Washington Wolf Population Growing
Washington state's wolf population is on the rise, according to a new count.
Ranchers have long fought to reduce the wolf population, but conservation groups say the species still has a long road to recovery.
Zoe Hanley with Defenders of Wildlife, says one concerning point in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's report is some wolves were removed because of their interactions with livestock or livestock depredation on public lands.
"It's disappointing to see lethal removal in the same locations every year," she states. "Wolves should have the right of way on our public lands."
Ranchers - as you might guess - say that's incorrect as wolves are not just passing thru the area, but instead going after cattle that were on the land lawfully grazing.
Hanley says there needs to be more proactive prevention methods in place, such as moving cattle away from high-use wolf areas.
Still, Hanley says it's encouraging to see wolves recovering in the state.
"Wolves are extremely resilient and they're so valued for their really positive impacts to the ecological systems and also the way that humans have a great way of relating to them, so we're really excited that they're coming back," she states.
Ranching orginizations say = enviormental groups dont have too much of a reason to complain - because the state's wolf population is on the rise