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Washington Officials Target Togo Wolf Pack to Protect Cows

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind issued a kill order for up to two wolves from the Togo wolf family in response to depredation of cattle on grazing lands in Ferry County. The order allows for the killing of up to two wolves.

This isn’t the first time WDFW has targeted the Togo pack, or the state’s wolf population in general. Sharpshooters killed the breeding male of the Togo pack in 2018, leaving behind his mate and two pups; attempted to destroy the entire family (of just two wolves) in the fall of 2019; and targeted the Togo family in 2020 and 2021.

The lethal removal authorization expires when the wolf or wolves in the authorization have been removed or after June 27, 2022 (regardless of whether wolves have been removed), whichever comes first. 

Killing Wolves Doesn’t Solve Problems

The state has obliterated several wolf packs over the years, starting with the Wedge Pack in 2012, and has caused countless packs to fragment as a result of targeting individual wolves. All of these kill orders were issued with the same goal: stop livestock depredation. Yet science shows that killing a wolf can increase the risk that wolves will prey on livestock in the future. It is counterproductive and unsustainable.

This latest removal order further illustrates WDFW’s willingness to prioritize private industry over the state’s wildlife. Why are WDFW officials continuing to ignore peer-reviewed science that indicates lethal control of wolves only exacerbates livestock conflict, especially when they’re presented with years of evidence in their own state?