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WDFW takes aim at wolves

Posted by Jasmine Minbashian at Aug 22, 2012 05:10 PM |

Washington State is facing its first major test when it comes to wolf management. And so far, it's looking like a failing grade. One of Washington’s newly confirmed wolf packs, the Wedge Pack, stands accused of preying on livestock. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has already killed one wolf and plans to kill up to four more wolves to break apart the pack permanently. See a wolf video of a pack member from last winter.

WDFW takes aim at wolves

These are Huckleberry Pack pups: Will Washington pass its first major test for recovering wolves?

Washington State is facing its first major test when it comes to wolf management. And so far, it's looking like a failing grade. One of Washington’s newly confirmed wolf packs, the Wedge Pack, may not survive the end of the week.

Claiming that the pack has repeatedly preyed on livestock, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has already killed one wolf and plans to kill up to four more wolves to break apart the pack permanently.

However, independent experts with decades of experience in identifying wolf attacks on livestock say much of the evidence is inconclusive. They have questioned WDFW’s conclusions that wolves are the culprit, stating that the calves’ injuries are not typical of a wolf attack.

Despite this uncertainty, WDFW officials are refusing to take a more measured approach as laid out in Washington’s recently adopted Wolf Conservation and Management plan.

Here is video of a wolf from the Wedge Pack from last winter:

We’re asking our members and supporters to contact Governor Christine Gregoire at 360-902-4111 today. Respectfully ask her to urge the WDFW to take a more responsible approach to managing our state’s wolves – currently listed in Washington State as endangered.

Ask them to:

  • Immediately stop the killing of the Wedge Pack wolves until there is clearer evidence that they are preying on cattle and that all other options have been eliminated. We must allow more time and deliberation before taking the drastic step of breaking apart the pack.
  • If solid evidence does surface that the wolves are responsible, prioritize non-lethal deterrents first – as outlined in the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Ranchers must take some of the responsibility to protect their livestock from predators and other natural hazards, and not rely solely on government-sponsored killing of wolves as a solution.

Very important - please take an extra moment to let us know you called the governor!

And learn the facts about depredations and the wolf plan. Get involved online for Washington's wildlife!

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"Wedge Wolf Pack"

Posted by Iklwa at Aug 25, 2012 06:31 PM
I am continually amazed how activists can establish education programs, government agencies and advisory boards literally packed with those educated and selected for duty because of those qualifications and then, when scientific evidence provided by those self-same experts is contrary to the agenda espoused by organizations such as Conservation Northwest, how easily said evidence is cast aside for “data” more amenable to the group’s objective.

If CN were to have had its way, there would have been no recompense for damage to ranchers’ herds or provision for removal of destructive animals from an area.

This pack stands as loud testimony that wolves are apex predators that will not mind political or natural boundaries short of an ocean and will expand to threaten and dominate a landscape when unopposed. This pack is much the same as a “volunteer” flowering plant. It was brought about by powers uncontrolled by legislation and now their encroachment upon civilization will not be contained by means other than those described by the quoted rancher.

“Tooth, fang and claw…” is not just pretty language for an evening’s entertainment. It took centuries for man to subdue America proper. Evidence shows a return to life-threatening populations of wolves is but a few generations from reality if truth be consciously ignored.

I ask but one question: At what boundary will it be appropriate for the removal of such predatory species?

RE: "Wedge Wolf Pack"

Posted by Jasmine Minbashian at Aug 25, 2012 08:54 PM
Iklwa, Conservation Northwest supports removing problem wolves, but we'd like the agency to stick to its own protocols in the wolf plan - protocols that were developed with various stakeholders including cattlemen and hunters. If their was clear evidence that this pack was indeed conditioned to livestock and repeatedly preying on them we'd support lethal removal. But that is not the case. Until WDFW can demonstrate that wolves are clearly the problem, we will continue to ask for accountability. As for your claims that wolves are a "volunteer" flowering plant that are life-threatening, we simply just disagree on that point. Wolves are...just wolves. They are not evil and they are not saints. They do occasional eat cattle and other livestock but they are not the crazy voracious killers some people claim they are. In fact, they are not very efficient at all at taking down prey. They are part of this landscape and they are here to stay. The sooner people can accept that and learn to live with them, the better off we will all be.

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