Forest Service disputes Humane Society’s Washington wolves claim

Wolf advocates protest Sept. 1 in Olympia the shooting of wolves in the Colville National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife dispute a claim by the president of the Humane Society of the United States that state wildlife managers asked the Forest Service to withdraw a grazing permit to prevent conflicts between wolves and livestock.

DON JENKINS/CAPITAL PRESS Published on September 13, 2016

Wolf advocates protest Sept. 1 in Ol

http://www.capitalpress.com/20160913/forest-service-disputes-humane-societys-washington-wolves-claimympia the shooting of wolves in the Colville National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife dispute a claim by the president of the Humane Society of the United States that state wildlife managers asked the Forest Service to withdraw a grazing permit to prevent conflicts between wolves and livestock.

The Colville National Forest issued a statement Monday contradicting a claim by the national head of the Humane Society of the United States that state wildlife managers asked the Forest Service to cancel grazing to prevent conflicts between cattle and wolves.

In a Humane Society blog post Sept. 9, Wayne Pacelle, the organization’s president and CEO, wrote that the state Department of Fish and Wildlife “saw a problem brewing and asked the U.S. Forest Service to withdraw the grazing permit, but the federal agency rebuffed the request.”

Through a forest spokesman, the Forest Service said it was not asked to pull permission to graze. The agency said it has been working with state officials and advisers to prevent wolves from attacking livestock.

“There has been no request made by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Washington Wolf Advisory Group to withdraw the grazing permit. The Colville National Forest will continue working closely with these organizations to help reduce predator/cattle conflicts,” the Forest Service stated.

A WDFW spokesman said the department didn’t ask the Forest Service to withdraw grazing allotments.

“We know of no request from WDFW staff — even at the field level — for the USFS to withdraw grazing permits in the allotments associated with the Profanity Peak pack,” he said in an email.

Efforts to reach the Humane Society’s national office and Washington state director Dan Paul were unsuccessful.

A member of the Wolf Advisory Group, Paul agreed last spring to a policy that allows for state-protected wolves to be killed if efforts by ranchers to prevent depredations have failed.

The policy is under attack by animal-rights activists and environmental groups, some of whom have accused ranchers of willfully putting their livestock at risk.

Washington State University wolf researcher Rob Wielgus told The Seattle Times a rancher turned out cattle “on top” on a wolf den. WSU officials rebuked Wielgus and said the comment was inaccurate.

In his blog post, Pacelle said cattle were placed “right in the center” of the pack’s range.

According to WDFW, 198 cow-calf pairs cows were released 4 miles from the pack’s den in early June. The whereabouts of the den was unknown at the time, according to WDFW.

Wolves have attacked since early July at least eight cattle in the national forest and probably attacked five others, though there too little evidence to rule out another predator, according to WDFW.

Livestock have been attacked as far away as 10 miles from the pack’s den and rendezvous sites, according to WDFW.

The department has announced shooting six wolves and says it intends to kill the Profanity Peak pack’s other five members.

Although its policy calls for at least weekly reports on the number of wolves killed, WDFW has not provided an update since Sept. 2.

Pacelle stated that the Humane Society of the U.S. wants the Washington’s wolf policy to be re-examined. “We are urging that the idea of killing an entire pack be taken off the table entirely.”

WDFW’s lethal-control policy emerged from lengthy meetings between Washington ranchers, environmentalists, hunters and animal-rights activists.

The agreement has helped ease tensions and made future collaboration on managing Washington’s growing wolf population more promising, Washington Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Jack Field said.

“I know there is a lot of attention and focus on the removal effort, but the department is following the protocol to a T,” he said.

The Wolf Advisory Group will meet Wednesday and Thursday in Issaquah. The two-day meeting was scheduled before WDFW started removing the Profanity Peak pack.

Field said he hoped conservationists on the advisory panel can withstand the pressure exerted by other environmental groups. “Because if not, we’re right back where we started,” he said.

Excerpt: Letter from Predator Defense on the slaughter of the Profanity Peak pack

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

The Profanity Peak wolf pack was wrongfully slaughtered. They were set up for the kill. The rancher, a known wolf-hater, put his cattle to graze on pristine, forested public land in the core of the pack’s territory. His cattle, of course, displaced the wolves’ normal prey–elk and deer. The cattle then became prey. The rancher did not use anywhere close to an adequate level of nonlethal deterrents to prevent predation. He also put salt blocks near the pack’s den, according to WDFW, which drew the cattle right to the wolves. And so, the wolves predated on the cattle.

After this WDFW’s Wolf Policy Lead had the gall to state in a TV interview: “Is that really the wolf population we want to repopulate the state? Wolves that have demonstrated that behavior and see livestock as prey items.” In other words, wolves being wolves (let alone being set up!) and doing the job nature gave them as apex predators should not be themselves?!

So WDFW has now killed at least 6 of the 11-member pack and is actively trying to kill the rest. This situation is an outrage! The slaughter of the Profanity Peak Pack must be stopped. And cattle should cease being placed in wolves’ territory unless truly adequate nonlethal control methods are in use. There are also areas where it is inappropriate to have livestock, and this is surely one of them.

Brooks Fahy
Executive Director, Predator Defense
http://www.predatordefense.org

State Turns Down Sanctuary’s Proposal to Save Wolves Facing Extermination

http://www.chronline.com/state-turns-down-sanctuary-s-proposal-to-save-wolves-facing/article_b0a9b220-7700-11e6-af50-37a4b2d1b449.html

Profanity Peak Pack: Official Says California Facility’s Offer Isn’t Feasible

Posted: Friday, September 9, 2016 7:45 pm

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.

The Profanity of the Profanity Peak Wolf Pack Massacre

By George Wuerthner

The recent killing of six members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack in NE Washington in retribution for the loss of a few cattle is emblematic of what is wrong with public land policy. As I write, trappers are out to kill the remaining pack members – including 4-month old pups.

What is significant about the destruction of this pack is that the Profanity Peak wolves roamed national forest lands. These are our lands. They belong to all Americans and are part of our national patrimony.

Currently private commercial businesses such as the livestock industry are allowed to use public lands if they do not damage, degrade and impoverish our public lands heritage. Clearly the killing of this pack violates that obligation and responsibility.

What is particularly egregious about the on-going slaughter of the Profanity Pack is that it was essentially a preventable conflict. Had the rancher, whose cows invaded the wolf pack’s territory, been required to use other public lands, or better yet, simply lease private pasture, there would have been no livestock losses, hence wolf deaths.

Placing cows on top of a wolf pack territory is analogous to, and irresponsible as leaving picnic baskets or coolers out in a campground. In most national parks, if you leave a cooler or other food available to bears, you are fined for this careless behavior. We don’t blame the bear if it happens to eat that food. But when it comes to the livestock industry, we essentially allow four-legged picnic baskets to roam at will on our lands, and should a predator – be it a coyote, cougar, bear or wolf – kill one of those mobile picnic baskets, we don’t hold the rancher responsible, we kill the public wildlife.

This represents the wrong priorities.

We expect different behavior from people using public resources. I can, and do, mark up and highlight passages in books that I own in my personal library, but it would be inappropriate for me to mark up or otherwise damage books in a public library.

In a similar manner, we should expect different consequences for livestock owners who willingly use public lands (at almost no cost I might add) for their private commercial interests. In this case and others like it across the public lands of the West, we should expect ranchers utilizing public lands (our lands) to at the least accept any losses from predators that may occur while they are using public property. And if conflicts continue, we should remove the livestock, not the wolves or other predators.

It’s important to note that the mere presence of livestock negatively impacts wolves whether they are shot or otherwise killed.

Domestic livestock consume forage that would otherwise support the native prey of wolves, like elk. So more domestic animals means fewer elk.  In essence, domestic livestock grazing public lands are compromising the food resources of public wildlife so that ranchers can turn a private profit.

Worse for wolves, especially wolves confined to a den area because of pups, as was the case in the Profanity Peak Pack, when domestic cattle are moved onto our public lands, it creates a social displacement of elk. In other words, elk avoid areas actively being grazed by livestock. If the livestock are grazing lands near a den site, then the wolves automatically have fewer elk to take and must travel further to find their dinner.

Who can blame the wolves if they take the most available prey—which is often domestic livestock. Robert Weilgus, a Washington State University professor, studying the Profanity pack noted that cattle were placed near the den site, or as he was quoted in a Seattle Times article as saying the cattle were released “right on top of the den”.

Some commentators, including Washington State University tried to discredit Wielgus suggesting the cattle were released about four miles away. What that demonstrates is either their ignorance of wolf biology or a not so-veiled attempt to confuse the public. If you are a wolf where regular daily hunting exclusions of 20-30 miles are common, four miles is a short romp. It is essentially “right on top” of the wolves.

If you place cattle within a dozen miles of a wolf pack you are essentially putting the livestock “right on top” of the wolves. And if the presence of cattle forces native prey like elk to abandon the area, can anyone blame the wolves if they resort to killing a domestic animal once in a while?

The loss of the Profanity Peak Pack has occurred on the same grazing allotment where another wolf pack was destroyed in 2012. This begs the question of whether any livestock grazing should be permitted in this area. It is obviously good wolf habitat—except of course for the presence of domestic animals. The only realistic long-term solution is to retire the grazing allotment. Either transfer the cattle to another portion of the public lands or, better yet, simply pay the rancher with a voluntary permit retirement to close the allotment and permanently remove the livestock.

George Wuerthner is an ecologist who has been studying predators for four decades. He serves on the Science Advisory Board of Project Coyote and is the author of 38 books including Welfare Ranching, Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy, Energy: The Delusion of Endless Growth and Overdevelopment, Thrillcraft, and Keeping the Wild.

Group protests eradication of Profanity Peak wolf pack

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Group-protests-eradication-of-Profanity-Peak-wolf-9198320.php

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Dozens of protesters gathered outside of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to decry the killing of a pack of wolves in northeastern Washington.

The group rallied in opposition of the agency’s decision to eradicate the Profanity Peak pack in order to protect cattle. WDFW has been using hunters flying in helicopters to shoot the animals north of Sherman Pass. Many protesters carried pictures of wolves and signs that read “Protect The Wolves” and “Stop The Slaughter.”

Since mid-July, WDFW has confirmed that wolves from the Profanity Peak pack have killed or injured six cattle and probably five others.

So far, six of the 11 members of the pack have been killed. Remaining are two radio-collared adults, used by the department to track the wolves, and several pups.

Claim that rancher turned out cattle on wolf den untrue, WSU says

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/claim-that-rancher-turned-out-wolves-on-den-untrue-wsu-says/

Claim that rancher turned out cattle on wolf den untrue, WSU says
Originally published August 31, 2016 at 8:06 pm Updated August 31, 2016 at 8:15 pm
A researcher’s statements about wolves interacting with livestock that stirred up controversy were inappropriate and inaccurate, Washington State University says.

Share story
By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times environment reporter
Statements by a Washington State University researcher that a rancher turned out his cattle on top of a wolf den were inappropriate and inaccurate and “contributed substantially to the growing anger and confusion about this significant wildlife management issue,” the university said in a statement Wednesday.

As state officials work to exterminate a wolf pack, the university apologized and said it disavows the statement made by the researcher, Robert Wielgus, associate professor and director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at WSU, to The Seattle Times. Wielgus “subsequently acknowledged that he had no basis in fact for making such a statement. In actuality, the livestock were released at low elevation on the east side of the Kettle Crest more than four miles from the den site and dispersed throughout the allotment,” the statement asserted.
In an interview with The Seattle Times last week, Wielgus had said, “This livestock operator elected to put his livestock directly on top of their den site; we have pictures of cows swamping it, I just want people to know.”

Another statement by Wielgus that none of the participants in his study, in which both wolves and cattle are radio-collared, experienced loss of livestock also was not true, the university stated. At least one rancher in the study had lost livestock to wolves, according to the study.

Featured Video

Strong bonds grow with bellies at class for Somali mothers (1:21)
Most Read Stories
Live updates from Donald Trump’s Everett rally
FBI’s massive porn sting puts internet privacy in crossfire
Baby sea otter Rialto’s heart-melting story of survival WATCH
Help! Marriott charged $250 for smoking in my room — but I don’t smoke
Seahawks defensive coodinator Kris Richard makes a tough phone call to Brandon Browner
Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.
Asked to comment Tuesday on challenges to his statements by a conservation group, Wielgus told The Seattle Times that he would have no further public comment on the subject.

The rancher he criticized, Len McIrvin of the Diamond M ranch on the Canadian Border north of Kettle Falls, did not return calls for comment.

In an Aug. 19 email to The Seattle Times, Wielgus stated: “No ranchers in wa that cooperated w us or wdfw had any losses over the last 3 years,” and, “None of the cooperators with me or wdfw has experienced any losses in 2 years. Len Mc (Irvin) has refused to cooperate with us to reduce depredations and has had 2 wolf packs killed so far. He hates wolves … and welcomes conflict … because the wolves die in his allotments.”

McIrvin and another rancher actually had been taking steps to avoid conflict with wolves on their allotments on public land in the Colville National Forest, including deploying range riders, putting out calves at higher weight, and picking up carcasses to avoid attracting predators, according to Donny Martorello, wolf-policy lead for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

But Wielgus gave a very different impression.

“After careful thought…..go ahead and quote me ‘where mcI (rvin) grazes … dead wolves follow’. He will be proud of it!,” Wielgus wrote to The Seattle Times in an email.
The controversy erupted as the WDFW was killing the Profanity Peak pack to protect McIrvin’s cattle, after he and another producer lost stock to wolf kills. It is the second time the department has killed a pack to protect McIrvin’s cattle; the first time was the Wedge Pack, in 2012

Killing of wolf pack leads to death threats

Newspaper: Killing of wolf pack leads to death threats

SEATTLE — The killing of a pack of wolves in northeastern Washington to protect cattle is producing death threats for people on both sides of the emotional issue, The Seattle Times (http://bit.ly/2ceSsb9) reported Wednesday.

Researcher Rob Wielgus of Washington State University this week declined further comment on the pending elimination of the Profanity Peak pack by hunters for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, citing the death threats.

“My friends in WDFW have received death threats . It’s gone tooooo far,” Wielgus wrote in an email to the newspaper.

Last week, state Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, told the newspaper that cattle producers also were receiving death threats in the wake of the controversy.

Wielgus said last week the conflict with wolves was inevitable because one of the ranchers involved had turned out his cattle on top of a known wolf den. Wielgus was challenged on that claim Monday afternoon by Conservation Northwest, a nonprofit environmental group, which said it heard the cattle were turned out five miles away from the den and that the den was not in use.

Asked to respond Monday, Wielgus wrote: “I can’t understand this . of course the den was in use and I have many photos of cattle on den. What gives?”

In a later email, he wrote that Donny Martorello, the state’s wolf-policy lead, told him the cattle were turned out five miles away and moved to the den site later.

Officials for Washington State University on Wednesday issued a statement disavowing Wielgus’ original comments regarding the wolf den.

“Some of Dr. Wielgus’ statements in regard to this controversial issue have been both inaccurate and inappropriate,” Washington State University said in the press release.

“As such, they have contributed substantially to the growing anger and confusion about this significant wildlife management issue,” the Pullman-based school said. “The statements do not in any way represent the views or position of Washington State University or the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources Sciences. These statements are disavowed by our institutions.”

Wielgus is an associate professor and director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at WSU.

Martorello did not return phone calls, and neither did the rancher, who grazes cattle on public land in the Colville National Forest.

That rancher and another producer with cattle near the Profanity Peak pack had been taking steps recommended by the department to avoid conflict with wolves, Martorello has said, from deploying range riders to picking up carcasses to avoid attracting wolves, and turning out calves when they were bigger and more mature. He praised the ranchers’ cooperation.

Jack Field, vice president of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, said Tuesday he sees steady progress in acceptance among ranchers in working with the department and using nonlethal methods to avoid conflict with wolves.

Many producers, he noted, are successfully operating in what is once again wolf country, after the carnivores’ more than century-long absence.

Wolves were exterminated in Washington in the early 1900s — in part by ranchers to keep them away from sheep and cattle. Wolves began recolonizing the state in 2008, when the first packs were confirmed in Washington, from populations in Idaho and British Columbia.

There were about 90 wolves in the state as of early 2016, most of them documented in packs in northeastern Washington.

Since mid-July, WDFW has confirmed that wolves from the Profanity Peak pack have killed or injured six cattle and probably five others. The state’s 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.

Department staff had killed six of the 11 members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack as of last Friday. Remaining were two radio-collared adults, used by the department to track the wolves, and several pups.


Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

Wolf Supporters to Rally in Olympia to Protest Killing of Profanity Peak Pack

 

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-08-30-2016.html

Media Advisory, August 31, 2016

 

 

OLYMPIA, Wash.— Wildlife supporters, including several conservation groups, will rally Thursday at noon in Olympia to mourn the loss of Washington’s Profanity Peak pack and to call on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to stop killing the public’s wolves on public lands to benefit the private ranching industry.

The agency has already killed at least six of the pack’s 11 members and aims to eradicate the entire pack, including five 4-month-old pups. The wolves are being targeted for conflicts with livestock on federal public lands after a rancher moved his cattle into an area known to be a den and rendezvous site for the pack.

What: Members of the public, including members of multiple conservation organizations representing thousands of Washington residents, will rally at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters to mourn the loss of the Profanity Peak wolf family and to send a clear message that state residents want the agency to protect Washington’s endangered wolves, not kill them on public lands to benefit irresponsible ranchers.

When: Noon to 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1.

Where: The sidewalk and parking lot in front of the main entrance to the headquarters building of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, at 1111 Washington Street, SE, Olympia, WA 98501.

Visuals: Attendees will hoist posters and banners with messages in support of protecting wolves from irresponsible ranchers; images of killed wolves will be displayed on the ground. Speakers will include Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity; Brooks Fahy, executive director for Predator Defense; Paul Ruprecht, staff attorney for Western Watersheds Project; and several citizen-activists.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Predator Defense is a national nonprofit advocacy organization working to protect native predators and end America’s war on wildlife. Our efforts take us into the field, onto America’s public lands, to Congress, and into courtrooms.

Northwest Animal Rights Network is a Pacific Northwest based animal rights organization which advocates for the rights inherent to all sentient beings to live a full life, to be free, and to not be used and exploited.

The mission of Western Watersheds Project is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy.

WildLands Defense: Working to inspire and empower the preservation of wildlands and wildlife in the West.

Trigger pulled on Profanity Peak pack

copyrighted wolf in water

After multiple livestock were killed in northeastern Washington’s Stevens County, state agency says it will eliminate the pack

  • By Josh Babcock, The Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Daily News
  • 8-30-2016

There were about 90 endangered gray wolves in Washington state earlier this summer, but that number is set to decline by 11 after cattle belonging to a rancher in northeastern Washington were recently killed near the den of the Profanity Peak wolf pack in the Colville National Forest.

To resolve the issue the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is taking to the air to kill the pack of 11. As of last week at least six wolves in the pack had been shot and killed from a helicopter, according to advisories from the WDFW.

 

The incident is the second involving the Stevens County rancher, Len McIrvin, who several years ago also suffered livestock losses from the Wedge wolf pack, which was eventually killed by the state as well. “The facts are this is the second wolf pack he is having eradicated,” said Robert Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University. Wielgus said the livestock losses and the killing of one of the state’s 19 recognized wolf packs could have been avoided. He said while many ranchers opt to sign a cooperative damage prevention agreement to work with state wolf researchers, McIrvin chose not to, despite being approached by Wielgus to do so on multiple occasions. Wielgus said those agreements help provide ranchers with information on the location on wolves and their dens so they can better protect their cattle from predation. He said ranchers who have decided to work with him haven’t lost livestock to wolves. Wielgus said when cattle began to graze near the den the wolves’ native prey of deer were pushed away, and the wolves began to prey on the most populous food source around – McIrvin’s cattle.

 

Some say the rancher relocated his cattle near the den on purpose, as a way to have the endangered species wiped out from his family’s longtime grazing ranges. As per state law, ranchers who lose livestock to wolves also receive financial reimbursement. “It’s literally a war on wildlife and it’s a situation that could have been easily avoided,” said Brooks Fahy, executive director for the national wildlife advocacy organization Predator Defense. “The rancher was looking for a showdown – he got what he wanted. These animals were dumped knowingly right on top of the core of (wolf) territory. It’d be like someone coming into your home and dropping a bunch of aliens off in your home.”

 

Others disagree. “There could be a wolf den in the pasture, but the idea the producer willingly drove their cattle on it, I don’t know anyone that would drive their cattle into harms way,” said Jack Field, Washington Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president. “It’s very frustrating to think that that is getting a lot of play.” Field said it’s important to realize the pastures are very large and feature steep terrain, both of which can make it difficult to identify a wolf den. “It’s almost a crime,” he said. “It takes all the context out. I can tell you it’s tough country, steep terrain, a lot of brush. My only concern is we’re not giving a fair shake to what that landscape really looks like.”

 

While Field noted the family has been having the animals graze in the same ranges on national forest land for many decades, Fahy said it’s the wolves that are in their natural habitat. “Nonnative cows are displacing elk, deer, ruining streams – they are wreaking havoc. They are large non-native exotic herbivores,” Fahy said. “He doesn’t own this land – the American public owns this land.”

Fahy said he doesn’t know what the rancher pays to graze in the national forest, but he estimated it’s far lower than the roughly $80,000 it cost taxpayers to kill the Wedge wolf pack a few years back.

 

Donny Martorello, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf-policy lead, could not be reached Monday despite multiple phone calls from the Daily News. McIrvin also could not be reached.