Posts tagged: wolves
OLYMPIA – New rules for dealing with wolf attacks on livestock and domestic animals, which seemed stalled in the Legislature, may be announced as early as today a result of action by key legislators and a state commission.
Today, the House gave final approval to a bill that adds $10 to the cost of certain specialty license plates to provide money for non-lethal methods to control the growing gray wolf populations in Eastern Washington. After being pulled out of committee by a special parliamentary maneuver, it passed unanimously.
Friday, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider rules that would allow residents to kill a wolf that is attacking livestock or pets. The rules are expected to be similar to the provisions of a separate bill that generated hot debate between rural Republican legislators from Eastern Washington and their urban Democratic counterparts. It narrowly passed the Senate but stalled in the House.
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Shelby sits while his owners John Stevie and Sharon Willoya describe the wolf attack that almost killed the dog on March 10.
OLYMPIA – The key witness at a hearing on whether Eastern Washington needs new laws on wolves need to be changed didn't say a word Wednesday.
Shelby, a six-year-old mostly Siberian Husky mix, sat or lay quietly while county commissioners, cattlemen and wildlife officials warned about the growing danger from wolves in Eastern Washington. Then she followed her owner John Stevie to the witness table where he explained how the 60-pound dong knows about wolves first hand.
One attacked her on the porch of his home outside Twisp, 10 nights earlier. . .
OLYMPIA – Farmers, ranchers and county officials from Eastern Washington said a plan to manage wolves as they are re-established in the state has good ideas but doesn't go far enough to cover their potential losses or protect their property.
But wildlife advocates warned that proposals to loosen the restrictions for shooting predators go too far and could encourage “an open season” on wolves.
Wolves are making a remarkable comeback in Washington, Dave Ware of the state Fish and Wildlife Department told the Senate Natural Resources Committee Tuesday. A year ago, there were five confirmed wolf packs in the state; now there are eight confirmed packs and three more suspected packs.
“We’re anticipating a fairly rapid growth rate,” Ware said. . .
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OLYMPIA — Rep. Joel Kretz made good today on his promise to help Western Washington enjoy one of the “advantages” Eastern Washington has — wolves.
Kretz, R-Wauconda, introduced a bill that would allow the Department of Fish and Wildlife to “translocate” wolves that are captured in Eastern Washington to the other side of the state. Wolves are a protected species under state law, and seven or eight of the state's nine recognized packs are in his northeastern Washington district.
“If wolves are so wonderful, I don't think we should be hoarding them in my district,” Kretz said.
Under his proposal, captured wolves could be sent to anywhere that has at least 50 square miles of territory, the amount needed for an adult wolf to roam. That would include some islands in the Puget Sound, and the Olympic Peninsula. That would allow the entire state to “enjoy the re-establishment of this majestic species.”
The department does not currently relocate captured wolves out of their territory, although it does tag or put radio collars on some before releasing them.
He said he asked for co-sponsors from some Western Washington legislators but didn't get any takers.
The bill may never get a hearing, and is a facetious attempt to make a point for another bill Kretz expects to introduce in the next week. That bill would allow the state to take wolves off its endangered species list in Eastern Washington, a step the federal government has already taken, he said. That would allow ranchers to kill wolves attacking livestock or pets, and possibly lay the groundwork for regulated hunting.