Wolf Population Grows Pt2
The Department of Fish and Wildlife conservatively estimates that at least 115 wolves in 20 packs were living in Washington at the end of 2016.
Tom Davis, with the Washington Farm Bureau, says with the 28% jump in population, management of the wolves needs to change ...
TOM DAVIS ... "So, obviously, the wolf populations are growing. We think it's time to de-list, to increase the flexibility of the management of the population of the wolves, including getting to the point where we're managing wolves like Idaho that allows for a hunting season, but that will require the federal government to de-list wolves in all of the state, not just the in the eastern one third as it exists today."
Davis says there are now enough wolves, especially in the four northeast counties, to de-list, but the playing field needs to be leveled ...
TOM DAVIS ... "You know, right now, depending on where you are on one side of the line or the other in that eastern third, a wolf causing problems in Stevens County can be removed if the non-lethal methods aren't working. You get over in Okanogan, you can't remove that wolf. They're still federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. That makes no sense. We're one state. We have one state agency in charge of managing these wolves. They should have a uniform approach to management across the state."
Davis says when WAG meets in Olympia at the end of the month, Everything is on the table and Fish and Wildlife has the policy authority to make wolf management changes as they see fit.