forest” habitat for certain species, typically game species to appease the hunters lobby.

I explained the flawed science and threats to NJ’s forests posed by the “Young Forests” campaign in this recent post, see:

In addition to my criticism of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and DEP plans to implement the “Young Forests” initiative, a recently published scientific paper by 6 renowned forest ecologists severely criticized the science supporting that logging program and explained the political special and public relations  promotional campaign pushing the “Young Forests” program, see:

1.2.1. Genesis of the campaign and the “Young Forest Initiative”

A concerted campaign is working to slow and reverse the natural decline in early-successional habitat and species that accompanied the regional reduction in deforestation, intensive forestry, and agriculture. This campaign is promoting early-successional habitat through multiple activities: clearcutting, “group selection,” and other forms of patch clearfelling in established forests; intensive “mechanical treatments” such as brushhogging and mowing; and herbicide application and prescribed fire in successional habitats and younger forests, which are often accompanied by other mechanical treatments (DeGraaf and Yamasaki, 2003; Oehler et al., 2006; American Bird Conservancy, 2007; Schlossberg and King, 2007; King et al., 2011; Yamasaki et al., 2014).

These intensive management activities have long been advocated to benefit popular game species that favor early-successional habitats, such as the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus), and White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) (Lenarz, 1987; Caron, 2009; Derosier et al., 2015). …

A key milestone in the genesis of this campaign was the 2008 American Woodcock Conservation Plan (AWCP; see Table 1 for Abbreviations), published by the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) in collaboration with game management agencies and sportsmen’s organizations (Kelley et al., 2008). The goal is to increase American Woodcock populations to early 1970s levels by clearcutting 11.2 million acres of forest in the Northeast and Upper Great Lakes regions—an area larger than the state of Maryland. WMI also launched the Upper Great Lakes Woodcock and Young Forest Initiative (YFI) to gain public support for the creation of early-successional habitats in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (Wildlife Management Institute, 2009, 2010).

 The authors explain how this campaign was promoted:

Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) soon began expanding the YFI to a national campaign (Gassett, 2018; Weber and Cooper, 2019). Recognizing the controversial nature of such widespread forest-clearing, the organization hired a marketing firm to “shape an overall communications strategy” (Seng and Case, 2019). This firm administered opinion surveys and focus groups that showed most forest landowners value beauty, scenery, nature, and biodiversity far more than logging or financial return. A plan was then devised to promote early-successional habitats through an extensive network of partnerships. Terms which focus group participants found unappealing, such as clearcutting, early-successional habitats, shrub, and scrub, were replaced with the more appealing “young forests.” Simple and positive language emphasized forest “health,” wildlife, habitat diversity, and scientific-sounding outcomes. A pseudo-historical pitch was crafted to emphasize the decline of once common and familiar species without acknowledging the highly artificial and historically anomalous nature of their former abundance (see Table 2 for more details). Numerous publications were produced, such as, “Talking About Young Forests,” to help “natural resource professionals…effectively advocate for creating and managing young forest habitat on public and private lands” (Oehler et al., 2013).

The authors then name the financial supporters and participants in the campaign, which explicitly include the NJ DEP, Division of Fish and Wildlife:

In 2012, YFI inaugurated the “” website, aimed at persuading target audiences to support the campaign (Young Forest Project, 2012). Within a decade, the YFI had recruited more than 100 “partners” (Supplementary material 1, Young Forest Project, 2022a). These are primarily traditional forestry and game species management interests, such as timber companies (Lyme Timber Company, 2017; Weyerhaeuser Company, 2020), federal and state forestry agencies (New York Department of Environmental Conservation, 2015; USDA Forest Service, 2018), federal and state wildlife agencies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2015c; Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, 2021b), and sportsmen’s organizations (Russell, 2017; Weber and Cooper, 2019). All of these partners benefit from forest-clearing through increased profits from timber sales, larger agency budgets, more staff, direct payments for creating young forest habitat, or elevated populations of desired game species (see Supplementary material 1 for state-by-state examples of forest-clearing).

The YFI has attracted generous financial support from a wide range of public agencies, private organizations, and large corporations such as Richard King Mellon Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, American Forest Foundation, and Shell Oil Company [see Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (2018); New Jersey Audubon (2018);National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (2022b)]. In addition to activities on public lands, money is directed to land trusts (New England Cottontail, 2021) and private landowners (Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2018) through numerous state and federal sources. Much of this activity, supported by the significant money available for forest-clearing for early successional habitats (American Bird Conservancy, 2015; Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2019; Ruffed Grouse Society, 2022), engages broad support by well-intentioned landowners and conservationists by portraying this clearing as “restoration” to retain or save declining species (Smith, 2017; Weidensaul, 2018). There is little acknowledgment that, although these species are truly declining, they were artificially elevated in their abundance by colonial and relatively modern land-use practices that were abandoned in 19th and especially the 20th century.

 So this is the national forest logging campaign that is now threatening NJ forests.

An intense lobbying campaign is now underway – with active NJ DEP support – in advance of Senator Smith’s forestry legislation, expected to be introduced in June.

This logging industry campaign must be exposed publicly by the media and stopped before Senator Smith’s legislation is introduced.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Setting The Record Straight On The Career Of Bob Shinn

May 9th, 2023 No comments

“Open For Business” Relegated To The Grave

J. Garfield DeMarco (right) with Bob Shinn, former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, at a dedication of the A.J. DeMarco Cranberry Meadows Natural Area in October 2013. Photo Submitted By New Jersey Conservation Foundation

J. Garfield DeMarco (right) with Bob Shinn, former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, at a dedication of the A.J. DeMarco Cranberry Meadows Natural Area in October 2013. Photo Submitted By New Jersey Conservation Foundation

I just learned that Bob Shinn died last Friday (May 5). I learned that fact from a highly praiseworthy press release issued by the NJ Pinelands Commission, where Shinn served, see:

I am biased and can not be objective because Shinn, as DEP Commissioner, fired me as a whistleblower in 1994. But still, I can and must inject historical facts to balance the record.

I need to collect my thoughts in order to write something in the near future.

But in the meantime, a comprehensive source of information on Shinn’s DEP record can be found in Christie Whitman’s US Senate Confirmation hearing transcript . That transcript provides testimony that documents that record, which was one of “failing a core mission”. Don’t miss my friend Bill Neil’s testimony.

There was extensive critical press coverage of Shinn’s record, so these facts are readily accessible.

The Bergen Record even won a journalistic prize in environmental reporting, based on Whitman’s own slogan that NJ is “Open For Business”. See the Bergen Record’s award winning expose series which won a national journalism award for “A New Genre of Environmental Reporting”  the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism.

Both Record reporters, Dusty McNichol and Kelly Richmond are dead, so I really hope that the NJ Press corps – especially the Bergen Record – honors their legacy and tells the truth about Shinn’s record. (Dusty later wrote for the Star Ledger.)

So I can’t imagine that the Record (Jim O’Neill!) and the Star Ledger (Tom Moran!) can possibly ignore all that critical coverage. Even the NY Times wrote several stories. Here’s just one:

During the administration of Gov. Christie Whitman, the staff of the environmental agency was cut 20 percent, and hours were reduced to 35 from 40 a week, said Bill Wolfe, a former department official who today is director of New Jersey Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonprofit watchdog group. The agency’s site remediation program, which is responsible for overseeing cleanups, dropped to 500 employees from 600 in 1996, even as the department’s responsibilities were expanded to include the regulation of solid and hazardous waste.

“The D.E.P. never recovered,” Mr. Wolfe said.

But in anticipation of another highly spun press release by DEP and similarly misleading reporting by the NJ press corps, I just sent this email heads up to the usual suspects, including DEP Commissioner LaTourette and his Deputy Moriarty:

Bob Shinn was DEP Commissioner for 8 years under Gov. Whitman’s “Open For Business” administration. He presided over the huge (30%) downsizing of DEP’s staff and budget and his first priority and actions were to abandon the Florio DEP’s nationally leading Solid Waste Management Plan, dismantle the Mercury Task Force, and gut the implementation of the Pollution Prevention Act.

I have a written transcript of sworn testimony by former DEP Assistant Commissioner Richard Sinding stating that Shinn misled the Gov. and directed Sinding to flat out lie about the science, toxicity, and public health risks of mercury (Shinn fired me for blowing the whistle and leaking his memo to Whitman that put those lies and a cynical proposed PR campaign in writing).

He was the least qualified DEP Commissioner in DEP’s history.

I trust that DEP’s press release will accurately reflect this history and not be a hagiography.

Be forewarned of the facts.

Bill Wolfe

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

This Is What (Hip, Diverse) Regulatory Capture Looks Like

May 9th, 2023 No comments

“Industrial Stakeholders Group” Explicitly Serves Polluters’ Interests

“Some Like It Woke”

1 (178)

It seems like at least every day – sometimes twice a day – I get some bullshit email from DEP.

Usually they are over the top self congratulatory heavily spun press releases.

Sometimes they are for another DEP “Stakeholder” group. Those extended processes are just another way to slow walk a do nothing substantively – but deploy all the buzzwords and slogans – regulatory agency that DEP has become.

DEP’s MO is to keep multiple balls in the air and process everything to death – that assures that you don’t have to actually do anything. The enviro’s love it too, because they can feel important, report back “metrics” to their Foundation funders, and they prefer the inside game to organizing and real work anyway. So, there’s mutualism and symbiosis in action!

Which takes us to the photo above. What’s going on there?

Look at all those hip and diverse DEP staffers! They look like an ad for Starbucks or Apple.

But what are they doing? Hit this link to find out.

That photo is the banner for the “Industrial Stakeholders Group” (ISG). What is the ISG?

I’ve written to criticize it many times as the poster child for regulatory capture (e.g. see this and this).

But you don’t have to take my word for it – just read how DEP openly describes the composition and work of the ISG – and also peruse the ISG agendas and meeting notes to see what is discussed and who attends ISG meetings.

Note especially whose “concerns” the DEP considers and note the absence of any scientific, public interest, academic, environmental, social justice, or public health representatives. Here’s DEP’s explanation:

What is the ISG?

The Industrial Stakeholders Group or ISG focuses on Air Quality Permitting in the State of New Jersey.

The group is composed primarily of DEP air quality permitting staff, DEP air quality enforcement staff and representatives of regulated industries. Attendance is open to anyone with an interest in Air Quality Permits. The group meets quarterly to discuss ways of promoting effective and consistent permits that are protective of the environment and consider the concerns of the regulated community.

How cluelessly captured does DEP have to be to openly admit this? How out of touch?

I’ve also written many times about the DEP’s organizational culture and values that are so perfectly illustrated by that hip and diverse photo, so won’t repeat all that again either (of course DEP espouses those values, given the leadership of the “Erin Brockovich” lawyer and first openly gay Commissioner. Curiously, Gov. Murphy was lying because he failed to note that Commissioner LaTourette is a former corporate lawyer. Oh well.)

In a superb “Insider NJ” piece today on Gov. Murphy’s environmental record, my friend and retired longtime Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittle nails the operative dynamic:

How should New Jerseyans see their governor, a man self-described as both a “progressive” and “cold-blooded capitalist”?  Can one be both with any credibility?  “Murphy has been able to give himself cover,” Tittel said “Part of it is because he uses social issues as a cover. It was one of the things that I saw happen in the Democratic Party.  It started with Hillary [Clinton]. She wanted to go to the left of Bernie, but she couldn’t do it on the environment, economics, and things like that, so she went on the left to him on women’s issues and gay rights. What you see in Murphy–and a lot of corporate Democrats—is that on social issues he looks progressive and meanwhile, on economic issues, he’s pure Goldman Sachs.  People think he’s a liberal because he’s pro-choice and he’s talking about gay rights. And meanwhile, the DEP has gotten rid of the Division of Enforcement. It’s now an office under the commissioner, so it’s no longer independent staffing.  Murphy’s economic policies and environmental policies are pretty in line with Christie in a lot of ways.”

As I’ve written many times, Tittel is perfectly describing the political-economy that Professor Nancy Fraser calls “Progressive Neoliberalism” (to understand that oxymoron, see this and this).

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: