Save Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

  • by:
  • recipient: Dena Smith, Director Land Use Services Department
UPDATE: Success! County authorities listened to the thousands urging them to keep Wolf Mountain Sanctuary open. Thank you to everyone who signed!

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary rescues wolves and fosters them in a sanctuary in Southern California, as well as educating visitors about the plight of this threatened species. However, local officials recently shut down Wolf Mountain Sanctuary and demanded that the sanctuary repermit, a process this nonprofit organization cannot afford.

Even though Wolf Mountain Sanctuary complied with all regulations and held an Exhibitor License since 1987, the County of San Bernardino will not allow the organization to continue its work until it files paperwork to receive a new Exhibitor License. The sanctuary does not have the resources to repeatedly file paperwork and pay the accompanying exorbitant fees. And it shouldn't have to.

The work of Wolf Mountain Sanctuary is too valuable and unique to be abandoned with so little cause. Urge the County of San Bernardino to allow them to continue protecting wolves from extinction.
Wolf Mountain Sanctuary (WMS), a 501-3-C Non-Profit Organization, has operated in Lucerne Valley, CA for 20 years. The mission of WMS is to educate the public with regard to the history, social structure, physiology, environmental impact, mythological, and current legislative issues concerning wolves and wolf behavior. WMS is in a unique position in that all the wolves on the premises have been rescued. They can no longer be re-introduced into the wild, so they serve as good will and educational ambassadors for those fortunate enough to be able to visit and interact with them.

WMS has held an Exhibitor License since 1987. In 1987, Phyllis Brooks of the Planning Commission told WMS that they needed to have handicap parking, loading zone, public lavatory and a 24 foot gate for in and out traffic for the public which was done and has been maintained since then. WMS has complied with all regulatory permits & licenses required by the State, County, and USDA. Their record is spotless with regard to cleanliness, health of the animals, parking requirements, lavatory requirements etc.

After 20 years of operation within the regulations of the State and County, WMS is now being ordered to file all this paperwork again? Why?

New Commissioners with the County of San Bernardino have unfairly targeted WMS, requiring WMS to re-file all paper work, and subsequently pay the astronomical fees, which were paid and filed 20 years ago. WMS simply does not have the resources to complete this process time and time again, nor should they have to. It is egregious on the part of the County to demand more money from a non-profit to compensate for their lack of revenue from others businesses in the county, which WMS supports.

As a California Non-Profit Organization, WMS relies solely on donations generated from visitors at the Sanctuary. It costs approximately $2000 per week to feed the wolves, and these costs do not include medical care which can, and does exceed thousands of dollars.

WMS makes a significant economic contribution to San Bernardino County. Visitors come from all over the country, and they provide a revenue stream for local restaurants, hotels, shops, gas stations, gift shops, local artisans etc.

I am a supporter of WMS in their plight to save a wild, threatened species, and educate the public. The unfounded and unsubstantiated harassment from the county cannot continue, and threatens many lives at WMS. There are many, many others like myself and we will stand strong together to save this wonderful organization.

As a supporter, I request that you assign WMS the exhibitor license and any other licenses that are required to operate in the manner they have been operating for the last 20 years, i.e. allowing visitors to tour the facility. This should also be done at no cost as WMS is not in the position to pay the exorbitant fees that you are requiring.

Thank you in advance for hearing and listening to all of the many, many supporters of Wolf Mountain Sanctuary.
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