Columbia Basin Search Dogs (CBSD) was formed by a consortium of handlers throughout the region that were seeking a harmonious, mission focused group for training, reputable mission referrals, and resource sharing for seminars, certifications and events. The founders of CBSD share a vision for unifying quality resources into regionally strategic teams available for rapid response, where law enforcement needs additional resources, or where first response teams are not available.


The founders of CBSD bring the benefit of decades of search and rescue experience, and an insatiable desire to be the best they can be.











Our commitment to a culture of acceptance, open-mindedness, kindness, generosity, education, exploration and excellence runs core to our formation. It has inspired a leadership model that places a priority on always improving the training, skills, communication and leadership of the people who make us a team. We call it Consensus Leadership and it stems from a deep-rooted belief that this is the way we are called to work and live. By sharing the story of our successful cultural and leadership model we intend to raise awareness about the power organizations have in making a positive impact on the world.


Our culture of consensus doesn't mean that we always agree. It means that our defining decisions are informed and collaboratively derived.


Core to our communication style are the Three Gates of Speech (Rumi):


“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

At the first gate, ask yourself “Is is true?”

At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”

At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”


~ Rumi



Guiding Principles



We measure success by the progress and ethical efforts of our teams


We have a clear and compelling vision,

embodied withing a sustainable business model

which fosters feasibility, as well as individual and team growth.


Positive, insightful communication

empowers individuals and teams along the journey.


Measurable benchmarks

allow teams to see their contribution to the vision.


Leaders are called to be visionaries, coaches, mentors, teachers,

and [most importantly] students.


"As your sphere of influence grows,

so grows your responsibility for stewardship of these Guiding Principles." - Barry Wehmiller




About Our Logo



Our logo is infused with layers of significance.


If you look closely, the dog in our logo may at first appear out of proportion. This is because the dog is traveling away from the viewer. The rear quarters clearly show a departure. However the dog's head has turned back to the viewer, and the dog's spine has begun to curl back to the foreground. This illustration was captured from the moment of what we call a "head snap." This is the moment the dog catches the target odor it is searching for, and we see this change of behavior which then determines the dog's path of travel, and hopefully location of the missing person or source of odor.


The dog's vest was chosen as red with a cross as a universal symbol of assistance.


The print colors are the industry standard ANSI Safety colors (ANSI Safety Red Pantone 485 for the K9 vest, ANSI Safety Yellow Pantone 109 for the background and borders, ANSI Safety Blue Pantone 2945 for the Columbia Basin, ANSI Safety Gray Pantone 430 for the small highlight of the ribbon).


The blue shape represents the Columbia Basin, which extends from Canada, through Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. According to geologists, the Missoula Floods equaling half the volume of Lake Michigan, tore through the landscape, proceeding at 80 miles per hour, transforming everything in the path. Some places were stripped to bedrock, while other places received rich deposits of soils. These floods shaped the Columbia Basin.



The Board of Directors



President, Director of K9 Operations - Tracy Wessel

Tracy is the owner of Intention Hill Farms & Kennel, and authors proposals for a Federal Contractor in the construction and environmental remediation fields. She was a former jockey, racing Thoroughbred and Arabian horses in the Mid-Atlantic states and California, and was a graphic designer and art director for nearly 15 years. Tracy has been involved with Search and Rescue since 2006, and certified four dogs in 2017 in the disciplines of Area Search, HRD, Trailing and Water Search. Her aged dog is certified to Area Search and HRD, and she has a retired Urban and Wilderness Trailing dog with a find to his credits. Tracy has served with both Yamhill and Benton County SAR in Oregon, and there trained with three major K9 units that served the area, eventually finding the best fit with K9 Special Teams, led by Jeff Isaly. Tracy has also trained with Flathead County SAR of Montana and numerous teams throughout Washington and Idaho.


Vice President, Director of Finance - Harriet Collier

Harriet is the owner of Howling Moon Ranch in Libby, Montana. The ranch is a wolf sanctuary, and also houses draft horses. Harriet and her husband also have hunting dogs and two Belgian Shepherds. Harriet worked from 1990 - 2008 for a CPA as an assistant.  She was a full charge bookkeeper, and is proficient at Quickbooks.  She can read and understand financial statements.


Director of Operations & Safety - CM Sam Jenkins

Sam began his life of service when he entered the U.S. Air Force (USAF) in the Fall of 1964. During his 30 years of enlistment, he served three South-East Asia tours during the Vietnam War, and earned two A.A. Degrees, one in Avionics Systems Technology and the other in Safety from the Community College of the Air Force.  His last ten years with the USAF were spent as a Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the 446th Reserve Wing Safety Office at McChord AFB, WA.  There he developed a Safety Program Evaluation system that earned the 446th Air Wing Received the USAF Reserve Safety office award of the year in 2006.


Retired in 2008 from Home Builders Institute, the largest association of builders in the United States, where he worked seven years as a vocational instructor within the Job Corps system, then his last fifteen years as a National Coordinator for up to 29 states and 80 Job Corps programs, coordinating the placement of over 900 graduates a year. He was certified as an OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Construction Safety Outreach Instructor, conducting safety classes throughout the USA.


While serving on the national staff of Home Builders Institute, the educational and workforce development arm of the National Association of Home Builders,  he was assigned to help write and implement the company safety program that covered over 300 construction vocational instructors and staff throughout the United States.


He is the Father of nine children and Grandfather of 37 and Great Grandfather of 5. Currently married to Margaret A. Jenkins.


Sam continues to live a life of service, sharing his expertise with the following organizations:


  • Currently serves on the Ferry County Civil Service Commission and has served as Chairman of that Commission since 2003.
  • President of the Board of Directors of a 150 member Home Owners Association and has served on it's Board of Directors for the past eleven years.
  • Currently the Ferry County Citizen Corps Council Coordinator and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) team coordinator and trainer.
  • Currently, the Chairman of the Ferry County EMS and Trauma Care Council.
  • Currently the President of The Ferry County ARES Amateur Radio Club and serves as the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) Emergency Coordinator and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) Officer for Ferry County.
  • American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Radio instructor.
  • Served with the Ferry County Search And Rescue Strike Team since 2008 and has served as its President for the past six years.
  • Currently serves as the Director of Northern Operations for the Colonel Robert B. Eaton School of Survival, operating in the Canadian Yukon and Northwest Territories.
  • In 2015 he was elected to serve on the Washington State SARVAC Executive team as Member at Large Director Position Two for 2015 -2018.
  • In December of 2017 he was appointed as Director of Operations/Safety of Columbia Basin Search Dogs.


Director of Procurement & Contracts, Secretary - Zaira Lupidi

Zaira is has extensive experience with procurement and contracts as a contracting officer with the Federal Government. She has dived into helping us evaluate potential purchases for technology and equipment, and helping us with records maintenance and donar agreements. Her experience includes the following:

  • 2 years with Department of Defense working service and commodities contracts under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold
  • 2 years with Department of Defense working with a 5yr $5M multiple award task order construction contract
  • 1 year working with the VA on multiple Indefinite delivery Indefinite quantity $7.5M contracts for new/updates on VA hospitals nation wide
  • Currently runnung the Government purchase card program at $4M for Grand Coulee dam with 56 card holders