Outdoors

Death sentence issued for entire wolf pack in Wedge area

Map shows the range of the Wedge Pack in the first six weeks after the pack's alpha male was trapped, collared, released and monitored by radio telemetry. While the pack ranges well into Canada, Washington Fish and Wildlife officials have associated the wolves with attacks on cattle in grazing alotments in the
Map shows the range of the Wedge Pack in the first six weeks after the pack's alpha male was trapped, collared, released and monitored by radio telemetry. While the pack ranges well into Canada, Washington Fish and Wildlife officials have associated the wolves with attacks on cattle in grazing alotments in the "wedge" area between the Kettle and Columbia rivers.

ENDANGERED SPECIES — One thing's for sure: Beef is not healthy for wolves.

At a public meeting in Colville Thursday night, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department announced intentions to eliminate the entire Wedge Pack of wolves that have killed or injured at least 15 cattle in northern Stevens County since mid-July.

This is a milestone in the controversial process of wolf recovery, the first time a wolf pack has been targeted in Washington since gray wolves were extirpated from the West with guns, traps and poison in the early 1900s. Eliminating wolf packs focused on livestock already has been employed in Montana and Idaho where the issues arose.

Statements were issued late Friday afternoon by the WDFW along with the state Cattlemen's Association and Conservation Northwest.

Details of the meeting and the agency's plan to kill the wolves are spelled out in this morning's report by Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman.

For those watching this issue, the writing was on the wall.

The scenario was pretty well set up, as I illustrated in my Thursday column, when WDFW officials confirmed another wolf attack on Diamond M Ranch cattle on Sunday.

Walgamott also posted a detailed scene-setting report.

The agency posted answers to frequently asked questions on Wednesday night.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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