Wolf Delisting Bill Pt 1
But, House Bill 1872 would only apply to the four Washington counties hardest hit by wolf attacks.
Representative Joel Kretz says there are about 19 wolf packs currently residing in Washington ...
JOEL KRETZ ... "But out of the 19 packs statewide, 16 are in the four counties that would be covered by this. So, there's a disproportionate impact on one small corner of the state while we're waiting for the rest of the state to catch up to delisting numbers. The feds have delisted them and I think they've got pretty good science to back it up everywhere east of highway 97."
Kretz says the wolves have been a huge problem in Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties ...
JOEL KRETZ ... "We've got one rancher coming in, we're hearing, with upwards of 70 head losses this year and you can't sustain that very long. I'm really concerned we've got a number of ranches that are at risk. There are several other packs that offended last year, but didn't rise to level of any removals. But, we're coming into grazing season this Spring and I'm afraid we'll have a lot of ranchers who will be out of business this year if goes like it has. So, we're trying to keep them on the land. I think everybody agrees that we'd rather see that than sub-divisions. It's really about the very survival of a lot of the ranchers, and a lot of homeowners are having conflicts too."
Listen tomorrow for more on the delisting bill.