Wolves are back to Washington, after more than 70 years' absence. A state wolf recovery plan and funding for conflict prevention tools help them recover.
Wolves have returned to Washington. Today there are as many as a dozen packs, both confirmed and unconfirmed, in our state. Yet the future of Washington's wolves is not yet assured, and their recovery is still precarious.
What we - and you -are doing for wolves ~ a 2012 film about Cascades wolves
Wolf recovery plan
Story: Can wolves and livestock share a landscape?
Story: Range riding in Washington
Story: Hunters talk about wolves
Story: Are Northwest wolves unique?
As wolves continue their return to Washington, a Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, approved in 2011, provides for wolf recovery from endangered status. An outpouring of public support for wolves in Washington (65,000 comments – from you!) bolstered this science-based wolf plan. Thank you for speaking up for wolves!
The approved plan is a pragmatic and broadly supported outline for restoring wolves, minimizing livestock/wolf conflicts, maintaining healthy ungulate populations and hunting opportunities, and ensuring that wolves can eventually serve their keystone role in Washington’s ecosystems.
Protection for wolves
At the heart of the wolf plan is protection for Washington's wolves under state endangered species law until at least 15 breeding pairs are established, well distributed among three separate areas across the state. At that point, wolves would be considered recovered here and "delisted" from endangered species protection.
Latest wolf press ~ Wolf q & a
Recent wolf history
- Legislation funds tools for conflict avoidance - excellent news for Washington's wolves and ranchers. April 2013
- 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. Nov 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. The other packs are faring well. Sept 2012
- Visit Washington Fish and Wildlife for an interactive map showing possibly a dozen, confirmed and non-confirmed, wolf packs in Washington. Aug 2012
- Washington's wolf plan is approved by the Fish & Wildlife Commission. Dec 2011
- WDFW releases an environmental impact statement and preferred plan to address conservation, management, and recovery of Washington's gray wolves. Summer 2011
- The Teanaway pack was 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. July 2011
- A grand jury released indictments against several Washington residents for the killings. June 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. March 2011
- The plan and draft environmental impact statement (EIS) is presented at hearings throughout the state and goes on to receive 65,000 comments, the vast majority positive towards wolf recovery. 2009-2010
- Members of the Lookout wolf pack, including the alpha female, are poached. 2009
- Conservation Northwest cameras document the first wolf pack in Washington in 70 years: the Lookout pack in the upper Methow Valley. 2008
- WDFW starts drafting a wolf plan, together with a 17-member, Governor-designated, citizen-based Wolf Working Group, including conservationists, ranchers, and livestock producers. 2007