Washington Governor Urged to Order New Rules to Reduce Wolf-Killing; State has Killed 31 Endangered Wolves Since 2012

Gray wolf. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

SEATTLE. Conservation groups appealed to Governor Jay Inslee today to order the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft enforceable rules that limit when the state can kill endangered wolves for conflicts with livestock.

Today’s appeal, filed by WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, and Western Watersheds Project seeks a reversal of the commission’s June 26 denial of the groups’ formal petition for wolf-management rules.

“Unfortunately for Washington’s state-endangered wolves, the stakeholder process is broken. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife relies on the Wolf Advisory Group for wolf management decisions, which gives disproportionate power to ranching and hunting interests. Effectively, this has silenced the public and created a system in which common-sense rules and modern science can be completely ignored,” said Samantha Bruegger, Wildlife Coexistence Campaigner at WildEarth Guardians. “It is critical to initiate rulemaking to repair the impossible situation the Wolf Advisory Group has created.”

The state has killed 31 endangered wolves since 2012. Twenty-six of those wolves were slaughtered at the demand of the same livestock operator, Diamond M Ranch, in the Kettle River Range on the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington.

In late June, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife issued a kill order on the Togo Pack, and today they issued a kill order for a wolf in the Wedge Pack. Agency staff recognize that this high-conflict area is prime wolf habitat. If enforceable requirements to use proactive deterrence measures aren’t implemented, conflict with wolves will continue, today’s appeal says.

The groups’ appeal proposed a mix of new and amended rules that would provide clarity to the agency, livestock operators, and the public. The amended rules would require that livestock operators use appropriate nonlethal deterrence methods to prevent conflict between livestock and wolves. The new rules would ensure that the state kills wolves only as a last resort.

“These are common sense rules that incentivize livestock producers to use non-lethal, preventative measures and encourage these producers to enter cooperative agreements with the Department,” said Nick Cady, Legal Director of Cascadia Wildlands. “To be clear, livestock operators have the right to defend their own animals, but if they want the state to use public dollars to kill wolves on their behalf, these operations are going to have to play ball.”

“Livestock producers must manage their cows to reduce conflict with wolves, and this requirement should be welcomed by the Department,” said Jocelyn Leroux, Washington/Montana Director of Western Watersheds Project. “These rules are necessary so the Department can manage the wildlife they are tasked with protecting for a healthy, flourishing population across their native range.”

“The state’s constant killing of wolves shows that the current system is completely broken,” said Sophia Ressler, a Washington wildlife advocate and staff attorney at the Center. “New rules would save wolves, prevent livestock losses and provide the accountability the people of Washington deserve in the management of our endangered wolves.”

The governor has 45 days to respond to the appeal request. Gov. Inslee could overrule the commission’s decision and require that a rulemaking be initiated, which would open a comment period to seek public input on new rules.


Sophia Ressler, Center for Biological Diversity, (206) 399-4004, sressler@biologicaldiversity.org

Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, (314) 482-3746, nick@cascwild.org

Jocelyn Leroux, Western Watersheds Project, (406) 960-4164, jocelyn@westernwatersheds.org

Samantha Bruegger, WildEarth Guardians, (970) 363-4191, sbruegger@wildearthguardians.org

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
August 14, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.
Joseph Grosso
Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: It Had to be You
Pete Dolack
Business as Usual Equals Many Extra Deaths from Global Warming
Paul Street
Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?
Ron Jacobs
It’s a Sick Country
Eve Ottenberg
Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Fake News
Jonathan Cook
How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy
Joseph Natoli
What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us
Robert Fisk
Can Lebanon be Saved?
Brian Cloughley
Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?
Kenn Orphan
We Do Not Live in the World of Before
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Compromise & the Status Quo
Andrew Bacevich
Biden Wins, Then What?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Criminology of Global Warming
Michael Welton
Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space
Prabir Purkayastha
Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China
Daniel Beaumont
The Reign of Error
Adrian Treves – John Laundré
Science Does Not Support the Claims About Grizzly Hunting, Lethal Removal
David Rosen
A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s
Maximilian Werner
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric
Pritha Chandra
Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time
Robert Koehler
Learning from the Hibakushas
Seth Sandronsky
Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider
Dean Baker
Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us
Greta Anderson
Blaming Mexican Wolves for Livestock Kills
Dean Baker
Rental Inflation Appears to be Slowing, Especially in High-Priced Cities
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis
Mel Gurtov
The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion
Paul Gilk
The Great Question
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order
Martin Cherniack
Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History
James Haught
White Christian Bigotry
Nicky Reid
Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!
George Wuerthner
Zombie Legislation: the Latest Misguided Wildfire Bill
Lee Camp
The Execution of Elephants and Americans
Christopher Brauchli
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…
Tony McKenna
The Truth About Prince Philip
Louis Proyect
MarxMail 2.0
Sidney Miralao
Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools
Jon Hochschartner
Okra of Time