Oregon’s Bad Wolf Management Plan Coming Home To Roost (As Predicted)

Wolves Howling Tumblr Gif

November 1, 2015

 Oregon is ready to delist wolves.

Anyone who’s read the Oregon wolf “management plan” could see this coming a mile away. There was major push-back against “the plan”  in 2010 because the number of breeding pairs needed to reach delisting was and is ridiculously low. So here we are, five years later and Oregon’s woefully inadequate wolf “management plan” is ready to kick in.

Please attend the ODFW meeting in Salem, Oregon on November 9th to speak out against the plan and delisting.

“ODFW staff believe gray wolves have met the criteria to be delisted from the state Endangered Species Act (ESA) and will recommend this action to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their Nov. 9th meeting in Salem.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem. It is open to the public and public testimony will be accepted during the meeting. Consideration of wolf delisting is the only item on the agenda. Written comments will also be accepted until Friday Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. and can be sent to odfw.commission@state.or.us More information about the meeting is available at” http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/15/11_november/index.asp


Washington state has a far superior wolf “management plan”. 

To reclassify from state threatened to state sensitive status: 12 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions.

To delist from state sensitive status: 15 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions and 3 successful breeding pairs anywhere in the state.

In addition to the delisting objective of 15 successful breeding pairs distributed in the three geographic regions for 3 consecutive years, an alternative delisting objective is also established whereby the gray wolf will be considered for delisting when 18 successful breeding pairs are present, with 4 successful breeding pairs in the Eastern Washington region, 4 successful breeding pairs in the Northern Cascades region, 4 successful breeding pairs distributed in the Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast region, and 6 anywhere in the state.



But Oregon only requires four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in Eastern Oregon  to “be considered for statewide delisting”.  In Western Oregon, the goal is also four breeding pairs. The plan is divided into three parts. Phase three states:

“Under Phase 3 a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.”

Even in a state as progressive as Oregon, wolves are not safe. They will eventually be subjected to a wolf hunt and probably much sooner than everyone thinks. This proposed delisting will open a wolf Pandora’s box that will never close.

But let’s be blunt, the ONLY reason wolf management plans exist is to placate ranchers and hunters. Wolves don’t need managing. What we’ve done, by bringing wolves back from the brink in the lower 48, is place them in a cage they can’t escape. Wild wolves are not free. As I type this wolves in Montana and Idaho are being hunted and trapped. And if the USFWS has their way, all wolves across the lower 48,  will lose their ESA protections.

Rick Bass put it most eloquently, when describing the untenable conditions we force wolves to live under:


Wolves have been poached in almost every state they disperse to with the exception of California. Remember Echo, the little wolf who traveled hundreds of miles to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, only to be shot by a trophy hunter, using the “coyote excuse“? This is one of the deadliest threats to dispersing wolves Those two words, give the shooter a perfect alibi. It’s “he said, he said”. Or “she said, she said”. The wolf is dead, it’s the shooter’s word that counts.The sad stories go on and on, we all know them. And of course, even though wolves are still “supposedly protected” by the ESA across the continental US the USFWS does virtually nothing to curb or stop poaching. Poaching investigations go nowhere,  and most poachers go unpunished. The “coyote excuse” is accepted again and again by the USFWS as gospel.  But we all know the real reason why there are few prosecutions of wolf poachers, the USFWS isn’t interested in wolves dispersing out of the Northern Rockies/Pacific Northwest or Great Lakes, to reclaim lost habitat. Wolves currently inhabit less than 5% of their former range. Yet does it come as a surprise that wolf dispersal has been stopped cold outside of the areas I mentioned?   The odds are stacked against them as they face the likes of Wildlife Services, poachers, hostile state governments, hunters and ranchers. Wolves are trapped by man-made boundaries they dare not cross. Boundaries that hold no meaning for them but ultimately contribute to their deaths.

Wolves are unique, sentient beings, incredibly smart wild dogs devoted to their families. Yet hunted wolf populations are subjected to a deadly game of annual Russian Roulette, where wolf mothers, fathers, puppies and pack mates are brutally killed in the name of “management”.

Once pack structure is disrupted, it’s very difficult to keep the family together, as the plight of the alpha male of the Lamar Canyon Pack (755m) demonstrates. After losing his mate, the iconic, 06 Female, to a hunter’s bullet in 2012, he’s still attempting to restore his pack, trying to connect with his FOURTH potential mate. We have Rick Lamplugh, the author of In The Temple of the Wolves: A Winter’s Immersion In Wild Yellowstone, for shining a light on wolf 755m’s sad story.

One Bullet Kills an Entire Pack

Apr 02, 2014 | Rick Lamplugh
Wolf 755M alpha male of the Lamar Canyon Pack_Rick Lamplugh
Wolf 755M (right) was the alpha male of the Lamar Canyon Pack seen here with 889F (left) the fourth wolf with whom he has tried to restart a pack after his mate was shot and killed outside Yellowstone Nat’l Park.
 The results of legal wolf hunt are presented to the public as palatable statistics. Officials tell us, for example, that in the 2012-2013 hunts outside Yellowstone National Park twelve park wolves were killed. Six were collared wolves that–when alive–provided valuable research data. One of those collared wolves was the famous alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack, dubbed “06” by wolf watchers.

Such statistics don’t begin to tell the whole story of the impact of one bullet on the delicate social structure of a pack, an arrangement much like that of an extended human family.



Can you imagine, in human terms, someone randomly killing your mother, father, or children and still remaining a whole, functional family? The answer is obviously no. But because wolves are at the mercy of fish and game agencies who manage wildlife for hunters, the wolf’s family structure and what happens to those bonds is never considered. A wolf, is a wolf is a wolf as far as they’re concerned. Knock one down and they’ll just make more. How primitive, how insensitive, how backward. And that is what the wolves in Oregon are facing and what Montana and Idaho wolves are experiencing. And what the wolves in the Great Lakes were suffering until a federal judge placed them back on the Endangered Species List in December 2014. Don’t expect them to remain protected if the Obama USFWS has their wayy.

To treat wolves as disposable, never considering their family bonds and tight social order, is a grave injustice. BUT as long as they are “managed” under the iron fist of fish and game agencies, who DO NOT represent their interests, they will remain prisoners in their ancestral home.


ODFW Believes Gray Wolf Should Be Delisted

Salem, Ore.— ODFW staff believe gray wolves have met the criteria to be delisted from the state Endangered Species Act (ESA) and will recommend this action to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their Nov. 9th meeting in Salem.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem. It is open to the public and public testimony will be accepted during the meeting. Consideration of wolf delisting is the only item on the agenda. Written comments will also be accepted until Friday Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. and can be sent to odfw.commission@state.or.us More information about the meeting is available at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/15/11_november/index.asp

Wolf management in Oregon is guided by the Wolf Plan, which was originally crafted in 2005 by a broad group of stakeholders balancing competing interests. The Plan called for initiating a process to consider delisting wolves from the state ESA when eastern Oregon had a population of four breeding pairs of wolves for three consecutive years, an objective met in January 2015.

State ESA law gives the Fish and Wildlife Commission authority to list and remove species from the Endangered Species List.



Eastern Oregon Wolves Could Be Facing Delisting In 2015


OPB | Sept. 16, 2014 2:21 p.m. | Portland

Gray wolf populations are on the rise in Oregon, but that may not necessarily be good news for the animals.

The Statesman Journal reports  that the state may have enough potential wolf couples in 2015 for the minimum requirements to delist the animal.

“We were told in the beginning that when wolves first came to the county, we were waiting for that day,” said Todd Nash, wolf committee chairman for the Oregon Cattleman Association, in an interview with the newspaper.

According to Oregon’s Endangered Species Act, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife must verify four breeding pairs in eastern Oregon for three consecutive years.

In 2012, there were six pairs and last year the organization located four pairs. It’s predicted that 2014’s count won’t be complete until early next year, but early reports show more than four couples.

By removing wolves from the state’s endangered species list, ranchers would be permitted to use lethal force to defend their animals in more situations.

According to ODFW , shooting a wolf is considered a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of $6,250 fine and a year in jail.



Help Change Oregon’s Wolf Management Plan

June 21, 2010

Oregon Yearling Wolf Killed By Wildlife Services 2009

Guest Post by Katie, Oregon resident and wolf advocate.

June 21, 2010

The Oregon Wolf Management Plan is currently under a 5-year review and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting comments from the public until June 30th. However, before I tell you about the plan and its obstacles, here is a brief history of the Oregon wolves.

In Oregon, the last gray wolf was eradicated from the state by the 1940s. It was almost 60 years before another one was seen. The first wolf to migrate to the state in 1999 was recaptured and sent back to Idaho. In 2000, two more gray wolves made the journey, but sadly they were both killed; one by a car and one by bullet. The fact that wolves were returning was undeniable, so the state decided they needed a plan. The ODFW sat down with wolf advocates and livestock owners to decide what should be done. Though the livestock owners may have gotten more say in the plan, wolf advocates seemed glad to simply be getting wolves back in the state. The result was a wolf management plan that everyone agreed on. Oregon became one of the first states to willingly open the doors for gray wolves to return.

In 2008, a female Idaho wolf was located in Oregon using the signals from her radio collar. The gray wolf was identified as “B-300”. To bring more attention to wolf recovery in Oregon, the members of a local environmental group, called Oregon Wild, nicknamed the wolf “Sophie”. Eventually finding a mate, Sophie soon became the alpha female of the largest pack in Oregon with 10 wolves total; the Imnaha Pack. Another pack of four wolves was also discovered in 2008. Together, the two packs made up Oregon’s known gray wolf population of 14 individuals.

The plan seemed perfect. Wolves were returning and things seemed to be going well. However, in 2009, two yearling wolves were convicted of killing 29 domestic animals from five different incidents. When non-lethal techniques failed, Wildlife Services was sent in and killed both wolves. Personally, I don’t blame the wolves, they were just pups. Being too young to hunt elk, it was either that or starve. They had no known pack and just seemed to have traveled into Oregon from Idaho on their own. It is possible that their family was killed by a rival pack, but I believe it is more likely that they were killed for “management” purposes.

Now, in 2010, history seems to be repeating itself as two more wolves are being targeted by WS. With only 14 known wolves in the entire state, killing two individuals would be a huge loss. ODFW has also issued seven kill permits to local ranchers, which could spell disaster for such a fragile population.


Oregon current Wolf Management Plan included three phases for population recovery:


 “Wolves may be considered for statewide delisting once the population reaches four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon…. The plan calls for managing wolves in western Oregon as if the species remains listed until the western Oregon wolf population reaches four breeding pairs.”

This means when there are four packs in eastern Oregon and four in western Oregon, wolves will be stripped of ESA protection statewide.

The average gray wolf pack size is about 8 wolves. If packs in Oregon follow the norm, then roughly 64 wolves will be present when they are delisted. A recent study suggests Oregon could support up to 2200 wolves and still maintain a healthy ecosystem. I don’t know about you, but 64 wolves doesn’t sound like recovered to me.


 “Once the wolf is delisted, more options are available to address wolf-livestock conflict. While there are five to seven breeding pairs, landowners may kill a wolf involved in chronic depredation with a permit. Five to seven breeding pairs is considered the management population objective, or Phase 2.”

Five to seven breeding pairs? Oregon currently has two breeding pairs and seven landowners have been given permits to kill wolves. Again, five to seven breeding pairs is 40-56 wolves if they are the average pack size.


“Under Phase 3 a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.”

Sound familiar? Idaho and Montana initiated hunts mere months after wolves were delisted. The difference is there were 1500 wolves in Montana and Idaho when the first hunts began. In Oregon the hunt could start with less than 100.

To read the full Oregon Wolf Management Plan, go to http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/wolf_plan.pdf

As you can see, the Oregon Wolf Management Plan is weak and gives livestock owners plenty of tools to deal with wolf depredation. However, the Oregon Cattle Association wants more power. Since the plan is under a 5-year review, OCA is suggesting changes to the plan that will suit the cattle industry, not wolves.


1. Delisting rules (combine the whole state and begin delisting when there are 4 breeding pairs statewide)”

Four breeding pairs would be approximately 32 wolves. Even if each pack was as big as Sophie’s that would still only be 40 wolves, which is definitely not recovered.

2. “Relocation, location, and translocation eliminated”

The current management plan allows for “problem” wolves to be relocated to the closest wilderness area. The closest wilderness area is usually where the wolf came from before it found the livestock. This part of the plan needs to be strengthened, not weakened.

3. Ownership of lands ,IE; state lands is the only lands the Oregon ESA has authority on”

They are asking to change Oregon’s ESA. Not only would this be bad for wolves, but it would also allow anyone to shoot any endangered animal if it was on their property. Remember, these are changes they want now, not when the gray wolf population is 60+, but when there are only 14 wolves in Oregon.

To see the full testimony from the Oregon Cattle Association, go to: http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/OCA_Testimony.pdf

To see the testimony from Oregon Wild, a local environmental group, go to: http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/oregon-wild-wolf-plan-review-testimony-3-12.10/

ODFW is currently accepting comments from the public about changes they should make to the plan. ODFW has not said what they are thinking of changing but the first draft is scheduled to be done some time in August. The deadline to comment is June 30th.

Email your comments to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us


Talking Points:

 1. Make sure to let them know you want the wolf plan STRENGTHENED, not weakened. Tell them eight breeding pairs statewide are NOT enough. Mention the study that states Oregon could support 2200 gray wolves on its landscape.

 2. Wildlife officials need more options to relocate wolves. Suggest national or state parks, or larger wilderness areas.

 3. Ranchers need to do everything possible to protect their livestock before any action against wolves is even considered. Suggest proper fencing, fladery, radio collar activated sounds, guardian animals, lambing and calving sheds, frequent patrols of pastures, placing livestock in barns at night, and tracking packs to avoid placing cattle in areas where wolves are known to be.

4. Tell them wolves are more valuable alive than dead, because they are. Support this idea by stating Yellowstone Park makes $7-10 million annually from just wolves (The GYA brings in $35 million wolf generated dollars). Explain the positive impacts wolves have on the environment, like increasing beaver populations (beavers are Oregon’s state animal). Wolves keep ungulates moving, which prevents them from over-browsing vital beaver and songbird habitat. Wolves keep ungulate herds healthy by culling the weak, sick and old.

5. Tell them to increase the funding of the wolf plan. Currently the wolf plan is very underfunded and only has a few members on its management team.

6. If you don’t live in Oregon, you can choose to boycott the state if they weaken the management plan. Tell them you will not buy anything from Oregon or visit the state unless the plan is strengthened.

7.  Think of the Imnaha wolf pack and how much they need our help. Their exigence as a pack is in danger. How sad it would be to lose the only breeding pair of wolves in Oregon.


Don’t forget to email your comments to ODFW and voice your opinion about the Oregon Wolf Management Plan. Comments@state.or.us

Sources Cited:







Top Wolf Gif: Tumblr

Middle Photo: ODFW

Middle Photo: Courtesy Rick Lamplugh

Bottom Photo: ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Ranching and Hunting, Wolf Wars

Tags: Oregon, bad wolf management plan, delisting, ODFW, ranchers, poachers, wolf dispersal

No Justice For Journey’s Brother, OR9?

OR9’s mother B-300 (Sophie) and  one of OR9’s brothers (ODFW)

 Oregon wolf advocate, Taz Alago, had something to say about the way OR9’s death was handled:

“The picture of OR9, bloody and dead, is a punch to the stomach… unless you’re like his killer. Then the ugly picture is something to brag about.

For those following the troubled saga of the Imnaha Pack, the image of this dead wolf was something half-expected ever since he swam the Snake into Idaho, a dread fear come true.

Idaho is one of the worst states for predators, a hell-hole for anything but elk, deer, moose and cows. In Idaho you can kill wolves with huge leghold traps, neck snares, neck-breaking Conibear traps, arrows, guns, even

You can hunt coyotes and foxes from ultra-light aircraft. A bill is proposed to allow the same for wolves, with the added treat of allowing live bait for wolf trapping (dogs are mentioned).

OR9 was the brother of Journey (OR7), now famous for his long trek to California, first wolf there since 1924. His natal pack has produced some intrepid wolves, although now it’s diminished through dispersal and death, and it’s always under threat from the inexorable pressure of area ranchers to kill wolves for their depredations.

The way he holds OR9′s body shows his contempt for this wolf and I guess he feels the same about all predators – these vermin who challenge his “dominance.” Rifles and traps against flesh and blood.

There’s no way to adequately punish this killer because hunting wolves in Idaho is legal, but make no mistake this person was a poacher: his $11 wolf tag had expired. Idaho Fish & Game let him off with a warning but I think we should hold their feet to the fire and treat him the same as they would an elk poacher.

I think IDF&G shrugs off any action as long as it kills wolves.

So let’s all call Virgil Moore of the IDF&G at 208-334-3771 and tell him to prosecute OR9′s killer.

It’s the least we can do.”

Taz Alago, NE Oregonian


For my two cents, the excuse this person gave, for killing OR9 with an expired tag, was lame and didn’t hold much water.  There is something called “Ignorantia juris non “, which is Latin for  “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”.  What if this had been a 7 point bull elk instead of a wolf? Would he have gotten off with a warning? 

  Idaho’s governor, Butch Otter,  is making a joke out of this, so apparently the state isn’t taking Or9’s death seriously.

“Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter feels so bad about an Oregon gray wolf killed in Idaho that he has offered to repay his neighbors 150-fold.

In a tongue-in-cheek letter this week to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, Mr. Otter “apologized” for the loss of the wolf and said he would happily replace it with 150 wolves from Idaho, just to make things right.

“In an effort to be a good neighbor and help Oregon maintain and increase its wolf population for the preservation of the species in your state, I am offering to send you 150 wolves from Idaho,” said Mr. Otter, a Republican. “Idaho has more than a sufficient number, in fact many more than the federal government originally required we have, and can spare a few.”

Mr. Kitzhaber, a Democrat, hasn’t taken him up on his offer. Asked whether the Oregon governor had a response, spokesman Tim Raphael said, “No, we don’t.”

Idaho gives Oregon ‘apology,’ gets no snarling over wolf



Prosecute poacher for illegal killing of Oregon wolf OR-9



Male wolf OR-9 from Imnaha pack killed by Idaho hunter with expired tag

Published: Friday, February 10, 2012, 1:22 PM     Updated: Saturday, February 11, 2012, 10:40 AM



Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Wolf Poaching, Wolf Wars

Tags: OR9, wolf poaching, Taz Alago, Oregon wolves, Imnaha pack , wolf dispersal, IDFG, Virgil Moore

Canis Lupus Returns to Washington State After 70 Years


Wolves are back in Washington State after a 70 year absence and the state is about to adopt a plan to manage them.

“Two wolf packs already live in Washington and monitoring shows they appear to be healthy new residents, said Luers. She said the Lookout Pack — the state’s first confirmed pack living southwest of Twisp — apparently has at least seven members, including a breeding pair, four pups from this year, and one more adult that could have been one of last year’s pups. The Diamond Pack in Pend Oreille County has an estimated five members, including the breeding pair and at least three offspring, Luers said.”

The state is in the final stages of adopting a wolf management plan. I’m holding my breath to see what plan they embrace but I’m not encouraged by the low numbers of breeding pairs allowed, 15, before the wolves can be be delisted.  Also the lethal management provisions, allow ranchers to kill wolves if their livestock is attacked.  Of course that can have different meanings to different people.  A wolf standing off in the distance might be considered an attack.  A wolf no where near livestock might be considered an attack.   It’s always, always about the livestock industry and their interests.

“Four alternatives, including no action, are explored. The state’s proposal is a middle-of-the-road plan compared with two other alternatives — one with a greater emphasis on protection, and one that allows more lethal control when wolves kill livestock or reduce deer and elk herds.”

All three alternatives call for 15 successful breeding pairs spread across the state before wolves can be de-listed in Washington. The state’s preferred plan would require two pairs in the Northern Cascades, two pairs in Eastern Washington, five pairs in the Southern Cascades or Northwest Coast and six more pairs anywhere in the state.”

The most pro-active wolf option is number three.  Lethal controls by ranchers would only be allowed when wolves are in “sensitive status”, which would be a long way down the road.  The state prefers option two, allowing ranchers to shoot wolves when they are  in “threatened status”.  Explanatons of all options are listed below in: “State wolf plan presents options to public.”

The state will hold hearings in October and November with public comments allowed until Jan 2010.

Photo: Wikemedia Commons

State picks moderate road to wolf recovery

By K.C. Hehaffey

Friday, October, 16, 2009



If you live in Washington state, stand up and be counted.  Let FWP know 15 breeding pairs is too low for wolf recovery and to re-think their lethal management proposals.  Such tight controls on wolves hamper their recovery, instead of fostering it.   Once again livestock protection is taking center stage in the “management” of wolves, as it has been for over a century.  Please speak up for wolves.

Even so I’m encouraged by the tone Washington FWP is setting with their management plan.   I have hopes the gray  wolf will have a long and successful stay in Washington.  

Here is a list of the public hearings from the National Parks Conservation Association:

Wolves historically roamed the national parks of Washington, including North Cascades, Mount Rainier, and Olympic National Parks. The absence of this important species has led to imbalance in the ecosystems of these parks. There is now, however, an opportunity to help the return of wolves to our national parks.

As you may be aware, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is in the process of finalizing a Wolf Conservation and Management Plan which will determine the ways wolves are managed as they naturally return to Washington from nearby states. The plan will be released on October 5. Starting on October 20 in Clarkston, 12 public hearings around the state will allow you the chance to comment on this plan and how it should be improved.

Listed below are the locations of all the public hearings. NPCA is working with a coalition of conservation groups to organize pre-hearing meetings at each location. If you are interested in attending a pre-hearing meeting with other conservationists before the public hearing to learn more about the plan, please contact the person listed below each meeting.”

All the hearings will be from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The pre-hearing meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. at a location determined by the contact person.

Tuesday, October 20th – Clarkston
Walla Walla Community College; lecture hall, 1470 Bridge St.

Wednesday, October 21st – Richland
Pacific NW National Laboratory Auditorium, 904 Battelle Blvd.
Jessica Walz, jessica@gptaskforce.org, 503-221-2102 x101

Thursday, October 22nd – Yakima
Red Lion Hotel Yakima Center, 607 E. Yakima Ave.
David Graves, dgraves@npca.org, 206-903-1444 x25

Monday, October 26th – Colville
N.E. WA Fairgrounds Ag-Trade Center, 317 West Astor Ave.
Derrick Knowles, dknowles@conservationnw.org

Tuesday, October 27th – Spokane
Spokane Valley Center Place, 2426 N Discovery Place
Crystal Gartner, cgartner@conservationnw.org, 509-747-1663
Sean Smith, ssmith@npca.org, 206-903-1444 x21

Wednesday, October 28th – Vancouver
Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way
Jessica Walz, jessica@gptaskforce.org, 503-221-2102 x101

Thursday, October 29th – Aberdeen
Rotary Log Pavilion, east of Aberdeen off Hwy 12
Linda Saunders, lsaunders@wolfhaven.org, 360-264-4695 x216

Monday, November 2nd – Seattle
REI Flagship Store, 222 Yale Ave N
David Graves, dgraves@npca.org, 206-903-1444 x25

Wednesday, November 4th – Mount Vernon
Cottontree Inn Convention Center, 2300 Market St.
Bob Aegerter, boba@openaccess.org, 350-671-2652
Jim Davis, jimdaviscpc@comcast.net, 360-715-3458

Thursday, November 5th – Sequim
Guy Cole Convention Center, Carrie Blake Park, 212 Blake Ave.
David Graves, dgraves@npca.org, 206-903-1444 x25

Monday, November 9th – Omak
Okanogan County Fairgrounds Agriplex, Hwy. 97 South
Jay Kehne, jkehne@conservationnw.org, 509-470-1767

Tuesday, November 10th – Wenatchee
Chelan County PUD Auditorium, 327 N Wenatchee Ave.
Jay Kehne, jkehne@conservationnw.org, 509-470-1767


Clink Link To Final Draft:



State wolf plan presents options to public

washington wolf
Date: 10-14-2009

By Joyce Campbell

Wolves have returned to Washington State after 70 years of extirpation and state wildlife managers are seeking public comments on their draft plan to manage and conserve the species.

The 300-page document released for comment on Oct. 5 is the work of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff, the state’s Working Wolf Group, a scientific peer review group and the public, said Madonna Luers, eastern Washington public information officer for the WDFW. The document includes a 96-page draft environmental impact statement with four alternatives. The bulk of the document, details the state’s preferred alternative.

Alternatives one, two and three are detailed in the draft EIS and have different standards for protection and restoration for wolves. Levels of lethal control strategy and compensation for losses to livestock owners also differ, according to the document summary.

Alternative four is a no-action alternative with no recovery requirements established. It would continue the current management, emphasizing protection and restoration with existing programs but without a plan. Wolves would remain endangered until a state recovery plan was completed.

The first three alternatives set recovery requirements at six successful pairs of breeding wolves before downlisting the animals to threatened.  The animals would be downlisted to sensitive when 12 pairs were successfully breeding. Delisting would occur at 15 pairs.

The first three alternatives differ in objectives for wolf distribution, use of management control options and level of compensation for depredation losses to livestock owners.

Alternative one would implement lethal control options at earlier listing statuses and sets a lower standard for geographic distribution of recovery objectives. State downlisting and delisting could occur with the majority of animals present in just one or two recovery regions. It would allow earlier implementation of management tools for addressing livestock conflicts and recommends less generous compensation for depredation.

Alternative two is the agency’s preferred alternative and “meets the goals and objectives for establishing a long-term viable wolf population and addresses wolf-livestock conflicts and interactions between wolves and ungulates. It includes a range of proactive, non-lethal control options for addressing livestock conflicts and recommends generous compensation in cases of confirmed and probable depredations,” according to the document.

Alternative three has the greatest emphasis on protection and restoration of wolves, with a higher standard for the geographic distribution of wolves. It is the most conservative on implementing management tools to address livestock conflicts and is the most generous with compensation to livestock owners.

Livestock owners would be allowed to kill wolves in the act of attacking livestock under all alternatives, but at different listed statuses. Alternative one would allow lethal take during all listed statuses, alternative two (preferred by the agency) would allow lethal take when wolves reach threatened status and alternative three would permit killing during the sensitive status.

Each alternative also has provisions for killing wolves in the act of attacking domestic dogs.
The draft plan includes alternative proactive measures to reduce livestock depredation, manage for healthy ungulate populations, manage wolf-ungulate conflict, and conduct outreach and education programs.

WDFW anticipated taking over gray wolf management from federal wildlife managers and initiated development of the draft plan for the endangered species in 2006. The agency started the plan based on the wolf conservation and management plan adopted by Oregon in 2005. Luers said that Washington was similar to Oregon in that it was not part of the federal wolf recovery efforts in the Rocky Mountain region.

In late 2006 the agency sought citizen advisors, volunteers with a stake in conservation, livestock, hunting and the economics of wolf management. The 17-member Working Wolf Group first met in the spring of 2007, and met eight more times, making suggestions “to keep this and not that” said Luers. A public scoping meeting in Twisp drew 31 attendees in August 2007.

The agency invited 150 wolf experts from near and far to review the draft plan and about 45 responded, said Luers. The scientific reviewers included David Meach, the most prominent author on wolf management in Minnesota; Doug Smith, project leader for the recovery of wolves in Yellowstone; Ed Bangs with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Montana; and Carter Niemeyer, the Idaho state wildlife manager who trapped and radio-collared the first confirmed breeding pair of wolves that dispersed from Canada to the Methow Valley in 2008.

A public meeting is scheduled from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds Agriplex in Omak. There are 12 public meetings across the state that will open with a 25-minute presentation by Harriet Allen, manager of the state’s threatened and endangered species programs. Allen will summarize the draft plan then open the meeting to hear from the public.

The public is invited to review the draft plan and draft EIS online at www.wdfw.wa.gov/wildlife/management/gray_wolf/mgmt_plan.html. Written comments may be submitted online or mailed to WDFW SEPA Desk, 600 Capital Way N. Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

Copies of the plan are on their way to local libraries in Okanogan and Chelan counties, said Luers. If you prefer a printed copy of the DEIS or CD (supplies limited) contact the wildlife program at (360) 902-2515.


Categories posted in: wolf recovery, biodiversity

Tags: wolf dispersal, gray wolf recovery Washington

Published in: on October 17, 2009 at 3:27 am  Comments (6)  
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