Washington Wildlife Agency Authorizes Two More Wolf Kills

Jun 19, 2020
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has authorized the killing of two more wolves in northeast Washington. Meanwhile, an environmental group has gone to court to get more protection for the wolves.

WA House Committee Approves Wolf Radio Collar Bill

Feb 7, 2020
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

A Washington House committee today [Friday] approved a bill that would lead to more radio collars on wolves.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda) would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to use radio collars when possible to monitor wolves. It also requires the agency to collar at least two of the animals in each pack that have been causing trouble for farmers and ranchers.


A bill before Washington lawmakers would direct the Fish and Wildlife Department to come up with different wolf management plans for different regions of the state with more activity in areas where populations are rapidly increasing. 

It would provide more staff and resources for areas with the most wolves, including northeast Washington counties. It would still allow for lethal control, but also increase efforts to use non-lethal methods of control for wolves that prey on livestock.

Gary Kramer, US Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. House of Representatives has made the latest move in a long debate over wolves. The body voted today [Friday] to remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf in the contiguous United States. The vote was 196-to-180, with nearly 60 representatives not voting.

The bill would hand wolf management over to the states, as is already the case in eastern Washington and Idaho.

Spokane Public Radio

The battle for a Washington state House seat in the 7th Legislative District pits a newcomer Democratic candidate against the Republican incumbent, who has only held the seat for a few months.

A bill in the Washington State House proposes to remove the gray wolf from state endangered species protections in some northeast counties.

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission has listed gray wolves as an endangered species for the entirety of the state and has adopted a gray wolf conservation and management plan.

That plan calls for a certain number of breeding pairs in various recovery areas across the state.

Stakeholders on all sides continue to grapple with a controversial management decision that would allow Washington state wildlife officials to exterminate an entire wolf pack in the Northeast corner of the state.

In the past month, wildlife officials have shot six wolves from a helicopter in the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington state. That’s likely to come up during a two-day work session for members of the state’s Wolf Advisory Group that begins Wednesday.

When Washington state wildlife officials announced they would eliminate the Profanity Peak wolf pack, they were operating under a new management plan that came about after months of deliberation with various stakeholders ranging from livestock producers to conservation groups.

But some parties felt left out of the discussion.

The remaining members of a wolf pack in northeastern Washington targeted for extermination by the state are playing hard to get. Late Friday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife pinned another dead calf on the Profanity Peak pack, but disclosed it was unsuccessful in hunting down any of the pack's five surviving members this past week.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said it has killed six wolves in the Profanity Peak Pack. Members of that pack are blamed for at least 12 cattle kills in the northeastern part of the state.

Wildlife managers in northeast Washington are removing a wolf pack known as the the Profanity Peak Pack following a number of cattle kills. The state faces opposition from tribes and pressure from locals as they proceed.

Since August 19, Washington state officials have been actively removing a wolf pack that roams the northeastern corner of the state. But it wasn’t clear the state had already started killing the animals.

Flickr user USFWS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/sets/72157644568160740/

A new film that looks at the journey of a lone wolf is playing in Spokane this week. 'OR-7, the Journey' tells the story of a male wolfs 1,000 mile journey from eastern Oregon to California, then back to the west side of Oregon State. 

Gray Wolf stock photo
USFWS: Tracy Brooks / USFWS Flickr

Conservation groups filed a lawsuit against the U-S Department of Agriculture Tuesday over killing wolves in Washington state. The state is home to 13 packs, which threaten livestock in some communities.

Wolf Lawsuit Prompted by Alpha Female Kill in 2014

Mar 3, 2015
Flickr user USFWS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/sets/72157644568160740/

The lawsuit against the USDA’s Wildlife Services program stemmed from a wolf kill last year. The Western Environmental Law Center sued the federal program yesterday. Gray wolves are endangered statewide according to Washington’s listing, but only endangered in western Washington by federal standards. That leaves jurisdiction of the eastern third of the state up to state officials.

Flickr user USFWS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/sets/72157644568160740/

A spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says a recent study on wolf depredation probably won’t change the departments current policy. Currently, department policy in the event of wolves killing livestock is to use every manner of non-lethal deterrent to protect rancher’s animals. But they do have the option of killing wolves, and in one past instance killed all the members of a problem wolf pack.

Flickr user USFWS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/sets/72157644568160740/

Washington State Fish and Wildlife officials say they believe a wolf or wolves are responsible for the death of 3 sheep in Whitman county. The killings happened north of the Town of Lamont near the Whitman/Lincoln county line. This marks the first time wolf attacks have occurred in this region in decades.

Flickr user USFWS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/sets/72157644568160740/

Last summer, Washington ranchers welcomed a call to kill members of a wolf pack that had killed dozens of sheep. But a WSU researcher says killing wolves actually increases livestock deaths.

Rob Wielgus, is director of Washington State University’s Large-Carnivore Conservation Lab. He says after analyzing data over a 25 year period he found that killing wolves to reduce livestock predation actually led to more dead sheep and cows the following year, because of a change to the wolf pack structure.

Wildlife Director Defends Wolf Hunting Decision

Sep 30, 2014

The head of Washington's fish and wildlife agency may find himself on a hot-seat next Tuesday in Colville. The topic is wolves, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife's decision to kill some wolves preying on sheep.

Washington State wildlife managers must try to pull off a delicate balancing act in overseeing wolves. Although wolves lost federal protection under the endangered species act in 2011, they're still protected under Washington State law.