Washington Fish & Wildlife Rejects Nonlethal Wolf Management

Eight Petitioning Groups Will Appeal Fish and Wildlife Commission Wolf Decision

wolves in washingtonPress Release from the Center for Biological Diversity, August 1, 2014:  “The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today denied a petition filed by eight conservation groups seeking to limit when wolves can be killed in response to livestock depredations, and to require livestock producers to exhaust nonlethal measures to prevent depredations before lethal action can be taken. The petition was filed to prevent lethal actions such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 2012 decision to kill seven wolves in the Wedge Pack despite the fact that the livestock producer who had lost livestock had taken little action to protect his stock. Petitioners plan to appeal the commission’s decision to the governor.

“Washington needs to make legally enforceable commitments to ensure the state’s vulnerable, fledgling wolf population is treated like the endangered species that it is,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The state has made some headway, but without clear rules to prevent the department from pulling the trigger too quickly, Washington’s wolves will be at great risk.”

“Conservation groups filed a similar petition in the summer of 2013 but withdrew it based on promises from the department to negotiate new rules governing lethal methods of wolf management. A year later, with no negotiations having taken place, the department gave notice to the commission it was going to introduce its own, far-less-protective lethal wolf-control rule, leading the groups to refile their petition.”

Source:  Center for Biological Diversity.

GR:  Historical ties to special interests influence government wildlife agencies.  For public land managers, the U. S. “wild-wild-west” legacy shows up in the inflated influence of hunters and ranchers. These groups form the society to which public agency officials belong.  Lacking respect for outsiders, the officials often use tricks and deception to serve their old friends.