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News updates on our work from the Coast to the Rockies.
As the Huckleberry Wolf Pack situation continues to evolve, Conservation Northwest has been in regular communication with the office of Governor Jay Inslee, our elected leaders in the state legislature and Department of Fish and Wildlife officials. We have also been receiving direct updates from agency specialists and independent wolf experts working on the ground at the incident site in Stevens County.
Conservation Northwest is disturbed by conflict occurring between the members of the Huckleberry Wolf Pack and a sheep herd in Stevens County. We have been contacted by Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) and informed that up to four members of the pack will be killed.
Ranchers have begun turning out cows and calves onto seasonal grazing lands. Some of those lands overlap with territory home to Washington’s recovering wolves. And that’s where you’ll find livestock under the watchful eye of range riders co-sponsored by Conservation Northwest.
A non-lethal wolf mitigation tool that's centuries-old is helping prevent wolf-livestock conflict in the Teanaway Valley this spring. And Conservation Northwest staff and volunteers were happy to lend a hand to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to put it in place.
The illegally killed wolf was once part of the Smackout Pack in northeast Washington. Today, Conservation Northwest and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced a reward for up to $7,500 to anyone who can offer information leading to the conviction of the person or persons involved in the illegal killing of a female collared gray wolf.
The Spokesman-Review on Sunday ran a feature article telling the story of Conservation Northwest's budding range rider program. This last season, 2013, Conservation Northwest expanded the program to sponsor range riders for three ranch families in Washington.
The comment deadline for protecting wolves in much of the United States including the Northwest has been extended to 10/28/13, with public hearings scheduled for Sacramento, Albuquerque, and Washington DC.
Over 50,000 acres of rich watershed and habitat for wolves and other wildlife in the Teanaway River Valley will soon be acquired and managed as Washington State public land, thanks to the ongoing work of Forterra and other partners. The Teanaway acquisition adds to the Cascades habitat connectivity objectives spearheaded by Conservation Northwest through our Cascades Conservation Partnership.
Conservation Northwest urges continued protection for Washington's Cascades wolves and their recognition as a distinct population. This approach would allow all the aspects of the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan to be fully implemented, while allowing for higher federal poaching fines and greater accountability to recovery goals.
The state has passed legislation funding proven methods including range riding to reduce conflicts with large carnivores. Funds will come from $10 added to the cost of a Washington vanity license plate. The change is expected to raise more than $1 million/year without raising taxes.