Washington Fish and Wildlife Department staffers have a big issue on their hands with moose – tons of them – making themselves home among city and suburban neighborhoods.
Conservation officers and biologists tranquilized and relocated four moose in four days the week of Feb. 18, and the police scanner was still humming last weekend with calls for help with moose that had settled into people’s yards.
“Some people couldn’t get out to their cars because of moose in their yards,” said Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman.
“It’s hard, time-consuming work to do this and it costs us about $3,000 in staff time, drugs and expenses for each case.”
The agency is beginning to look into a “living with moose” education program similar to that used in Anchorage, she said, noting that people must avoid approaching or trying to feed moose even though they look docile.
“In particular, it’s important to control dogs, which can rile a moose and bring the trouble back to its master.
“Our agents had to shoot a cow moose last week near Ford, Wash., after it stomped on a lady that was trying to stop it from kicking her dog.
“Once a moose injures somebody, we don’t have much choice but to destroy it.”
NW council sets Columbia plan
The regional agency that oversees Pacific Northwest power development has approved an extensive revision in its $200 million a year fish and wildlife management plan.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council voted last week to adopt a revision of its 2005 Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, which tries to mitigate the effects of hydroelectric dams in Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Washington.
Council Chairman Bill Booth said he was proud of the revised plan, which includes changes recommended by scientists, tribes, utility and fishery managers, and environmental groups.
But Nicole Cordan, spokeswoman for Save Our Wild Salmon, said she was concerned about a last-minute provision that suggests the council is considering removal of the Fish Passage Center, the agency that counts Columbia River salmon and steelhead, providing numbers that affect the amount of hydropower generated in the summer.
Staff and wire reports
Be on the lookout
Mount Spokane State Park will begin taking summer reservations for the Quartz Mountain lookout beginning today.
The lookout, accessible by foot or bicycle, is the only public overnight accommodation in the park. Cost: $73 a night.
Call park headquarters, (509) 238-4258, to request dates. Be flexible: Choice dates fill fast.