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Seven pro-wolf groups have asked Gov. Chris Gregoire and other state officials to end efforts to kill some of the wolves involved with cattle attacks in northern Stevens County. In a letter dated Friday, the groups said Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officers did not find conclusive evidence that wolves were responsible for killing and injuring Diamond M Ranch cattle, so no more wolves should be killed.
State wildlife officers responded Thursday to the latest in a monthlong series of wolf attacks on cattle in northern Stevens County. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering more lethal action and possibly breaking up the Wedge Pack near the Canada border.
Washington leaped this week to a contentious milestone in the early stages of its modern wolf management era. The state Fish and Wildlife Department has killed the first gray wolf in more than 70 years in response to attacks on livestock.
A calf injured in a wolf attack in northern Stevens County – the fourth wounded or killed in one cattle herd in four weeks – has left the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department contemplating a response, including killing one or more wolves in the Wedge Pack. “All options are on the table,” Madonna Luers, the agency’s spokeswoman in Spokane, said Monday.
A wolf recently killed a calf in Stevens County, and the rancher has permission to shoot the animal if it attacks the Diamond M Ranch’s herd again, state officials said. The permit was issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which said the wolf has to be caught in the act of attacking cattle. State officials are also working with the rancher to help him protect his herd through nonlethal measures.