Wolf management idea makes sense

[Consider the source]:


March 23, 2017 9:51AM

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife managers are offering an idea they believe would help them manage wolves more effectively.


Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife managers are offering an idea they believe would help them manage wolves more effectively.

If one follows the wolf issue long enough, occasionally a nugget of common sense appears.

Such is the case with a recent suggestion the folks at the Washington State Department of Fish and wildlife offered. Speaking during a conference call with the state Wolf Advisory Group, WDFW wolf policy coordinator Donny Martorello offered this idea: that dead livestock be considered “qualifying” victims of wolves if the time, circumstance and location of their deaths parallel other confirmed depredations.

In other words, if a carcass is found near those of other wolf victims but scavengers have destroyed the evidence directly linking the attack to wolves, state wildlife managers could label it a “qualifying” attack.

Previously, such cases were considered “probable” attacks and were not counted against a wolfpack. Under the Washington wolf plan, managers can kill only wolves that are responsible for four confirmed depredations within a year.

While this may seem to be a bureaucratic splitting of hairs, it’s critically important for managing wolves. Under the new idea, if wolves are found to be responsible for four depredations, including any that are “qualifying,” managers could take steps to get rid of the wolves.

A study found wolfpacks that are thinned soon after attacking cattle or sheep get the message that attacking livestock is unacceptable. By including qualifying attacks, managers could act quicker to thin the ranks of wolves instead of waiting weeks or months for another confirmed depredation.

If managers thin a wolfpack after a long period of time, the wolves have no idea whether it is linked to a depredation, according to the study.

The idea is to manage wolves in a way that is both effective and assures ranchers and others that each step is effective.

That in itself is good reason for the department to adopt such a common sense rule.

It’s also something wolf managers in other states would do well to consider.

The state Wolf Advisory Group will discuss the idea during a March 29-30 meeting in Olympia. We urge the group to take a close look at it, as common sense can be a rare commodity when dealing with wolves.


9 thoughts on “Wolf management idea makes sense

  1. Are you serious? This is the worst idea ever. I live in WA state and am involved with wolf recovery. This action allows more wolves to be killed sooner–which is what the ranchers want.
    Despite the fact that wolf- caused deaths are 0.01% of annual cattle deaths, Martorello can’t wait to kill more wolves to please welfare ranchers on public lands. Unsworth and Martorello are working for a wolf hunt and total eradication of the wolves. And remember, Unsworth, director of WDFW came from Idaho–where he dropped the wolf population from around 1600 to 400 ( if that).

  2. This is not that nugget of sense. It is a jump start to the kill mode of manage to. Ranchers are still encroaching on leased public land in wolf country. It is a plan endorsed by a conservation organization which is really not about conservation, but rancher support. Supposedly, if they hurry up and kill a few wolves in an offending pack, they will not have to kill them all, so they supposedly save wolves, thus they call it “management” and “conservation” First orders of management should be the rancher not being there in the first place, if he is, emphasis on non lethal management.

  3. I thought from reading one of the recent articles about WA wolves that they already included ‘probables’? It stood out in my mind because it should be a ‘definite’ before an animal is killed. I always wonder how they can verify a predator-killed animal anyway, from one that a predator found after the fact and had eaten? Livestock die from many things, and of course we know that the unscrupulous bait wolves and coyotes, and the Cubic Zirconia Ranch as been known to run cattle in wolf denning areas without regard to F&W guidelines or cooperation.

  4. This quote from the article tells all:

    “The idea is to manage wolves in a way that is both effective and assures ranchers and others that each step is effective.”

    “Management” is for the humans, not to benefit wildlife. The “managers” need the management, not the wolves. This antiquated carryover from the likes of wolf-killer Leopold, and Teddy Roosevelt still works quite well for those who see wild animals are targets, competition to livestock, & “resources.”

    Livestock Grazing does not belong in the arid west. Actually, it doesn’t belong anywhere on the planet with Climate Change now upon us.

  5. I can’t believe this is their brilliant new plan….kill wolves sooner, maybe kill less, but probably not.
    Stop catering to the goddamn ranchers and get their livestock off public land, a better plan.

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