Wolf, © Didier Lindsey

Will A Washington Wolf Pack Die Tomorrow?

Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Just a few months ago, we celebrated the discovery of Washington State’s eighth wolf pack, called the Wedge pack. This pack is particularly important because it’s a border pack that helps maintain a link between wolves in Washington and Canada.  In a small population like this, genetic exchange between these populations is very important.

Recently, wolves have been accused of killing livestock in the Colville National Forest on the northeastern boundary of the state’s border with Canada.  Under the state’s wolf management plan, if wolves repeatedly prey on livestock, and nonlethal deterrents fail, the state can choose to kill wolves to protect livestock.  However, in this case, there is no solid evidence that wolves did kill livestock and no details provided of any nonlethal deterrents being tried.

Several wolf depredation experts, including myself have reviewed the state’s investigation reports and found that none of the injuries are characteristic of wolf predation on livestock.  Though I’m not a field investigator, I have personally evaluated more than one million dollars of livestock depredations due to wolves, and managed Defenders’ wolf compensation program from 1999 to 2011. We would have rejected these reports and considered them unrelated to wolf predation.  Just because wolves are in the area does not mean they are killing livestock, and scavenging from dead livestock left in the national forest is not a crime punishable under the Washington State wolf plan. These reports fail to prove that wolves killed or injured livestock, and the majority of the injuries — most of which are not even close to life threatening — can be easily classified as those commonly sustained by cattle ranging on national forest lands, inflicted by barbed wire, trees or bushes, moving debris during storms, and a host of other possibilities, including animals other than wolves.

Photo courtesy of Didier Lindsey

Despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, the state has already used the complaints as a basis to kill a female wolf from the pack, and now has issued a kill order on the rest of the pack’s adult wolves. Since one of the adults has been fitted with a GPS collar, the state’s sharpshooters will find it all too easy to locate the pack and carry out this unjustified sentence, and they have been given the go-ahead to do so as soon as possible. It will mean the deaths of four adult wolves, and likely the death or forced captivity of the pack’s several pups as well. An entire pack wiped out based on circumstantial evidence that they were in the area and therefore responsible for the depredations.

Unless we act now, it appears that the Wedge pack could be eliminated this week — as early as tomorrow.  That’s why we’re asking our members and supporters to contact Governor Christine Gregoire (360-902-4111); Phil Anderson, Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (360-902-2200 Assistant Director Nate Pamplin (360-902-2693); and the Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission (360-902-2267 or commission@dfw.wa.gov) today and respectfully tell them that this was the wrong decision. Tell them:

1)    Stop: Rescind the kill order! Don’t sentence an entire pack to death.

2)    Prove it: Conduct an independent review of the evidence to determine that wolves were at fault for the injuries, and publish the review’s findings. If the wolves are at fault, there should be no problem in proving it publicly.

3)    Start slow: If the review finds that the wolves are at fault, use non-lethal deterrents first. Sending sharpshooters after wolves should be the absolute last resort, not the go-to option.

Ask these officials to stand up for responsible wildlife management, not give in to fear and false information. If Washington starts down this path of killing wolves based on misidentification and speculation, no pack in the state will be safe.

90 Responses to “Will A Washington Wolf Pack Die Tomorrow?”

  1. Karen Watts

    Is it possible to find other ways to manage wildlife than with the violence of guns, traps, gas or poisons? I truly wish we could discover a few.

  2. tosca hoffmann

    Defend the wolves in Washington. There are much more intelligent ways to co-exist with these special animals. They happen to make Washington a stand out state. Don’t make a huge mistake.-

  3. Lucie Martineau

    1)Stop: Rescind the kill order! Don’t sentence an entire pack to death.

    2) Prove it: Conduct an independent review of the evidence to determine that wolves were at fault for the injuries, and publish the review’s findings. If the wolves are at fault, there should be no problem in proving it publicly.

    3) Start slow: If the review finds that the wolves are at fault, use non-lethal deterrents first. Sending sharpshooters after wolves should be the absolute last resort, not the go-to option.

    Stand up for responsible wildlife management, do not give in to fear and false information. If Washington starts down this path of killing wolves based on misidentification and speculation, no pack in the state will be safe.
    It is a crime and not responsible when we all know that wolves contribute to wildlife balance.

  4. anonymous

    Phil Anderson, Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (360-902-2200); and Assistant Director Nate Pamplin (360-902-2693)

    Everyone should call these people above. Tell them to stop the kill order.

  5. Per-Ola

    Of curse there are other ways than guns and traps. Use of lifestock guard dogs (LGDs) is a good measure. Irish Wolfhounds (not the domesticated lame breed), Maremma Sheepdogs, Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherds, Boerboels, Karelian Beardogs, etc, can work in packs to entice the wolves to hunt for food elsewhere. Even wolves, just like humans, follow the path of least resistance. Make it hard for them to prey on livestock, if that is what they do, by making it “uncomfortable”.
    There is no need to kill a wolf – period. These are majestic and (still) rare animals that deserve as much of the “American West” as we do.

  6. MaryAnn Canning

    Couldn’t be better said:
    Lucia Martineau says:

    August 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    1)Stop: Rescind the kill order! Don’t sentence an entire pack to death.

    2) Prove it: Conduct an independent review of the evidence to determine that wolves were at fault for the injuries, and publish the review’s findings. If the wolves are at fault, there should be no problem in proving it publicly.

    3) Start slow: If the review finds that the wolves are at fault, use non-lethal deterrents first. Sending sharpshooters after wolves should be the absolute last resort, not the go-to option.

    Stand up for responsible wildlife management, do not give in to fear and false information. If Washington starts down this path of killing wolves based on misidentification and speculation, no pack in the state will be safe.
    It is a crime and not responsible when we all know that wolves contribute to wildlife balance.

  7. Evelyn

    You got that RIGHT! Patrick, what gose around comes around, Karma. I hate senseless killings a direspect to mother nature and Gods creations. God loves his animals, they are here for a reason to keep natures balance.

  8. Jacki

    The problem is that Karma seems to have it’s hands full and is not working fast enough on these people.

  9. Tina Deraco

    I’ve tried the Governor’s office and been told that they’ve received a number of calls, but she has no ability to interfere with the outcome and to call Fish and Wildlife. I can’t find a way to talk to a person; all the options are non-related and automated. Who actually got through and how?

  10. Joan

    It sounds like another excuse to try to wipe out these beautiful animals once again the wolves were here first not us and not YOU! Did you forget that song Bless the Beast and the Children,one day you liars will face the music they unlike you belong here these have always been their mountains,their woods,their streams until greedy people came along and stole their homes killed their families but your kind did this before didn’t they!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Carol Price

    Called the Governor’s office and was told she is in California. Then I tried her assistant and got a voice mail machine. I left my message, but I got the feeling that the people in the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife just do not care. They are puppets and they just follow orders from “above.” Mindless human beings who cannot think for themselves and governed by a Governor who probably leaves “little things like this” to her mindless subordinates.

    I am concerned that the cattle ranchers are never to blame in all of this. They need to take actions to protect their herds. They know there are wolves around and that the natural instict of the wolf (or any wild animal) is to feed itself. I am also disgusted that the state of Washington as well as other states in this country cannot respect the word “endangered.” I guarantee there will be no wolves left in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming or Montana if this killing isn’t stopped.

  12. Karen Schoen

    Why do people keep looking for ways to kill wolves? We brought them back from near extinction to what? Kill them again. The stupidity of these murdering idiots amazes me. They just want to kill. If the wolves killed a few cows, then let Defenders of Wildlife reimburse them.

  13. bill crump

    At The Gate

    When you get to St. Pete’s gate – He won’t be there

    Dogs, cats, a horse, a deer, and a wolf
    will be waiting, reviewing your records

    They make all the decisions there
    They know what love is

    They can sense the ittiest-bit of it

    You better have had more than a tad of it
    and have used it often, or… you will be…

    “put down”

    copyright 2012 Bill Crump – All rights reserved

  14. Susie Tron

    Hello, I am from Mexico City, I just called the number listed and they send me to different places. and to all the people they send me to, I told them that this news was known worldwide and it was a shame and bad image for them to allow this horrible crime towards nature. Also I send a message to the Governor Christine Gregoire. I received this reply:
    Thank you for contacting Governor Christine Gregoire. The Governor values your views and opinions. We want to assure you that the Governor’s Office reads these messages and, when appropriate, refers them to relevant agencies, staff, or the Governor herself. Because of the volume of e-mail we receive daily, however, we are unable to respond to every message. Thank you again for contacting the Governor.

    I hope with all my heart this pack can live in peace. Its horrible to see that some US States just want to erradicate from the face of the earth wolves. Sara Palin and Ken Salazar are the ones who hate Wolves.

  15. Suzanne Stone

    Hi Tina,
    It’s important to remember that there are two levels of Fish & Wildlife that we’re talking about here. The decision to move forward with the kill order comes from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, not the national U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Because it is the state department, the governor does have authority over it.
    If you’re still having trouble getting through on the phone, you can also send your message via email at http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/default.asp

  16. Karen

    People need to call WDFW. Call the director Phil Anderson and Nate Pamplin.

    Phil Anderson, Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (360-902-2200); and Assistant Director Nate Pamplin (360-902-2693)

    Send email comments to email address below to oppose the killing of the wedge pack.

    wildthing@dfw.wa.gov

  17. Lorna Mcmullen

    Wolf packs kill to surive NOT for the fun or sport of it. when a pack kills it is to surive,the meat is EATEN to the bone.there would be not carcus just bone. Wild dogs kill for the fun the sport of it but NOT THE WOLF PACKs. the killings need to be really and honestly investagated and the pack watched closer to really see what is doing these killings. i bet you 10-1 the wolf pack in Washington is NOT THE CALPRET but they are the answer for an easy excape goat!!!!!! save these beautiful animals.

  18. Helen A. Spalding

    We moved into the pack’s territory. WE killed off thier ancestors. We do not tolerate competition. Too bad. This pack SHOULD NOT be killed!

  19. Deborah

    I got through to the governor’s office and spoke to a very pleasant woman who said they’d gotten a lot of calls.
    I called the Dept of Fish and Wildlife, waited to listen to the whole menu, and ended up pressing 8. I again spoke to a live human, a well-spoken man named Ron. He took the time (12 minutes) to explain their position, and gave me their URL to check on what their statement was. It seems that after five years they’ve confirmed that the livestock kills were the work of the wolves. I’m not saying I approve of killing wolves, and I am a longtime supporter of Defenders. But he took the time to talk to me, in a very calm and reasoned way, and as much as I love the wolves they may have a point. Judge for yourselves. You can read it here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/packs/wedge/

  20. Gene Whitten

    Sent a FAX to the governors office calling for a stop to the kill order. And YES, she does have control over the Dept of Fish & Wildlife, through the director, who she hired as a member of the governor’s cabinet. But wildlife management should never be based on political expediency, except this situation has already been politicized. Good wildlife management should be based on facts and scientific research.

  21. s. fern

    STOP THE KILL ~~~~ the wolf has just started to rebound, and the breeding between Canada strain and the Usa strain is vital to the breed. This is NOT necessary. HE Who has money to pay for this could also use that $ else where, not to just improve their own personal gains. ALL THINGS ON EARTH ARE FOR OUR USE > NOT ABUSE
    Respect nature

  22. A. Suppo

    Wolves don’t hurt people! Stop the killing…don’t be a ruthless animal. It’s not who we are!

  23. Suzanne Stone

    Thank you for calling from Mexico! Your email gave us all such hope today. We deeply appreciate your support for the wolves.

  24. Laura Bruns

    Please do not allow killing of WOLVES…This is unconfirmed killing of livestock…Wolves are meant to be here as much as we are…Quit destroying the balance of nature…

  25. ani ea

    Please stop cruel brutal terribel terrible act of kiling these beuatifull being so sad they have the right to live there on their land -on the land like you and me

  26. Natalie

    What the hell is wrong with these people?! We’ve already stepped into the homes of many wild creatures this world does not belong to us therefore they should NOT kill those poor animals

  27. Myra zocher

    Please do what is right and stop this kill before it is too late. You are sentencing these wolves to death, and we need them in our habitat. The babies will die or be forced into captivity, too. Just not right, please reconsider.

  28. Brad K.

    Don’t waste time choir preaching here! Get on the phone/email to the officials in WA and let them know the world is watching! Tweet it, share it on Facebook, email your entire contacts list – get the viral message moving NOW! It’s 6:30AM in WA right now, let them come into the office to a million messages calling for this to stop!

    Thank you all for your compassion.

  29. Suzanne Stone

    Thank you for having a reasoned discussion with Phil. We would not be fighting against this decision if we didn’t strongly believe that the evidence against the wolves was not related to their actions. The injuries, most not life threatening, are normal injuries that cattle routinely sustain while on the open range. The others were uncharacteristic of wolf predation. We believe Washington has rushed to judgement and misidentified wolf predation. In fact, when I spoke with Phil, he argued that all their field investigators have had recent training in wolf depredation investigations. I told him that was fine but the person who trained them all disagreed with their decision and felt strongly that these injuries were unrelated to wolf predation. He didn’t have a good answer for this. We don’t want innocent wolves to die needlessly. Beyond this, the state should be utilizing nonlethal measures to reduce potential conflicts.

  30. mad shadow

    The wolf is an important component of the ecosystem. Just because the the wolf packs are thriving because humans gave them a second chance, doesn’t mean humans have the right to go killing them.

    If state paid sharp shooters need target practice, send them to the rifle range. It is time we realized that wild life sharp shooters are obsolete and they should be removed from government payrolls and the salaries saved be put to something more useful…like insurance for children or health care.

  31. Sonja Mazzola

    Please don’t do this, wolves have a place! They need a place, people keep pushing them out. This is cruel!!! Wolves like all creatures belong here.

  32. robin yale

    I am pro wolf. have worked with wolves and wolf dogs for 22 years. And been studying them for my whole lifetime. I am aware of the pros and cons of wolves and what they are capable of. Without concrete confirmed proof of wolf kills, I cannot condone their been destroyed. Seen many dog packs do the same, i.e. great pyrs turning on their flocks amonst other dogs coupled w/guarding livestock. People need to treat each incidence as an individual circumstance and get all of the facts before going on a witch hunt.

  33. James Horner

    Simbiosis. Let’s live together. Manage these animals, not kill them out of hand.

  34. Laura

    Carol your wrong. She Does care for the little things, Far more so then if we had had someone like Rossi in. Now That man cared only for himself and Washingtons knew it.

    I know for a fact The Governor loves animals (VERY much)
    As does her husband.

    I e-mailed Teresa as well. I also e-mailed F and W. If everyone does it can help. it really can. We need for them to know there are more of us then of the few Ranchers.

  35. Jen Finley

    Here’s a thought, money talks. People have a lot more power than we think. Even if people cannot prevent the senseless slaughter of this wolf pack, we can use our dollars to send asstrong message that this kind of brutality will not be tolerated. Refuse to spend tourist dollars in the state. Don’t purchase products from there when at all possible.
    We live in a capitalist society and can use that fact for the benefit of those unable to defend themselves.

  36. Ravyn Sage

    I live in WA and was shocked to see this, 1st I heard of it. I called all the numbers and told everyone I know. The govenor’s office is being flooded. There is hope!!

  37. annabel

    PERTH, WESTRN AUSTRALIA –
    Have emailed all washington officials & wildlife mob.
    Posted to as many fb groups that i could.
    Not suRe what else i cant do as I’m in Australia (0415am)
    Wish i could do more but have to get some snooze before the rugrats need to get up for school.
    I hope & pray that common sense prevails and that these amazingly beautiful & intelligent creatures will be left to live their precious lives in peace.

  38. Sheri Williams

    I am so disgusted with the human race. How we feel that we have the RIGHT to destroy another living creature is beyond my thinking! I am also pro-life so no mistaking on what ground I stand. God created everything under the sun…not to exclude the animal population. The wolf happens to be a relative of man’s best friend…the dog!!! Yet we have laws that protect the abuse of animals which is not excluding jail time. So, why not the killing of wolves…a penalty and jail time to be given to each person responsible for the killing of these awesome animals. Here here in praise!!!!

  39. Carrie Gunzel

    Please, do whatever you can to stop this horrible act of violence and these beatiful animals. I just sent letters to the Governor’s office and WDFW and I hope you all do the same. Our voices do matter!!

  40. William Elliott

    It is absurd to kill anything without first proving that they are the problem and non-lethal means tried to their fullest extent. My god where are we, the caretakers headed but down the path of self destruction?

  41. Randy Comeleo

    Called Gregoire’s office this morning and was told she is out-of-state but aware of the situation. Left a message for assistant director Pamplin asking: (1) what happened to incremental removal as described in the management plan?, (2) if experts are questioning the investigation, wouldn’t it be prudent to hold-off on the kill order and conduct a review?, and (3) recommended they read the review of lethal control by Harper, et al. J. Wildlife Mgt. 2008 which reviewed lethal control and found that non-lethal methods – even a simple increase in human presence – did more to reduce future livestock depredations than trapping and killing.

  42. James

    Sent emails to the govenor and director of fish & wildlife to NOT allow the short sited killing of the wedge pack. This is senseless and ignorant
    at best. James, MS Environmental Science SIUE

Post Your Comment

  • (will not be published)

You May also be interested in