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Gray wolf: Road to Recovery

After nearly a century, wolves are back in Washington, and despite some setbacks, the public is learning how to better co-exist with these creatures.

Wolf by Brooks Falls, wikipedia
Wolf by Brooks Falls, wikipedia
  • January 2015-Several wolf-related bills are proposed during the 2015 Washington State Legislative Session. Conservation Northwest issues a statement urging collaboration and a halt to hasty decisions that might put WA wolf recovery at risk. 
  • December 2014-For the third year in a row, ranchers and livestock operators involved in Conservation Northwest and WDFW's pilot range rider program report no losses of livestock to wolves. Their success is building tolerance for wolves in Eastern Washington. 
  • March 2014-There are now 13 confirmed wolf packs in Washington, with two additional packs that enter the state but den in Oregon and BC, respectively. 
  • July 2013-Washington now has 10 confirmed wolf packs (3 in the North Cascades and 7 in Eastern Washington), 2 suspected packs, and 2 border packs.
  • June 2013-Take action! USFWS proposed to delist from federal protections all wolves in the lower 48. Comment deadline is September 11, 2013. 
  • Apr 2013 - Legislation funds tools for conflict avoidance - good news for Washington's wolves and ranchers.
  • April 2013-US Fish and Wildlife Service considers eliminating protections for most wolves across the lower 48 states, including Cascades wolves.
  • Feb 2013 -Wenatchee Pack is the third for the Cascades. The two members are not yet known to be reproducing.
  • Nov 2012 - To improve the outlook for wolves and ranches, we brought experts and states agencies together, listened to livestock owners, and learned from the places where it is working.
  • August 2012-The Wedge Pack is killed as a result of ongoing cattle depredations. Removal of the Wedge Pack wolves is tragic, especially because the situation could have been avoided by early use of strategies to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock. 
  • August 2012-Service declares Wyoming gray wolf recovered under the Endangered Species Act and returns management authority to the state
  • Dec 2011 - The state Fish and Wildlife Commission approves a state plan for Washington's wolves.
  • Summer 2011 - WDFW releases an environmental impact statement and preferred plan to address conservation, management, and recovery of Washington's gray wolves.
  • July 2011 - The Teanaway pack is documented just north of I-90 in the central Washington Cascades and the Smackout pack near the Selkirks, bringing the wolf population to 5 confirmed packs and 30 to 50 animals.
  • June 2011 - A grand jury released indictments against several Washington residents for the killing of multiple members of the Lookout pack.
  • March 2011 - Conservation Northwest contributes funding together with WDFW toward a $10,000 reward fund for information leading to the conviction poachers of Washington's wildlife. There has been no poaching of wolves since the increase in the reward fund.
  • 2009 to 2010 - The wolf plan and draft EIS is presented at hearings throughout the state and goes on to receive 65,000 comments, the vast majority positive towards wolf recovery.
  • 2009 - Members of the Lookout wolf pack, including the alpha female, are poached.
  • 2008 - Conservation Northwest cameras document the first wolf pack in Washington in 70 years: the Lookout pack in the Cascades.
  • 2007-WDFW starts drafting a wolf plan, together with a 17-member, Governor-designated, citizen-based Wolf Working Group, including conservationists, ranchers, and livestock producers.
  • 1995 - Gray wolves first reintroduced in Yellowstone and Idaho
  • 1973 - Wolves are protected as endangered species in lower 48 states
  • Early 1900s-Years of animosity towards predators and other wildlife and government-sponsored bounty payments eradicate wolves from Washington.

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