News

Nov17

Conservationists Challenge Insufficient Lynx Protection

Press Release
For Immediate Release
November 17, 2014
 
Contacts: 
Nick Cady, Legal Director, Cascadia Wildlands, 314-482-3746
John Mellgren, Attorney, Western Environmental Law Center, 541-525-5087 
 
Conservationists Challenge Insufficient Lynx Protection
Feds Fail to Protect Rare Cat’s Habitat in Oregon and Washington, Undermining Recovery
 
EUGENE, Ore. —Today, the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in federal court under the Endangered Species Act for inadequately protecting Canada lynx habitat, a canadian-lynxthreatened species, on behalf of WildEarth Guardians, Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, and Conservation Northwest. 
 
In September, USFWS announced a two-part decision expanding the protection of individual cats to wherever they are found in the Lower 48, not just in select states. However, at the same time, the agency undermined the cat’s recovery by excluding large swaths of its range from critical habitat designation.
 
Despite mounting evidence that lynx habitat is more expansive than previously thought, USFWS announced it will exclude all occupied lynx habitat in the Southern Rockies, and important lynx habitat in parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and other states in the species’ historic, current, and available range. 
 
“Washington is home to a very important population of rare lynx, and Oregon contains large areas of lynx-compatible habitat that are important for the future recovery of these wild cats,” said John Mellgren, Staff Attorney at the Western Environmental Law Center. “By excluding these areas, the Service is failing its obligation to ensure that lynx can recover across the American west.” 
 
USFWS first listed lynx as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2000. The listing protects individual lynx from harm. Under the ESA, the Service is also required to designate critical habitat to ensure the long-term survival and recovery of the species. However, the Service failed to designate any critical habitat for the species until 2006. (Federal agencies are required to consult with USFWS on actions they carry out, fund, or authorize to ensure that their actions will not destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. The designation does not impact private property.)
 
That designation was inadequate, and after two successful lawsuits brought by conservationists in 2008 and 2010, a district court in Montana left USFWS’s meager lynx habitat protection in place, but remanded it to the agency for improvement. This resulted in still inadequate habitat designation. 
 
Although lynx habitat is under threat throughout the contiguous U.S., the Service’s new designation again excluded much of the cat’s last best habitat in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Oregon from protection, and failed to protect vast tracts in Maine, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Wyoming. The new designation also failed to protect 2,593 square miles of lynx habitat that the Service originally proposed to protect in 2013.
“The Service, through this new rule, is attempting to protect just enough areas to prevent extinction,” said Nick Cady with Cascadia Wildlands. “This bare minimum effort by the agency is indicative of a troubling pattern of ignoring the mandate to recover species so that they no longer require federal protections.”  
 
John Mellgren and Matthew Bishop, of the Western Environmental Law Center, are representing WildEarth Guardians, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, and Conservation Northwest in litigation challenging the Service’s inadequate lynx critical habitat designation.
 
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Nov13

Conservationists Sue to Stop Wolf and Coyote Killing Contest

 
Press Release
For Immediate Release: November 13, 2014
 
Contacts: 
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, 541.434.1463 nick@cascwild.org
Bethany Cotton, WildEarth Guardians, 503.327.4923, bcotton@wildearthguardians.org
Laura King, Attorney, Western Environmental Law Center, 406-204-4852
Lynne Stone, Boulder-White Clouds Council, 208.721.7301, bwcc@wildwhiteclouds.org
 
Conservationists Sue to Stop Wolf and Coyote Killing Contest: 
Groups Challenge Fed’s Decision to Allow Highly Controversial ‘Predator Derby’ 
 
SALMON, Idaho – Today, a coalition of conservation organizations sued the Bureau of Land Management for granting a 5-year permit allowing predator-killing contests on public lands surrounding Salmon, Idaho over the winter holiday season. The agency unlawfully relied on faulty analysis and failed to conduct a full environmental impact statement. The suit also names the U.S. Forest Service for failing to require a permit for the killing contests. The next competitive killing derby is slated for January 2-4, 2015.

Coyote Derby

“Killing contests that perpetuate false stereotypes about key species like wolves and coyotes, who play essential roles in healthy, vibrant ecosystems, have no place on our public lands,” said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians. “The Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service are abdicating their responsibilities as stewards of our public lands.”
 
An application for a BLM special recreation permit triggers the National Environmental Policy Act, which prohibits fast track permitting of highly controversial activities, such as this. During the NEPA process, BLM received over 100,000 comments expressing opposition to the event. In its analysis, BLM failed to adequately consider the risk to public safety posed by the killing contest, the impacts to local and regional carnivore populations, displacement of other users of public lands, less destructive alternatives to the killing contest, and other factors. Wolves are a BLM ‘sensitive species’ and are supposed to be protected by the agency. 
 
“The agencies are determined to stay on the sidelines of this killing contest,” said Laura King, an attorney from Western Environmental Law Center, who is representing the plaintiffs. “But federal law requires the agencies to engage—fully and in good faith—in evaluating the consequences of the contest on wolves, coyotes, and ecosystems.” 
 
Lynne Stone, director of the Boulder-White Clouds Council, who has lived and worked in central Idaho for over three decades, said, “killing contests like this have no place in a civilized society and are an embarrassment to our state. Shame on the agencies for allowing these events on our public lands.”
 
Science shows that wolves play a key role as apex carnivores, providing ecological benefits that cascade through ecosystems. Wolves bring elk and deer populations into balance, which allows streamside vegetation to recover, in turn creating habitat for songbirds and beavers and shade for fish. Coyotes, like wolves, serve a valuable ecological function by helping to control rodent populations and to maintain ecological integrity and species diversity. Unlike wolves, coyotes quickly rebound when they are killed indiscriminately, meaning killing contests actually undermine the sponsor’s stated goal of reducing coyote populations.
 
“There is simply no ecological or scientific justification for these killing derbies,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands.  “These federal agencies are abusing public lands and wildlife to help finance an extremist, anti-wolf organization in Idaho.”
 
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To pursue this legal action and others Cascadia Wildlands needs your support.  So please consider making a generous donation to Cascadia Wildlands.Donate between now and the end of November through Mountain Rose Herbs Matching Gift program and your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs up to a total $5000. Please give today.
 

 

Nov06

Revenge Forestry: A Flare-up in the Elliott State Forest (an Excerpt)

October 14, 2014
by Jonathan Frochtzwajg, Oregon Business Magazine
 
When the Eugene-based timber company Seneca Jones made a $1.8 million bid on land in southern Oregon's Elliott State Forest earlier this year, it wasn't a business decision; it was personal. The 788-acre parcel (along with twoSeneca Clearcut at Dawn other parcels in the Elliott) had been put up for auction at the end of 2013.
 
Just before bidding was scheduled to end, the environmental group Cascadia Forest Defenders sent a letter to Seneca Jones and other Oregon timber companies.
 
Click here to view full article
 

Oct21

Cascadia Sues Over Lack of Federal Protections for the Wolverine

Cascadia Wildlands, along with a broad coalition of conservation groups, has filed suit over the Fish and Wildlife Service's failure to list the wolverine on the Endangered Species Act list.  The Fish and Wildlife Service officially withdrew its proposal to list the species after applied political pressure from a handful of western states.  Only 250-300 wolverines call the contiguous United States home, living in small populations scattered across the west.  A unanimous panel of Fish and Wildilfe scientists had previously recognized serious threats to the wolverine's continued existence, acknowledging that the greatest threat to the species' survival in the United States is habitat loss due to climate change.

The suit was filed on October 20, 2014, and the coalitition is represented by the Western Environmental Law Center.  This case carries important ramifications for other species  impacted by climate change as federal regulators have generally relied upon out-of-date or ineffective climate change  models.  Wolverines have been found in Washington, Oregon, and California. 

 

To see more background on the wolverine and this lawsuit, click here. 

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

Oct08

Annual Bear Cub Orphaning Hangs on Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Vote

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Media Contact: Nick Cady: 541-434-1463; nick@cascwild.org
 
Annual Bear Cub Orphaning Hangs on Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Voteblack bear and cub
 
(September 8, 2014) – Cascadia Wildlands and a coalition of conservation groups are urging Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to reject the “Siskiyou Plus” proposal to expand springtime black bear hunting in southwest Oregon, during a time in which mother bears are nursing dependent cubs. The coalition of local and national conservation groups sent letters in advance of the commission vote.
 
Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands said: “Expanding the spring bear hunt and putting mother bears with young cubs at risk is simply nonsensical. Orphaning more bear cubs in the state will lead to higher levels of human/bear conflict and result in an increased cost to taxpayers.”
 
In Oregon, it is unlawful to kill cubs less than one-year-old or mother bears with cubs less than one-year-old. However, by increasing the number of tags offered during the spring nursing season, the likelihood of accidentally taking mother black bears is also increased. Since cubs are dependent on their mothers for survival for 16 to 17 months, orphaned cubs will likely die from starvation, exposure to the elements or predation.
 
Scott Beckstead, Oregon senior state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “If this dangerous proposal passes, the chances of orphaning bear cubs in Oregon will greatly increase. Mother bears regularly forage at great distances from their cubs, which may cause hunters to mistakenly believe they’ve shot a lone female, dooming the cubs.”
 
The Siskiyou Plus bear hunt seeks to open up a new geographic area in southwestern Oregon to spring bear hunting, and will offer more than 200 additional bear-hunting tags.
 
Sally Mackler, Oregon carnivore representative for Predator Defense, said: “It is disingenuous to hold spring bear hunts and at the same time prohibit killing cubs less than a year old. Spring bear hunts inevitably result in the killing of mother bears and their cubs being subjected to prolonged and painful deaths.”
 
Oregon voters have twice favored providing strong protection for bears in statewide ballot contests. Liberalizing spring bear hunting would be at odds with voter sentiment in the state.
 
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Oct07

Washington’s Stevens County Urges Citizens to Kill Endangered Wolves

For Immediate Release, October 7, 2014
 
Contacts: 
Amaroq Weiss, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 779-9613
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, (314) 482-3746
 
Washington’s Stevens County Urges Citizens to Kill Endangered Wolves
Conservation Groups Call on State to Stop Disclosing Wolf Locations to County 
 
OLYMPIA, Wash.— Conservation groups today called on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to stop providing wolf location information to Stevens County, which recently adopted resolutions claiming a constitutional 2008937557right to kill wolves and exhorting its citizens to do so. In a letter sent today, the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands said the agency must immediately revoke written agreements to disclose daily locations of radio-collared wolves to county officials. The groups also urged the agency to rescind agreements with other counties if those counties adopt similar resolutions.
 
“Stevens County wants its citizens to kill wolves and the state is arming them with information that certainly makes it easier,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Let’s not kid ourselves: The result will be more dead wolves for a population that’s still struggling to gain a foothold.”
 
The state wildlife agency has wolf location agreements with six counties, several individuals and one private entity. The agreement with Stevens County includes an admonition that sensitive information “should not be” redistributed, but does not prohibit it. Agency officials admit that no mechanism exists to prevent disclosure and that if leaked information leads to the illegal killing of a wolf there is little, if any, means to trace that death back to the leak. The sharing of wolf location information is highly unusual; the agency does not share sensitive location information about any other threatened or endangered species. 
 
“The resolutions adopted by Stevens County place wolves at substantial risk of harm or death,” said Nick Cady, legal director for Cascadia Wildlands. “That risk skyrockets if the state wildlife agency is sharing sensitive information regarding wolf locations. The only way to ensure there are no information leaks is to pull the plug on the agreements.”
 
Washington’s wolves were driven to extinction in the early 1900s by a government-sponsored eradication program on behalf of the livestock industry. Since the early 2000s, the animals have started to make a slow comeback by dispersing into Washington from Idaho and British Columbia. Though Washington’s wolf population was estimated at only 52 animals at the end of 2013, the agency has twice conducted highly controversial lethal control actions on wolves, both of which took place in Stevens County. In 2012 nearly all of the Wedge pack was killed and six weeks ago the agency killed the alpha female of the Huckleberry pack. 
 
In response to public outcry over the handling of the Huckleberry pack and wolf-livestock conflicts, the agency is holding a public meeting in Colville tonight at 6 p.m. at the Colville Ag Trade Center, Northeast Washington Fairgrounds, 317 West Astor Ave. The public will be able to share their views on wolf management and recovery in Washington and ask questions of agency officials. The agency plans to hold a similar meeting in Lynwood on October 14 at 6 p.m. at the Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th St. SW.
 
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
 
Cascadia Wildlands is an Oregon-based, non-profit conservation organization with approximately 10,000 members and supporters throughout the United States. Cascadia Wildlands educates, agitates, and inspires a movement to protect and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems.
 
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Oct06

“Safeguard the Elliott!” — Come Testify at the October 8 North Bend Hearing

Kelsey:Sheena adjustedFuture management of the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest located northeast of Coos Bay is at a pivotal crossroads. The State Land Board (made up of Governor John Kitzhaber, Treasurer Ted Wheeler, and Secretary Kate Brown) is the trustee of the Elliott and will be hosting a special "listening session" in North Bend on October 8 to take public testimony on the future management of the forest. There are a number of proposals currently being considered by the state, including a reckless one that would dispose of the entire Elliott to Big Timber. The session will provide a tremendous opportunity to encourage a conservation solution for the Elliott that safeguards the forest for its outstanding values, like clean water, wild salmon, carbon storage and recreational opportunities.
 
Special State Land Board "Listening Session" on the Elliott State Forest
Wednesday, October 8, 3-6 pm
Hales Performing Arts Center (1988 Newmark Ave.), North Bend, OR
 
Carpools from Portland, Eugene and west of Roseburg are being planned. For more information and to RSVP for the Portland carpool, email Micah Meskel. The Eugene carpool will leave at 12:30 pm from behind FedEx Office on 13th and Willamette St.. Email Josh Laughlin for more information and to RSVP. The carpool from west of Roseburg will leave at 1 pm. Email Francis Eatherington for meeting location and to RSVP.
 
Preparing your testimony: Please consider preparing three-minute (maximum) testimony on behalf of yourself or the organization you represent. You should also plan to leave a hard copy of your testimony with Land Board staff after you testify. If you can't make it to the meeting on October 8, consider submitting your comments to the Land Board by email.
 
Possible talking points include:
       Decouple old-growth clearcutting from school funding on the Elliott
       Protect the Elliott's remianing native forests, wild salmon and imperiled wildlife
       Safeguard the Elliott for its hunitng, fishing and recreational opportunities and potential
       Promote timber jobs on the forest by restoratively thinning the dense second-growth tree farms and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat
       Oppose the privatization of the Elliott State Forest
 
It is encouraged that you personalize your testimony and remind the State Land Board why the Elliott is so important to you or your organization. Thanks for speaking up for this outstanding public resource!
 
(School kids stand in the threatened Elliott State Forest. Photo by Josh Laughlin)

Oct02

Last Stand: The New Book On Ted Turner The Bison Baron, Wolf Warrior and Eco-Capitalist Stirring Buzz In Pacific Northwest

For Immediate Release
 
Contact:  Laurie Kenney, Senior Publicist, lkenney@rowman.com or 203-458-4555
 
Last Stand: The New Book On Ted Turner The Bison Baron, Wolf  Warrior and Eco-Capitalist Stirring Buzz In Pacific Northwest
 
How can the Pacific Northwest be “rewilded”?  What does eco-capitalism really look like on the ground?  What Todds cover350does it mean to be having wolves crossing the Cascades?  What’s the role of the United Nations in a modern world fraught with nuclear dangers, America-hating terrorists and the spectre of Ebola?  All of these issues flow dramatically through the life of one man who makes his home on the eastern flanks of the region.
 
In Todd Wilkinson’s new book, “Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet,” (just out in paperback), one of America’s most outspoken and controversial capitalists, environmentalists and humanitarians rises in a way that overshadows his better known identity of media mogul.  Meet Turner the bison baron and pathfinding believer in the triple bottom line.
 
Wilkinson’s book has been circulated to every member of Congress and reached the hands of every ambassador to the United Nations, in addition to being the talk of world leaders and engaged citizens.
 
It is also the fodder for a provocative swing of talks, part of the Two Talking Wolves Tour that passes through the Pacific Northwest for two weeks during the latter half of October.  
 
Wilkinson will be joined by well-known Eugene-based conservationist Bob Ferris who helped bring wolves back to Yellowstone and central Idaho 20 years ago and today heads Cascadia Wildlands.
 
As the publicist for “Last Stand,” I am happy to send you a copy for review (just email me back) and would be grateful if you might write something about the Two Walking Wolves Tour.  Both Wilkinson and Ferris are available for interviews.  
 
Wilkinson’s talks on Turner have attracted large audiences on college campuses and at other public forums across the country. Turner also has influenced the giving ethic of Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.
 
What others have said about “Last Stand” and Turner:
Last Stand is a great literary portrait of the many parts of a fascinating and important man—Ted Turner.  Ted is on a mission to save the world and the world should be grateful to have an energetic and imaginative friend.”  —Tom Brokaw
 
Last Stand is an example of the clarity of double-vision: Todd Wilkinson as a visionary writer and Ted Turner as his visionary subject.”  —Terry Tempest Williams
 
“Ted Turner is one of the great originals of American history, an innovator of the first rank, and, as Last Stand shows, a unique human innovation of his own making.  Out of his many achievements, the most important may be the proof that capitalism and environmentalism can be joined to major humanitarian effect.”  —E.O. Wilson
More information on Wilkinson and Ferris:
 
Todd Wilkinson
Nationally-known environmental journalist Todd Wilkinson is author of the new critically-acclaimed book “Last Todd-Wilkinson1-284x300Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet” that has been spurring discussions about “eco-capitalism” across the country.   From Turner’s pioneering work in “rewilding the West” with wolves and grizzly bears to raising 50,000 bison, giving $1 billion to the UN and trying to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons, he has been hailed as a pathfinding 21st century businessman.  Wilkinson, whose work has appeared in national newspapers and magazines, spent seven years going behind the scenes with Turner and tells the dramatic story of how nature not only saved the legendary “media mogul” but left him transformed.   Wilkinson’s slide show discussions have been delighting—and provoking— audiences across the country.
 
Bob Ferris
BobKnown primarily for his groundbreaking work on wolf recovery in the West, Bob Ferris has been a leader in the conservation and sustainability communities for more than 30 years.  Ferris is a trained scientist and former businessman with a long history of working to dispel fear and myths about predators while developing mechanisms to overcome the legitimate barriers to coexistence.  He was part of the volunteer team that went north to Fort Saint John, BC in 1996 to capture wolves bound for Yellowstone and central Idaho during the government shutdown and has crossed back and forth between policy and practice ever since.  He is currently the executive director of Cascadia Wildlands headquartered in Eugene, Oregon.
 
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Sep29

Court Decision Stops Four Tongass National Forest Logging Projects (an Excerpt)

By Mary Kauffman
Sit News
September 27,2014
 
Gabe Scott, Cascadia Wildlands' representative in Alaska, said "In answering our previous challenges to these aawolftimber sale projects the Forest Service corrected its modeling errors, and then came up with the same failing deer model scores we had been predicting for years in this case, instead of its previous high numbers. The agency covered over this outcome by applying the 2008 Forest Plan to the modeling results, whereas the projects had been planned and decided under the 1997 Forest Plan. We had no choice but to take this back to court.”
 
The court found the agency’s approach to be illegal, saying "The Forest Service cannot have it both ways." It determined that "… the 1997 and 2008 Forest Plans … are not identical and therefore they are not interchangeable in evaluating the Forest Service's decisions …," and that "… retroactive application of an amended plan has expressly been rejected by the Ninth Circuit."
 
The Forest Service now has a second chance that includes two options to correct the deficiency. The second chance is one of two optional paths the plaintiffs asked the court to take in its decision. Under the court decision, either the remedial remand work must be redone by reevaluating the corrected deer model results under the framework of the 1997 Tongass Forest Plan, or the agency must formally remake the decisions for the four timber projects under the 2008 Forest Plan.
 
"The Forest Service has lots of work to do if it still wants to pursue these projects,” said Scott. "It also has the option to simply cancel the projects though, and that really makes the most sense given the limited capacity for these forest areas to sustain adequate deer populations under the Forest Service’s model.”
 
This was the second legal action of the week affecting the Alexander Archipelago wolf. On Monday the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace and The Boat Company achieved a settlement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to advance the agency's decision date for deciding whether to list the species as threatened or endangered in Southeast Alaska (including the Tongass National Forest) – the only place where it exists – under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
 
The three organizations sued the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service earlier this year because it had planned to delay its decision on the listing at the end of 2017 at the earliest. The ESA requires a decision within one year of when a petition-to-list is filed. The settlement sets the deadline as the last day of 2015.
 
Greenpeace's Edwards said, "This is an important settlement, because now the decision on whether or not to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf as threatened or endangered will be made well before the Forest Service's next amendments to the Tongass Forest Plan, which will be finalized in August 2016."
 
Greenpeace and Cascadia Wildlands won a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals order in 2011, directing the district court to remand the Forest Service's decisions on the projects. The remand required the agency to explain what apparent plain errors in the way it applied a timber sale planning tool known as the deer model.
 
Attorneys representing Greenpeace and Cascadia Wildlands are Chris Winter of Crag Law Center (Portland, Oregon) and René Voss of California. The McIntosh Foundation and The Boat Company, which does eco-tours in Southeast Alaska, have supported the effort.
 
 
 

Sep17

Another mistake in managing wolf recovery

The Olympian
September 16, 2014 
 
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has mismanaged another conflict between an Eastern Washington 2008937557rancher and an important wolf pack. This time the department accidently killed the breeding alpha female of the Huckleberry pack, one of the state’s most stable and prolific packs. Gray wolves are an endangered species in Washington.
 
This is a catastrophic mistake that will likely lead to more conflict between the pack and livestock. The loss of a breeding adult in a pack is well-known to wildlife experts to cause chaos within the pack and unpredictable future behavior.
 
But the department’s mishandling didn’t end there. The agency knew the rancher had refused conflict avoidance resources from the DFW and Washington State University and proceeded to put 1,800 sheep in the wolf pack’s territory in difficult terrain without state-advised deterrents in place and protected by only a single herder and four dogs.
 
State wildlife officials surely knew this was a recipe for disaster.
 
When dead sheep started appearing on Department of Natural Resources-owned land, DFW should have been prepared to take quick and effective nonlethal deterrent action. It was not, and instead issued a secret kill order without notifying members of the Washington Wolf Advisory group in advance.
 
The DFW sharpshooter, working from a helicopter, was authorized to kill four of this year’s pups. But he mistakenly killed the pack’s alpha female.
 
Diane Gallegos, executive director of Wolfhaven International, located in Thurston County, said the conservation community is unanimous that the DFW and the rancher didn’t follow the state wolf plan and that the DFW shouldn’t have issued a kill order.
 
“This is an endangered species, and it is unconscionable that they accidently killed the breeding female of an endangered species,” Gallegos said. We agree.
 
In 2012, the DFW killed the entire Wedge Pack, even though it had failed to effectively implement the non-lethal measures required by the state’s wolf conservation management plan.
 
When ranchers engage in cooperative agreements with DFW, the state saves money, ranchers protect their livestock and wolves survive on other food sources.
 
Ranchers can also call on nonprofits, such as Conservation Northwest, to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock. Conservation Northwest is using private funds and staff to train and provide range riders to oversee livestock sharing range with wolves. They are currently engaged in five separate projects, and in three seasons have not lost any livestock to wolves.
 
After the Huckleberry blunder, some of the most passionate gray wolf advocates are questioning whether DFW has a tendency to favor the interests of livestock operators. Clearly, the agency should be doing more to protect an endangered species.
 
Hundreds of thousands of gray wolves once roamed the West. When their natural food sources dwindled after human settlements, they sometimes turned to livestock earning the ire of pioneers. By the middle of the last century, most wolves had been killed off.
 
Today, thanks to protected status, wolves are making a comeback. They are a natural resource that belongs to the people of this state.
 
Gov. Jay Inslee should order a review of the department’s wolf plan management, and state lawmakers must legislate a requirement that ranchers engage in good-faith cooperative agreements with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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