Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Washington Announces New Wolf Killing Protocol

courtesy: Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
After the state mercilessly exterminated the Profanity Peak pack last year, outraged Washington residents demanded the state revise its wolf kill policy.  The extermination lasted eleven weeks and cost Washington state taxpayers $135,000. {30.09.16} The new policy was not subjected to public comment before being finalized.  In contrast Oregon, which is also developing a wolf management policy, held public hearings on the issue; one such hearing was held in Portland were the urban-rural divide over wolf recovery was on display.  US Person attended the hearing and submitted written comments in support of full wolf recovery in Oregon.   Opinions supporting the wolf were strongly represented by numerous wildlife advocates who want to see extermination used only as a last resort to control wolf-human conflicts.

Washington now requires the implementation of two non-lethal methods to control livestock depredations before the Department of Fish & Wildlife will issue a kill order.  However, there are no time limits on how long the methods have to be used.  Three livestock kills or injury have to take place in thirty days, or four in ten months, but the depredations need not be confirmed before an order is issued.  Conservationists call the new policy flawed since it was developed without public notice or comment.  The Department does recognize in its policy statement that it has a trust responsibility to manage wolves for all residents of the Washington, not just those with an affected economic interest.  The Profanity Pack was exterminated at the insistence of a local rancher, who four years earlier succeeded in having another pack, the Wedge, exterminated too.  That owner refused to use non-lethal deterrents to wolf depredations.  Grey wolves have been federally de-listed in the eastern third of Washington state.