ENDANGERED SPECIES — Washington lawmakers last week began consideration of a pair of bills that deal with wolves.
Senate Bill 6139, which was requested by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlfie, would set a cap of $50,000 per year on the compensation the agency could pay from its wildlife account for claims related to wolf attacks on livestock.
Dave Ware, WDFW Game Division manager, said the bill seeks to balance the needs of humans and wildlife. It would also add the gray wolf to the state's definition of big game.
Senate Bill 6137 would provide an affirmative defense for killing a wolf caught in the act of attacking livestock. The defense would be allowed only where wolves have been taken off the federal endangered species list — the eastern third of the state — and only if the WDFW was notified within 72 hours.
Both bills have been discussed by the Senate Committee on Energy, Natural Resources and Marine Waters.
See details in this story by the Capital Press.