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Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Washington officials to kill wolves in Grouse Flats pack

This March 13, 2014  photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a female wolf from the Minam pack outside La Grande, Ore., after it was fitted with a tracking collar. (Uncredited / AP)
This March 13, 2014 photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a female wolf from the Minam pack outside La Grande, Ore., after it was fitted with a tracking collar. (Uncredited / AP)

Members of the Grouse Flats wolf pack, in Southeast Washington, will be killed by state wildlife officials.

The order was announced Tuesday, following repeated attacks on cattle. The Grouse Flats pack has been involved in two depredations in the last 30 days and four in approximately two months despite the use of proactive nonlethal deterrents by area livestock producers, according to a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife news release.

“Despite proactive nonlethal efforts and deterrents by multiple producers affected, this pack has continued to prey on cattle,” WDFW Director Kelley Susewind said in the news release. “While not an easy decision, this step is part of mitigating wolf-livestock conflict if nonlethal measures cease to prevent incidences of wolves preying on livestock.”

In news releases, several environmental groups lambasted the decision calling it “shameful” and worrying what continued state killings will do to the state’s wolf population.

This year, WDFW killed all wolves in the Profanity Peak pack and ordered the killing of wolves in the Togo wolf pack. No wolves have been killed in the Togo Pack as of last week.

Meanwhile, roughly 80% of the known wolf packs in Washington have not attacked cattle in the past 10 months. A minimum of 126 wolves, 27 packs and 15 breeding pairs were counted by WDFW during their annual winter survey.

WDFW staff will explain to the Washington’s Wolf Advisory Group and the public how and why they decided to authorize lethal removal of wolves from the Grouse Flats pack. The conference call will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. To listen in call (360)407-3780 and dial 279699#.

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