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What we do for wolves

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Conservation Northwest has worked for the return of wolves from our founding in 1989 through their return to Washington in 2008, the passing of a state wolf recovery plan in 2011, to successful non-lethal methods for living with wolves in 2013 and beyond.

Moving forward for wolves. © Art Wolfe
Moving forward for wolves. © Art Wolfe

Conservation Northwest has worked for the return of wolves since our founding in 1989. As part of the Washington Wolf Working Group, we helped achieve a science-based Wolf Conservation and Management Plan in 2011 to guide wolf recovery in our state. 

In 2014 and 2015, we have participated in the Washington Wolf Advisory Group to continue to provide input for wolf recovery and coexistence. 

We are working for the recovery of wolves in Washington, as well as coexistence between these native predators, people and livestock, including helping landowners avoid conflicts with wolves and ensuring ranchers and others have access to non-lethal tools.

Helping wolves recover

With your support, we are active for Washington's wolves:

  • During the summer of 2014, we had five range riders on the ground in the territory of five Washington wolf packs helping six ranchers prevent conflict between livestock and wolves. No livestock and no wolves were killed in these areas during the range riding season. The success of our Range Rider Pilot Program is building tolerance for recovering wolves.
  • We help ranchers, farmers and livestock operators employ fladry, carcass composting and other non-lethal conflict avoidance measures. 
  • In 2013, we helped gain $1 million in funding for conflict prevention tools to aid ranchers and wolves.
  • Promoting bills that help fund wolf-livestock conflict resolution and opposing bills that harm wolves and the state's wolf plan.
  • Upholding the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and moving forward legislation to fund non-lethal conflict management tools.
  • In fall 2012, turning people out before the Fish & Wildlife Commission, urging responsibility on all sides and use of non-lethal tools for avoiding conflict and living with wolves.

  • Co-starring in a BBC/Discovery Channel film on the return of Cascades wolves, which aired April-July 2012.
  • Working closely with Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), as well as several ranchers across the state who are interested in improving their operations.
  • Helping landowners avoid conflicts with wolves and ensuring they have access to non-lethal tools for dealing with wolves.

  • Cost-sharing with the WDFW to hire range riders – including the state's first-ever range rider project – and host trainings with outside experts.

  • Working on the ground in areas of conflict – we have staff on the ground in Omak, Twisp, and Colville – in areas near returning wolf packs.

  • Helping strengthen Washington's wolf plan. Our years of direct involvement in this issue means we are best poised to make the most meaningful changes.

  • Helping fund a significant poaching reward fund to deter poachers. Together with the WDFW, we have already provided $10,000 to stop poaching.

  • Conducting volunteer wildlife monitoring of wolves in areas where they have, and have not yet, been documented.
  • Gaining recognition and protection for Pacific Northwest wolves (the Cascades west, from Washington to northern California) as a unique and distinct population.
  • Gaining people's support for wolf recovery, including wolf events around the state. Sign up online to find where and when!
Thank you to the generous contributors supporting our wolf recovery, conflict avoidance, and Range Rider Pilot Program, including: the Campion Foundation, Lufkin Family Foundation, Riverstyx Foundation, Washington Women’s Foundation and Wilburforce Foundation.
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