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Opinion >  Letters

A question of grazing

Recently, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a kill order targeting the collared male wolf in the Togo Pack, which consists of a breeding male and female and their pups of the year residing in the Kettle Range noted for its rough terrain. Livestock graze these lands under the USFS grazing program. Wolf-livestock conflict is the inevitable result.

A complaint questioning the legality of the protocol used to kill endangered wolves in Washington was filed last fall allowing litigants to file a temporary restraining order which was granted.

The court heard arguments and failed to make the order permanent. The Togo male was killed two days later. Regardless of the court’s decision, we must come together as a community and ask questions to work toward resolution that keeps livestock and wildlife out of harm’s way.

Year after year we face the same problem. Livestock grazing on public lands are preyed up on by wolves. I pose the question: Are we grazing cattle in the wrong place? It’s time we consider moving livestock to more protected areas or it is time for private industry grazing livestock on public lands to assume risk of loss.

Chris Bachman, Wildlife Program Director, The Lands Council



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