On Aug. 29, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission held a public meeting in Ellensburg regarding the Wolf Recovery Program, which according to a recent poll by the WDFW over 70 percent of Washington residents approve.
The commission spoke of its goal of having 15 wolf packs in the state (there are now five) in three regions: the northeast corner of the state, North Cascades and Southern Cascades.
Cattle ranchers passionately spoke of their concerns that wolves would kill their cattle and badly damage their business. The Cattlemen Association reports one cow was killed about a year ago in the state. Hunters voiced their concern that wolves would kill large numbers of elk and make it more difficult to bag a trophy.
Science has shown the wolf plays an important role in the ecosystem. Since the introduction of the gray wolf to Yellowstone Park about 15 years ago, plant life along the creeks that was badly overgrazed by elk herds has returned to a normal healthy state. Studies have shown these wolves primarily kill old elk and that the elk herds are healthier now and act like the wild animals they are!
Welcome back home, wolves, to Washington state!
Larry L. Whitesitt