WASHINGTON WOLVES? GOVERNMENT SHOWDOWN? – Wolves have been a problem to local ranchers in the North-East part of Washington State for several years. Things could get worse if the Governor has something to do with it. There are many environmental groups pushing for the return of Gray wolves to their states. Unfortunately, the Democratic Governor is listening to their cries.
Wolves almost became extinct in Washington in the 1930s. But since 2008 they have been working their way back into the state from Northern Idaho and Southern Canada. Since that time, the Gray wolves have come into regular contact with ranchers and livestock in Northeast Washington. Due to this fact and because of requests of local ranchers, State Wildlife Officials began to manage the wolf numbers by exterminating some local wolf packs.
The Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, is looking to revise how the state deals with problem wolves. And also is looking to dramatically decrease the number of wolves killed. In a letter Inslee sent to the State Fish and Game he says the current management method for wolves is not working. Inslee wrote, “We must find new methods to better support co-existence between Washington’s livestock industry and gray wolves in our state, The status quo of annual lethal removal is simply unacceptable.”
The Washington State Representative, Republican Joel Kretz, who represents the area in question says, “We need less livestock killed. The ranchers in the area have worked hard to develop non-lethal means of keeping wolves away from cattle. Most of the new ideas are coming from them, but when it doesn’t work you have to do something.”
The President of the Center for a Humane Economy, Wayne Pacelle says, “In recent years the state has killed 25 wolves in the Ferry County area on behalf of a single ranch. Killing off wolves and packs has been the wrong strategy for the state in managing occasional wolf-human conflicts.”
Governor Inslee has given the State Fish and Game until December 1st to present a new wolf management plan that will ensure the killing of fewer wolves. To read the entire article about the Washington Gray Wolf from the Associated Press click on the link. Could other states be looking at the same problem with wolves and the government?