I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
In 2012 the state department of Fish and Wildlife created a nine person wolf advisory group representing ranchers, environmentalists and other stakeholders. This group has now grown to 18 and is working with consultant Francine Madden, co-founder and executive director of the Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaboration commissioned by Fish and Wildlife to help the group build trust and work on wolf issues together. Madden talked with us about the group’s most recent meeting.
MADDEN: I think they got off to an amazing start and they’re a fantastic group; as a result of that I think they were able to really create some connections and some discoveries of how they mutually support one another. One of the things that came out was, and I think this was very validating for the livestock producing community, was to hear that the environmentalists with a long term view they want the livestock producers to stay on the landscape, because it will maintain the integrity of that landscape and they recognize that there’s a public value of private land in production.
Madden hopes to create more opportunities for full input from all stakeholders and the broader community, but also explains her goals in working with the wolf advisory group itself.
MADDEN: For this group I think ensuring that their constituents are involved as much as possible, ensuring that this is a platform that addresses not just the substance of the decision making but also starts to build that sense of shared reality, shared understanding, and shared respect. Because I think there is a lot of common ground among the livestock producers, hunters and environmentalists. I think there is a lot of opportunity for mutual support.
To view WAG meeting notes and handouts visit Fish and Wildlife’s website.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.