Personal tools
You are here: Home News Press Room Press Releases Where wolves and livestock share the land in Washington
Document Actions
  • Email this page
  • Print this
  • Bookmark and Share

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Where wolves and livestock share the land in Washington

Compensation and deterrents help find a balance

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating whether wolves in Washington have killed a cow southwest of Twisp. It is possible that the cow might have died by other means and been scavenged by the wolves. "If wildlife experts confirm that individual wolves from the Lookout Pack were responsible for taking down a cow, we will push for swift and fair compensation to the rancher," said Jay Kehne, Okanogan outreach organizer for Conservation Northwest, who lives in Omak.

For more information, contact
Twisp, WA May 22, 2009

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating whether wolves in Washington have killed a cow southwest of Twisp. It is possible that the cow might have died by other means and been scavenged by the wolves.

“If wildlife experts confirm that individual wolves from the Lookout Pack were responsible for taking down a cow, we will push for swift and fair compensation to the rancher,” said Jay Kehne, Okanogan County outreach associate for Conservation Northwest, who lives in Omak. The conservation group Defenders of Wildlife has a program of compensation to ranchers that has been successful in other western states.

Said Kehne, “So far, the Lookout Pack has been a good, quiet neighbor in the valley, despite having their pack social structure shaken up by the recent poaching of one pup and one adult.”

The endangered species poaching took place earlier this year in the Okanogan. Conservation Northwest has spent the last two years participating in the state-commissioned Washington Wolf Working Group to develop a state conservation and management plan for wolves.

“Wolves typically hunt and feed on native prey including deer, elk, and moose, but unfortunately, they occasionally get into trouble with domestic livestock. Being good stewards of the land means sharing the land with wildlife. It also means helping ranchers defend their livestock by preventing and avoiding conflicts with wildlife in the first place,” said Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest’s executive director.

Wolves can, like other large carnivores such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions, add extra challenges for livestock owners, but there are many effective, non-lethal ways to greatly reduce the conflicts. Conservation Northwest will be working with livestock owners in the Methow Valley this year to help implement some of the effective deterrents used to reduce conflict with wolves that are widely used elsewhere in wolf country.

Tools and strategies for deterring depredations include properly disposing of sick, dead, and dying animals, and using livestock guard dogs; fencing, fladry, and night pens; range riders and herders; scare devices; and alternative grazing sites. Deterrents have been used with success in areas such as Idaho and Montana, with both livestock owners and wildlife managers seeing tangible benefits.

“Where wolves and livestock share the land, we’re bound to see these occurrences,” said Jay Kehne. “Together we can minimize the conflicts and keep the valley safe for wildlife and ranchers’ livestock.”

###

Document Actions
powered by Plone | site by Groundwire Consulting and served with clean energy