In 2014 (the year of the last wolf hunt) Rod Coronado contacted me and wanted to work together to document the wolf hunt and so I agreed to work with him. That’s when I met Julie in October at the Wolf Patrol camp in northern Wisconsin. What I didn’t know at the time was that accusations were already being lodged against Rod Coronado. Prior to Rod Coronado’s arrival in Wisconsin in 2014, to form Wolf Patrol, he was already being confronted by female activists for his violent behavior towards an ex partner, and had been accused of being predatory towards younger women in Earth First.
I also wasn’t aware of conflicts that were already occurring between Coronado and other activists that were at Wolf Patrol camp in Douglas county. These other activists left the Wolf Patrol camp because of a dispute with Coronado just before I arrived to begin monitoring the wolf hunt. When I arrived Rod Coronado introduced me to the other Patrol members, and Julie was one of the members on Patrol that week. I was immediately impressed with Julie’s altruism towards the welfare of wolves. Julie is a biologist and activist!
It was the third wolf hunt in Wisconsin, and having been a volunteer WDNR winter wolf tracker in Douglas county since the year year 2000 was concerned. I was concerned because wolves went from a protected status under the Endangered Species Act to no protection as the state of Wisconsin delisted them. Then the Wisconsin Legislators mandated a wolf hunt, 2011 Wisconsin Act 169. Wisconsin’s wild wolf was also hunted using dogs, Wisconsin quite literally threw dogs to wolves. During all of this I kept on working to bring attention to the barbaric use of dogs to hunt wolves, and kept the pressure up on the WDNR to actively monitor wolf hunting with dogs during those dark years. I garnered a lot of press especially from Wisconsin Public Radio.
That spring of 2014 Rod Coronado asked if he could work with me to stop Wolf-Hounding, and I was already a year or more into fighting it. I welcomed any help, and even suggested we set up camp in Douglas county because I knew it like the back of my hand. I had been monitoring wolves there for years. I wanted to keep them safe from the wolf hunters.
Soon after I arrived at Wolf Patrol camp and began monitoring the Wolf Hunt Zone we were located in closed because it met it’s quota. The Wolf Patrol camp disbanded in Douglas County Wisconsin and shortly after that they headed for the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park to set up a camp to monitor wolf hunts out there.
While monitoring the wolf hunts out there Julie was sexual assaulted. Julie Henry told her story to The Intercept about what happened during that campaign to monitor wolf hunting:
“…Nearly four years ago, Henry says, in the midst of a campaign to monitor a state-sanctioned wolf hunt with Coronado’s organization Wolf Patrol, in a remote area outside Yellowstone National Park, Coronado sexually assaulted her. Henry says she didn’t even think about calling law enforcement. Activists aren’t supposed to talk to cops, and definitely not to FBI agents. For months, she stayed silent. But then, after agonizing over the decision, she participated in an alternative attempt at accountability — she described Coronado’s assault in an email posted to a closed activist listserv and later published the details publicly in the activist Earth First! Journal.”
At the time this all took place I had no knowledge of what had happened to julie, and kept a woking relationship with Wolf Patrol. Then, that following December I even hosted wolf patrol at a friend’s house. Julie was absent from this patrol, and when I asked if she would be joining us the Wolf Patrol members said they didn’t know where she was. I thought their response was odd. I hadn’t heard anything from Julie and was even Facebook friends with her. I never heard a peep out of her about what happened on that campaign outside of Yellowstone. Life continued as usual.
While hosting Wolf Patrol at a friend’s home I even brought in a friend of mine to do an interview of Wolf Patrol that December 2014. The interview she wrote called Hounding the Hunters was published in 2016 in The Earth Island Journal. Then, in September 2018 two well known national news outlets published articles about the Rod Coronado sexual assault accusations and one of them was Earth Island Journal. The following is an excerpt published in Earth Island Journal in Autumn 2018:
“The publication of her interview didn’t lead to further call-outs in the EF! Journal of other possible perpetrators in the movement. Meanwhile, Coronado continues to run Wolf Patrol. (Earth Island Journal ran a cover story on Wolf Patrol in its Winter 2016 issue. At the time the editors were unaware of these allegations against Coronado.)“
But I can tell you that I began to experience misogynistic behavior from Coronado, especially during any communication with him. He regularly ignored my phone calls, or emails, then would communicate when he needed something from me. I began to suspect he used my name, Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, to gain a foothold in Wisconsin. I even shared a video of a hunter sicking his dogs on a coyote, and Coronado assured me he would help me investigate the hunter Francis Metz. Coronado never got back to me about the video. I finally just took it and turned it into a Wisconsin DNR Conservation Warden. That’s another story altogether.
Meanwhile, I began to lose faith in Coronado’s abilities because he’d show up for a weekend patrol, then leave for three weeks or more at a time. I began to see predatory behavior from Coronado towards female advocates I was working with at the time of 2014 into 2015. An advocate sent me a rather alarming message about how Coronado deserved to have a girlfriend and find love. They then preceded to asked me all sorts of personal questions about a female advocate I was working with at the time. They said that this would be good for Coronado, and I realized they were definitely checking her out on Coronado’s behalf. I was uncomfortable with the whole conversation. Because this same female advocate was going to write a story about Coronado’s work for the blog. She began making arrangements to go on a patrol and follow Wolf Patrol to document the work they were doing. I thought it was a good idea, that is, until she informed me she would be riding along with Coronado. I advised her not to ride with him, but to take her own vehicle incase Wolf Patrol got arrested, and she insisted on riding with Coronado. She told me Coronado told her a couple reporters were going to meet him, and she wouldn’t be the only one riding along on the patrol. But, on the day they were to leave Coronado moved the time up, the other Patrol members were absent from this patrol, and no reporters met them when they arrived. She was the only one on patrol with Coronado. The whole thing made me feel uneasy to say the least.
At the time of the sexual assault Julie was in her late twenties and Coronado was in his late forties almost 20 years her senior. He was also the head of Wolf Patrol, and I kept hearing advocates refer to him as the rock star of advocacy.
It wasn’t long after that the news broke of the sexual assault accusations in a message from Julie to all her Facebook Freinds. I was stunned! Now I found out what happened to Julie and why she disappeared from Wolf Patrol. I immediately made it clear to everyone that was working on my Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin social media that it would best to stop working with them, or writing any more stories about Wolf Patrol until we knew more about this breaking story. That’s where I met resistance from writers on my blog and had no choice but to remove them. One writer even began working for Wolf Patrol.
I kept hearing comments such as: because Coronado is popular woman will make up stories about him all the time.
Not long after after I made it clear I would no longer be working with Rod Coronado a photograph of myself with Rod Coronado suddenly appeared as a post & posted by me on my Twitter feed; only I never posted it. So who did? I immediately deleted the picture from my twitter timeline, not realizing at the time, the writer I let go had access to my Twitter account. I soon realized something was up with my Twitter account. My Twitter friends kept asking me why I blocked them, and that’s when I discovered my account was hacked. I checked my lists and discovered a hacker had replaced my following with porn profiles. The hacker also blocked all my wolf advocacy friends proving it was a personal attack. Of course I was shocked, shamed and embarrassed which is what the hacker/hackers wanted. I was suspicious it could be coming from the writer I let go from my social media accounts. The writer was now working with Wolf Patrol. Here’s why I’m suspicious. I did everything Twitter advised me to do to get rid of the hacker. The writer had access to my twitter passwords and even if I changed them, they could still get in as long as they never logged out of my account from their IPhone. The writer had an IPhone. I finally went in to revoke their access by logging into my account from a browser and then went to Settings → Apps → Click on Revoke access for the respective phone app. I revoked the writers access to my account. Once I did that the hacking stopped. That’s why I suspected them. Once access was revoked and the IPhone removed the hacking completely stopped.
In an article in Earth Island Journal. Earth Island Journal by KIERA ANDERSON KITTY STRYKER Photo by Laura Borealis. “No Compromise – Our movement needs to do a better job of addressing sexual violence and misogyny within its ranks. …Reports about Coronado’s sexual misconduct first surfaced in the summer of 2014, when a group of activists started raising concerns about his reportedly abusive behavior. We’ve reviewed emails sent between July 2014 and February 2015, which claim Coronado had been violent towards an ex-partner. The emails also assert that Coronado had been predatory towards younger women in EF!.”
Wisconsin wolf advocacy became embroiled in controversy over the whole Coronado sexual assault accusations and took sides. Yet, let’s remember that; Earth First activists were already seeking to hold Rod Coronado accountable for violence against a former partner, and being predatory towards younger woman before he ever arrived in Wisconsin the summer of 2014. In the Earth Island Journal. Earth Island Journal by KIERA ANDERSON KITTY STRYKER Photo by Laura Borealis, “Wendy, loosely affiliated with EF! between 2005-2014, told us via email about her involvement in bringing Coronado’s behavior to light that year. She, and two EF! activists, Panagioti and Toby, tried several times to get Coronado to initiate an accountability process. Coronado appeared open to this at times, but never followed through. While the trio were trying to figure out the best course of action, in November 2014, Coronado apparently sexually assaulted a younger Wolf Patrol member named Julie.”
I had been working with Wolf Patrol until the sexual assault accusations surfaced, and everyone knew that fact. The press knew it because I had helped get Coronado press, and so did the anti wolf politicians. So when I made it perfectly clear that I was no longer working with Wolf Patrol and why; several anti wolf politicians seized upon it. Remember the account of the sexual assault was well publicized by a Earth First Journal since 2016. That’s when I realized I was caught between a rock and a hard place because of the controversy surrounding Coronado. In April of 2018 anti wolf politicians used my name in a letter asking the Wisconsin state legislators to remove Coronado as a WDNR wolf tracker. They did this without my consent. I contacted my senator and complained. Wisconsin wolf advocacy became embroiled in controversy over the whole Coronado sexual assault accusations and took sides.
“When Wendy heard about Julie’s experience, she felt “a stark clarity of Fuck, we made the wrong choice.” She says the three of them had failed to grasp the urgency of the situation, particularly the risks they took by waiting to alert the broader community about him…”
I was right smack in the middle of the controversy and trying desperately to protect my name and my advocacy work. As recently as September 2018 two national news organizations ran the story of the sexual assault accusations. The story ran in support of the #MeToo movement and I definitely support the movement. In fact I believe it’s about time we support survivors of sexual assault instead of making accusations at them. Such accusations were directed at Julie, such as, why didn’t she have him arrested and charged? Remember this took place on the edge of Yellowstone National Park, in hostile anti wolf country, and activists don’t call the police. It’s just not how it works. Even the FBI tried to get Julie to inform on Coronado and she refused the FBI’s requests.
I support Julie and her valiant effort in coming forward, not only for her own healing, but also to prevent this from happening to another activist. I’ve become a comrade to Julie in the battle to hold Rod Coronado accountable. It’s not the first time I’ve see this happen. I’m a well seasoned activist, outspoken when it comes to woman’s rights, and can recognize predatory behavior towards female activists when I see it. I’ve seen how predatory males groom their victims. So yes, I support Julie and believe her.
The controversy surrounding Rod Coronado has been ongoing since 2014, and can’t say that I’m not surprised some wolf advocates have turned a blind eye and refuse to hold Coronado accountable.
I’m still working to protect wolves and wildlife in Wisconsin, and in communication with Julie, who is still doing great work for wildlife; and we are both stronger than ever. As the saying goes; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! It’s definitely true in this case!
“Other silencings take place in smaller ways: the people harassed and badgered into silence online, talked over and cut out in conversation, belittled, humiliated, dismissed.” ~Rebecca Solnit
“…think of misogyny as a kind of enforcement strategy; it’s not the patriarchy itself but the thing that preserves the patriarchy.”
Further reading (Source)
“…When an abuser is known in a community, it can very well take away a key strategy of their abuse — their trustworthiness and ability to groom potential victims.
As we reckon with these complicated dynamics, we must always have an eye to supporting survivors and preventing future cases of sexual violence. Ignoring the prevalence of sexual violence in activist communities not only perpetuates oppressive dynamics, but also undermines the strength of our movements. Making movements that protect and enable sexual assault perpetrators fosters sexual violence and squanders the potential energy, labor, and insight of all those who no longer feel safe participating in those movements.”