Latest from The Spokesman-Review
The Secretary of State's office has a map of Tuesday's results in the 7th District Senate race that shows John Smith on top in four counties and Brian Dansel on top in one.
That one, Ferry County, which is Dansel's home county. So one would expect him to run strongest there. But the bad news for Dansel was, that's also the least populous county in the district.
It's true that Spin Control creates precinct maps of election results most days after an election. We're passing this time because of the small number of races, the odd shape of coupled with the fact that in most of them, the person in first place finished in first in most of the precincts in the district.
OLYMPIA — Washington will set up a special fund to pay for losses of livestock to the state's growing wolf population under a bill signed Tuesday.
The new law sets aside up to $50,000 each year from the money raised by selling personalized license plate for losses from wolves. It also allows farmers and ranchers to be compensated for all animal losses, not just for animals being raised for commercial purposes under the previous law.
Senate Bill 5193, sponsored by Sen. John Smith of Colville, was a key to expansion of Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations that allow property owners to shoot a wolf that is attacking livestock or pets.
The Legislature debated several plans to control wolves in Eastern Washington because the rapid growth in the formerly endangered animals' population as a result of successful recovery efforts.
“This is something where Washington state can really lead the nation in figuring out how to deal with the recovery process,” Gov. Jay Inslee said.
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.
To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.
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. . .
To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.
John Smith, a Colville-area farmer and businessman, was appointed by Northeastern Washington county commissioners to replace Bob Morton, who retired at the beginning of the year from his post as 7th District state Senator.
He'll be sworn in Jan. 9 in advance of the session, which starts Jan. 14.