Inslee takes action after the state issues kill orders on a set of wolf packs who came into conflict with ranchers on public lands
King County, Washington — The Center for a Humane Economy and Animal Wellness Action applauded Washington Governor Jay Inslee for writing to the Director of Fish and Wildlife and directing him “to significantly reduce the need for lethal removal” of endangered wolves in the state.
“Governor Inslee has done the right thing in directing the Department of Fish and Wildlife to step up its non-lethal wolf management strategies and slow down its wolf killing,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Center for a Humane Economy. “Killing off wolves and packs one by one has been the wrong strategy for the state in managing occasional wolf-human conflicts.”
In recent weeks, the Center for a Humane Economy and Animal Wellness Action took a series of print and digital advertisements to encourage Inslee’s intervention. The groups also supported a legal action that produced a temporary injunction on killing of members of the Old Profanity Territory pack. Regrettably, state officials killed off all members of the pack just hours or perhaps minutes before the judicial proceeding.
Since the conclusions of the court proceeding, many Washingtonians have expressed concerns about the state’s last-minute onslaught against the wolves and its subsequent orders to kill wolves from other packs.
“The Department of Fish and Wildlife has proved to be a most effective contract killer of endangered animals for private ranching operation,” said Jennifer McCausland of the Center for a Humane Economy and a leader in advocating for wolves in the state. “The state can do better than this, and it’s our hope that the Department heeds the governor’s wishes.”
The state has now killed 25 wolves in the Colville National Forest on behalf of Diamond M Ranch, since wolves began their slow return to northeast Washington. Complaints from that family have triggered 87 percent of all state-conducted wolf removal actions. The family has declined government payments to compensate them for lost cattle and refuses to take commonsense measures to protect its cattle from predators. Instead, it has publicly demanded the eradication of wolves from the area. The state has also been targeting the Togo Pack and the Grouse Flats pack.
Until this latest series of lethal wolf actions by the state, wolves had been slowly reclaiming small portions of their original range in Washington. The state has been on a pace this year to kill a fifth of Washington’s wolves, which the Department of Fish and Wildlife officials had previously estimated at 125 animals.