Judge rejects effort to temporarily halt killing of wolves

Gray wolf (File photo)

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state judge on Friday rejected efforts to temporarily block the killing of wolves that are preying on livestock in Ferry County.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy turned down a request from a conservation group for a temporary restraining order to block the killing.

The Center for Biological Diversity contended that killing wolves ignores science, causes long-term environmental harm and goes against the wishes of the great majority of state residents.

“We’re disappointed this kill order remains in place but we’re hopeful the courts will eventually stop this tragic string of state-sanctioned wolf killings,” said Amaroq Weiss, wolf advocate for the center.

She said Washington had a “trigger-happy approach to wolf management.”

It was not immediately clear when the wolf hunts would begin.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife on Wednesday approved killing one or more members of a new wolf pack that had attacked cattle near the Canadian border in northeast Washington. Wolves had killed a calf and injured five others on federal grazing land in Ferry County since Sept. 4, the agency said.

The new wolf pack has been dubbed the Old Profanity Territory Pack because the attacks occurred in an area once occupied by the Profanity Peak pack. The Profanity Peak pack was killed by the state in 2016 for preying on cattle.

Wolves were killed off in Washington early in the last century. But the animals started returning to the state early in this century from Idaho and Canada. There are at least 122 wolves in 22 packs in the state, according to the latest annual survey.

The agency contends that killing off some or all of the new pack will not harm recovery efforts.

Wolves are protected as an endangered species throughout the state. But a protocol developed by the agency and others to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock allows the state to kill wolves if officials confirm a certain number of livestock attacks within a certain time period.

The state has killed a total of 19 wolves in recent years, including a member of the Togo pack earlier this month.

5 thoughts on “Judge rejects effort to temporarily halt killing of wolves

  1. The agency. *eyeroll*

    And since the ‘collaborators’ have become involved, there has never been more killing of wolves – every year now. It looks like no matter how much the ranchers are given and ‘the agency’ and others capitulate to them, give GPS data, a hotline to WDFW for alleged depredation, it is never enough. I have always wondered whether some of these alleged depredations were cattle that died from other reasons, and were left out, intentionally or not, for wolves to encounter. How can you prove otherwise?

    There was an incident also in Oregon where a woman made the tragic mistake of hiking alone. Somehow a cougar was involved, the media has been having a field day saying that the cat killed her, but the medical examiner’s report had initially said that she died from another, separate reason, and the cougar must have come along after. She was found at the bottom of a 200 foot ravine. So Oregon’s ‘agency’ has killed the first cougar they came across, and plans to kill more until they ‘identify’ the culprit. Just so backwards.

    I have alw

  2. WDFW works for ranchers, obviously. And public lands are ranchers’ lands, obviously. It’s all very Bundyesque, isn’t it? I feel the same way about WDFW that I feel about the Bundys. Make a guess.

  3. I think you are right, it all has its basis in politics, and wolves are the poor emblem and scapegoat for government protest, as well as the Sagebrush Rebellion gang, whose recent members got a pardon from the President!

    And whether Washington state, Idaho or Texas – ranchers all come under the protection of the cattlemen’s lobby(s) – which is very powerful. And I don’t know whether the mainstream media is just not knowledgeable about these things or what, but they should not refer to the public lands as “Federal grazing land”. I do hope the country is watching how petulantly they behave when the do not get their way.

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