Controversy around WA’s Wedge Pack Continues
Over the past few years wildlife advocates have been elated to learn about wolves that had quietly claimed new territory as their own in the Pacific Northwest. Just a few months ago we howled with glee when news that Washington State was officially home to eight confirmed packs! Wolves, however, are often coupled with controversy and Washington’s newest confirmed wolves, the Wedge Pack, are in the middle of it. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) accuses the pack of preying on livestock in the Colville National Forest on the northeastern boundary of the state’s border with Canada. Under WA’s wolf management plan, the state can opt to issue kill orders on wolves found guilty of repeatedly preying on livestock. The Wedge wolves have been accused, but is there evidence to confirm they are guilty? Despite that several experts that say no, WDFW has issued a kill order on all of the pack’s adult wolves.
Suzanne Asha Stone, the Northern Rockies Representative for Defenders of Wildlife, is among the wolf depredation experts that believe that the state’s reports fail to prove that wolves killed or injured livestock. She explains “several wolf depredation experts, including (herself), have reviewed the state’s investigation reports and found that none of the injuries are characteristic of wolf predation on livestock.” Stone continues that “despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, the state has already used the complaints as a basis to kill a female wolf from the pack, and now has issued a kill order on the rest of the pack’s adult wolves.” Many wildlife advocacy groups and are demanding that this pack gets a fair hearing. If your hackles are raised, please take a moment to speak up on behalf of the Wedge Pack by following the below directions provided by Defenders of Wildlife (Full article: http://www.defendersblog.org/2012/08/will-a-washington-wolf-pack-die-tomorrow/)
Christine Gregoire, Governor of WA
Director, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Asst. Director, WDFW – Nate Pamplin (360-902-2693)
Please be calm and respectful when you tell them:
1) Stop: Rescind the kill order! Don’t sentence an entire pack to death.
2) Prove it: Conduct an independent review of the evidence to determine that wolves were at fault for the injuries, and publish the review’s findings. If the wolves are at fault, there should be no problem in proving it publicly.
3) Start slow: If the review finds that the wolves are at fault, use non-lethal deterrents first. Sending sharpshooters after wolves should be the absolute last resort, not the go-to option.