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Wash. panel asked to give rural residents right to kill threatening wolves

A gray wolf rests in tall grass in this undated photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Associated Press)
A gray wolf rests in tall grass in this undated photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Associated Press)

UPDATED 4/25/13 at 10:50 a.m. regarding recording of upcoming meeting.

ENDANGERED SPECIES -- A request to allow landowners to protect people, pets and livestock by killing an attacking wolf without a permit will be considered Friday in a urgently scheduled special meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife commision.

Ten state lawmakers -- from both parties and both chambers -- signed a letter Tuesday (click on document below) requesting the commission to enact provisions of two wolf-control bills that are stalling in the 2013 Washington Legislature.

The bills, which have been endorsed by Washington Fish and Wildlife Department biologists, would people to shoot wolves caught in the act of attacking their animals. They also address funding for non-lethal deterrents to wolf depredation.

The measures would apply to the eastern third of Washington where the federal government has delisted gray wolves from federal endangered species protections, but where state protections still apply.

State wildlife managers have testified at legislative committee hearings that the measures would likely result in few wolves killed.

They said the measures would improve social tolerance for the rapidly growing wolf population in northeastern Washington by giving rural dwellers a tool to protect their property if needed.

Idaho and Wyoming enacted similar provisions in the early years of wolf reintroduction and only three wolves were taken, WDFW biologists testified.

However, pressure by animal rights activists in Western Washington apparently have kept lawmakers from moving the measures to final consideration (although the bills are not dead). They apparently were unmoved, even by the testimony of man whose dog was attacked by a wolf on the porch of his house.

Public can listen to recording of wolf issue meeting

The public can listen to a recording of the special meeting on wolf measures shortly after it adjourns. The meeting is set to start Friday at 1 p.m.

  • People keenly interested can listen to the meeting live via telecommunications at WDFW regional offices in Spokane, Ephrata and Yakima

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commisison office originally said the meeting would be open in a live online audio stream.  But the office announced later that a recording would be posted ASAP after the meeting on the commission website.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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