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Regional News

New Wolf Grant One Step Closer to Reality

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The Washington House has voted to create a grant program to develop non-lethal ways to keep wolves away from livestock.

The project is called the Northeast Washington Wolf-Cattle Management Grant. The intent is that money will go to community-based projects that focus on alternatives to killing wolves in Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties.

Rep.Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda), who represents those counties in Olympia, says it’s a good time for this given the growing presence of wolves in that part of the state.

“We’ve got a tremendous wolf recovery program going in some areas of the state, but it has created a lot of crisis," Kretz said. "This is an attempt to give non-lethal methods a better try. We think a community-based approach dealing with the folks there and the wolves there will end up resulting in less wolves killed and less cattle killed. I think it’s a win-win.”

The bill calls for $125,000 dollars to go into the grant program. The Department of Agriculture will run the program with an advisory group made up on conservation district officers from each of the four counties.

The bill now moves to the Senate.