Regional Wolf Flexibility
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
During a recent hearing of the state House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee ranchers, county commissioners and lawmakers testified about the extreme disproportionate impact that wolves are having in Northeast Washington. Wes McCart, rancher and Stevens County Commissioner, testified in favor of wolf related House Bills 1224, 1225, 1199 and 1791.
MCCART: I’ve asked for over two years to have SEPA done and translocate wolves; it’s part of the plan, it hasn’t happened. I keep getting one excuse after another from the department. Most of the people that are speaking in favor of wolves are not in the areas that are affected. I would personally not like to see anybody go through the pain we’re seeing in our area, but think about it for a minute, if we’re going to recover the wolf in the whole state it needs to happen somehow since it’s not happening naturally, and one area is being disproportionately victimized by this. I think it’s time that we actually spread the wolves out on our own and get it done.
Cattle and sheep producer Dave Dashiell, who lost 300 head of sheep to wolf depredation this past summer, also testified in favor of the bills.
DASHIELL: We got whacked pretty hard last summer by the Huckleberry Pack. So far between us and the Wedge Pack a couple of years ago there’s been, depending on how you want to figure it, something in the neighborhood of $250,000 worth of economic damage, and that doesn’t even count the emotional stress and everything. This regional delisting - I think that’s a good idea because like Wes said we have to have some tools. We can’t afford to wait till the whole state is recovered, or there won’t be any of us left.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.