ENDANGERED SPECIES -- Washington wildlife managers have given a reprieve to four wolves targeted for killing in the state’s northeastern corner.
But the wolves aren't taking a holiday.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday that it was giving the temporary reprieve to give its team in the field a break, to avoid running into people outdoors on Labor Day and to evaluate what it’s learned so far about the pack’s activities. Officials say they’ll reconsider next week.
Then they received a new report of a wolf depredation on cattle in northern Stevens County, which is being investigated today.
The move announced Thursday to bring staff out of the field came after protests from conservation groups who argued that there’s little evidence the Stevens County pack, known as the Wedge pack, were to blame for recent depredations on the Diamond M ranch. Eight livestock have been injured or killed since last month, most recently in mid-August.
Officials killed one wolf Aug. 7 and planned to kill up to four more.
The conservation groups include Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity. The department maintains that the wolves are responsible.
If you still have a full appetite for the past week's regional wolf news, here's an assortment of stories compiled and headlined by Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman Magazine: