Wolves Killing

Opponents of the state's decision to eradicate a wolf pack in order to protect cattle protest outside of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Olympia, Wash. 

Washington state officials have rejected a proposal by a wildlife preserve to save the Profanity Peak wolf pack targeted for extermination.

“We received the proposal to relocate the remaining Profanity Peak pack members to California, but that approach just isn’t feasible,” said Eric Gardner, assistant director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in an emailed statement.

Lorin Lindner and Matthew Simmons, co-founders of the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, a 4,000-acre preserve near the Los Padres mountains in Ventura County, Calif., offered to use helicopters to find and tranquilize the wolves, then move them to the preserve.

The pack, originally estimated at 11 animals — six adults and five pups — was cut in half in August after six of the wolves were killed. State officials authorized the exterminations following a series of attacks on livestock put out to graze on public land in the Colville National Forest.

Since mid-July, WDFW has confirmed that wolves from the Profanity Peak pack have killed or injured six cattle and possibly five others. The most recent incident occurred on Aug. 31, when a calf was killed, a WDFW spokesman said.

Simmons and Lindner said they began putting out feelers about their proposal after hearing of the state’s decision in August. 

Last week, they traveled from California to rural Ferry County to make a pitch directly to state and local officials about providing a nonlethal alternative at no cost the state.

“We knew it was a last-ditch effort,” Simmons said. “Bringing wolves into a sanctuary should be a last option, but we think it’s a viable one if the alternative is killing the animals.”

But according to WDFW officials, Simmons’ proposal is unworkable. “We know from experience that darting and capturing wolves when there’s no snow on the ground to slow them down isn’t practical,” Gardner said.

Reached Thursday, Simmons rejected the state’s assessment of his offer, adding that he would be open to adjusting the means of removing the wolves.

“People in your state seem to be determined to kill these animals even when there’s an offer to remove them that won’t cost the state a dime,” he said.

The fate of the remaining members of the wolf pack remains in limbo. The department is open to new strategies, but will continue to re-evaluate the situation at the end of each week to determine whether efforts to exterminate the pack should continue, said WDFW spokesman Craig Bartlett. What, if any, nonlethal strategies are being considered was not immediately made clear.

State policy authorizes “lethal removal” after confirming that wolves have preyed on livestock at least four times in one calendar year, or six times in two consecutive years. Livestock must have been confirmed to have been killed by wolves in at least one of the events.

The state’s Wolf Advisory Group is scheduled to hold meetings on wolf management policy in North Bend on Wednesday and Thursday.

(3) comments

DancingWolf

It's beyond me why the State would opt to kill these wolves instead of doing the right thing and removing them non-lethally. It will not cost them a cent to do so.. These folks are ready and willing to relocate them at their own expense and will use the same method to tranquilize these wolves that the state used to kill the other family members. What is wrong with these people? Cows on Public Lands Vs Wolf recovery again Would it not be more intelligent just to move the cows out of their denning area?

Prairie

If ranchers want to put livestock in an area that has been designated for wolves and the livestock get eaten then the livestock should be removed from the area. The wolves are hungry and the livestock should not be there. If there is an offer of sanctuary for the wolves than that is the best option. Find a way to save their lives please.

Prairie

Please remove the Profanity Peak Wolves to a sanctuary rather than kill them. You have already killed 6 of them. You should not have put livestock in an area where they were hunting.

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