Pack to the future: Will more wolves come to King County?

Gray wolves historically roamed across the state but were eradicated in Washington by 1930s. In recent decades wolves have been migrating back to the state from Canada, Idaho and Oregon. John and Karen Hollingsworth/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Gray wolves historically roamed across the state but were eradicated in Washington by 1930s. In recent decades wolves have been migrating back to the state from Canada, Idaho and Oregon. John and Karen Hollingsworth/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Some experts believe we’re on the cusp of discovering packs in King County.

Wolves still have yet to reestablish themselves in the forests of King County, but experts believe it’s likely only a matter of time.

Across Washington, there’s more than 20 known wolf packs, but only one has made the trek across the Cascades, east of Bellingham. Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Wolf Specialist Ben Maletzke said as wolf populations recover, they often spread out from places where there’s existing packs.

“We just haven’t seen that happen yet in King County,” he said.

Wolves were eradicated from Washington state in the 1930s, but in 2008, the first pack reemerged populated by wolves who had naturally journeyed down from Canada. So far, they’ve favored remote areas of north central and eastern Washington. Maletzke said it’s unknown why they haven’t moved in to King County yet, with two packs across the mountains in Kittitas County, but there have been wolf sightings. It could be a lack of prey, the sheer number of people recreating in the mountains or the ruggedness of the terrain, or other reasons.ADVERTISEMENThttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.446.1_en.html#goog_851084424Volume 0% 

“We don’t know all the factors obviously of how they pick where they’re going to establish on the landscape, but we just try and find them when they get there,” he said.

Over the winter, when the wolf population is the most stable, the state works to find and count wolves within its borders. That work is ongoing right now, and they’re developing a new model to understand how and where wolves are recovering.

Paula Swedeen, policy director for Conservation NW, said she expects to see more wolves in King County in the coming years.

“It certainly seems like we should have more packs in Western Washington at this point, and it’s a bit of a mystery that we don’t, but I can’t help but think that we’re on the cusp of discovering quite a bit more,” she said.

The ruggedness of the Cascades also provides wolves with more places to hide away from humans. But once a pack establishes itself, it becomes easier to notice and track. And once populations in other parts of the state hit a certain threshold, they’ll likely start migrating out. However, Swedeen said that threshold will likely be different from other states that have seen wolf recovery. She’s said the state model should shed more light on packs in Washington.

“That’s going to be our best, scientifically-based, consolidated projections about when we should see that more rapid increase in growth,” Swedeen said.

As wolves do return to the area, it raises the potential for conflict between humans, livestock and pets. Swedeen said the federal government could provide more funding for proactive deterrents. These could include electric fencing or money for range riders, which travel with and keep an eye on livestock.

Wolves are protected under state law in all parts of Washington, but were federally delisted by the Trump administration nationwide. President Joe Biden ordered the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to review this delisting.

However, Swedeen said Washington state’s wolf management plan is solid, and much more nuanced than at the federal level. She still wants to see the federal government to downlist wolves nationwide to threatened, which afford some protections while allowing for management in other states with higher populations.

Washington to manage wolves within borders after federal delisting

https://www.opb.org/article/2020/11/02/bc-wa-washington-wolves-management/

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS (Associated Press)SPOKANE, Wash. Nov. 2, 2020 1:29 p.m.

The state of Washington will take over management of most wolves within its borders early next year after the U.S. government announced Thursday that gray wolves in the Lower 48 states would be delisted from the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife and Indian tribes have for years been managing a growing population of wolves in the eastern third of the state. The DFW often finds itself in the middle of conflicts between ranchers and environmental groups when wolves eat livestock.

That is likely to continue after the state and tribes take oversight of all gray wolves in Washington on Jan. 4, 2021.

“The department’s management of wolves in Washington makes it seem as though its mission is to preserve the livestock industry rather than conserving native wildlife,″ said Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Related: Environmentalists say Washington’s wolf program is broken

“The state’s relentless killing of wolves in Eastern Washington for conflicts with livestock is a totally ineffective method of conflict prevention, and runs counter to sound science,″ Weiss said. “Now, with the removal of federal protections from the remainder of the state, we fear the department’s misguided approach will simply expand.”

Agriculture interests are pleased.

“This is great news for Washington state where our wolf population has reached recoverable levels,” Mike LaPlant, president of the Washington Farm Bureau, said of the Trump administration decision.

Numerous environmental groups say they plan to sue the government over the delisting.

“We absolutely plan to challenge it,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, chief executive of Defenders of Wildlife. “We believe they’ve declared victory too soon.”THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:Become a Sponsor

Of the 26 known wolf packs in Washington, 21 reside in the eastern third of the state where wolves have not been federally protected since 2013. Thursday’s decision to delist gray wolves applies to the western two-thirds of the state, where far fewer of the animals live.

“The state of Washington has facilitated wolf recovery for more than a decade and is well-prepared to be the management authority for wolves statewide,” the DFW said, adding it would continue to work on “reducing conflict between wolves and livestock.″

Related: Southern Oregon rancher builds fences and bridges to keep wolves at bay

In addition, the federal government will monitor the state’s wolves for five years to ensure the continued success of the species and that it continues to meet the federal recovery objectives.

The DFW noted that gray wolves will remain listed as endangered under state law throughout the state. But that hasn’t stopped the agency from wiping out several wolf packs in the past decade for preying on livestock, drawing heavy criticism from environmental groups.

After some wolves were killed by the state earlier this year, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee in September directed the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft new rules governing when the DFW can kill wolves involved in conflicts with livestock.

Since 2008, the state’s wolf population has grown by an average of 28% per year. The state counted 108 wolves in 21 packs last year and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation reported an additional 37 wolves in five packs during the same period.

Wolves were wiped out in Washington by the 1930s at the behest of the livestock industry. The animals began migrating back into the state from Idaho and British Columbia early in this century. Wolf recovery is popular with many urban residents of the state, but not as much in rural areas where the wolves live.

The Trump administration’s Thursday decision was hailed by Republican U.S. Rep Dan Newhouse, who represents central Washington in Congress.

“The gray wolf is an Endangered Species Act success story,” Newhouse said in a press release. “The federal government is recognizing the effectiveness of locally-led conservation efforts, basing management decisions on sound science – instead of politics.”

Environmental groups are not so sure.

“This is yet another example of the Trump administration ignoring science,” said Lindsay Larris, of WildEarth Guardians. “From climate change denial, to their gross mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, to rollbacks of environmental safeguards protecting clean air and water, this administration has proven time and time again that they’re only in it for themselves, even if it means ignoring and denying the facts.”

Prior attempts to weaken protections for gray wolves have been overturned by federal judges.

State’s wolf population continues to grow

Posted 

The number of wolves in Washington has reached its highest level since they were essentially eliminated from the state in the 1930s, according to a report from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

As of December 2019, there were an estimated 145 wolves across 26 packs living in the state.

Comparatively WDFW reported 133 wolves across 27 packs in 2018.

While this is a win for wolf conservation efforts, it also creates other challenges such as increased livestock attacks. Last year was a particularly rough year for livestock attacks, WDFW Director Kelly Susewind said in a press release.

“We are working with citizens and communities to strike a balance so both livestock producers and wolves can share the landscape and thrive in Washington,” she said.

“As the wolf population begins to recover, we’re going to see population growth slow in parts of the state where the local population is nearing capacity,” wolf specialist Ben Maletzke said.

In 2019, there were 21 documented wolf mortalities, 18 of which were by landowners protecting cattle, legal tribal harvests or by the WDFW in response to livestock attacks.

Fourteen cattle across the state were killed by wolves in 2019 and another 11 were injured. WDFW notes that 85% of the wolf packs have had no involvement in cattle attacks.

“We had more negative impacts to cattle and lethal removals last year than we’d like to see. It’s been a challenging situation, but ranchers are continuing to play an important role in reducing wolf-livestock conflict,” WDFW wolf policy lead Donny Martorello said.

Since 1980, gray wolves have been listed as an endangered species in Washington. In Western Washington they are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, and in Eastern Washington they are managed by rules in the 2011 WDFW Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

WA Wolf Count Up, But Species Isn’t Out of Woods Yet

Nine Washington state wolves were removed because of conflicts with livestock in 2019. (WDFW/Flickr)
Nine Washington state wolves were removed because of conflicts with livestock in 2019. (WDFW/Flickr)

April 23, 2020

SEATTLE — Washington state’s wolf population is on the rise, according to a new count, but conservation groups say the species still has a long road to recovery.

Wolf numbers increased to at least 145 in 2019, up from 126 in 2018.

Zoe Hanley, Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, says that’s good news but wolves aren’t out of the woods yet.

She says one concerning point in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s report is that nine wolves were removed because of their interactions with livestock or livestock depredation, and most conflicts occurred on public lands.

“It’s disappointing to see lethal removal in the same locations every year,” she states. “Wolves should have the right of way on our public lands.”

Defenders of Wildlife notes that in Oregon, where wolf management is similar, the state did not remove any wolves for interacting with livestock and depredation numbers were down 43% last year.

Hanley says there needs to be more proactive prevention methods in place, such as moving cattle away from high-use wolf areas.

Still, Hanley says it’s encouraging to see wolves recovering in the state.

“Wolves are extremely resilient and they’re so valued for their really positive impacts to the ecological systems and also the way that humans have a great way of relating to them, so we’re really excited that they’re coming back,” she states.

Wolves remain sparse in the western part of Washington, where they still are federally listed as endangered.

WA House Committee Approves Wolf Radio Collar Bill

  FEB 7, 2020

CREDIT WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

A Washington House committee today [Friday] approved a bill that would lead to more radio collars on wolves.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda) would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to use radio collars when possible to monitor wolves. It also requires the agency to collar at least two of the animals in each pack that have been causing trouble for farmers and ranchers.

“The range riders, the ranchers that are dealing with that have expressed a lot of frustration that we’ve embraced non-lethal, preventative techniques,” Kretz said. “It’s hard to do when you have no idea where the wolves are. You can’t get in between the wolves and the livestock. So this will be an important tool in approving our preventative actions on the ground and I urge your support.”

Kretz’s bill was approved unanimously by the House Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

It also encourages the state to put collars on at least one wolf in every pack the agency has confirmed lives in the state. The bill specifies the agency must use radio collars it already owns.

Inside the Outdoors: The wolves of Washington

An ever more interesting conversation, this discussion of wolves and their status, behavior, and management here in our state. There seems almost no action ranchers in now-wolf-country, and the wildlife managers of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), can propose or take to deal with livestock depredation that doesn’t trigger protest and a court battle. The conflict over DFW policy has been bubbling over the past decade and more.

Over the years since the 2009 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), titled “Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington” was released, a number of wolves and entire packs have been killed after persistently preying upon domestic livestock. Nearly all of the lethal removals have been in and around the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington. The removals took place following one or another DFW policy — each of which required that stockmen carry out some extensive level of non-lethal means of separating livestock and wolves over some time period. The latest removal in the Colville area was in August, just before a restraining order was issued in a Seattle courtroom.

As a geographer and lifelong wildlife nut, the management goals for wolves in our state — in the context of other western state wolf recovery goals — seemed to me so unrealistic that conflicts were inevitable. Consider the following bit of western state geography (areas suitable wolf habitat are from the Federal Register (02/08/07, Vol. 72, Num. 26), and the human populations are from the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau.

Thus, in Washington we have a human population of four to thirteen times the other “wolf” states, a population density of five to nineteen times theirs, and “suitable habitat” only eleven to 15 percent of theirs. Yet, in each of the other states, the goal for delisting was 100 wolves (10 breeding pairs), while Washington’s goal was 15 breeding pairs/packs of wolves (about 150 animals) before delisting. The clock has been ticking ever louder over the past decade.

At last 2018 population survey, DFW biologists estimated Washington’s wolf population at a minimum of 126 individuals, 27 packs, and 15 successful breeding pairs.

The number of wolves across the state has reached a point that many are pushing for delisting of wolves from any statethreatened or endangered list, and turning wolf management over to DFW — similar to management in other western states. To that end, DFW officials have begun a broad public outreach effort.

In late summer wildlife officials scheduled a series of 14 open public meetings across the state to begin assessing possible changes to the state’s wolf-management policy. Within a week or two, officials changed those meetings to online discussions, citing a fear of violence rising from a number of unspecified threats of both violence and disruption.

After the Nov. 15 deadline, your next opportunity will come once the agency drafts an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in late 2020. That draft will evaluate actions, alternatives, and impacts related to long-term wolf conservation and management.

Want to know about the wolves here in Paradise? This coming Monday evening (Nov. 11) Steve Wetzel (DFW Wildlife Conflict Specialist), with DFW Statewide Wolf Biologist Ben Maletzke will be speaking of the Wolves of Kittitas County. This is the program for the monthly meeting of the 100-year-old Kittitas County Field & Stream Club, at the Hal Holmes Center, 7:00 p.m. You and your friends are welcome for what promises to be a very interesting Veteran’s Day evening.

Jim Huckabay is retired from the Department of Geography at Central

WDFW extends wolf comment period

Mon., Nov. 4, 2019

This Feb., 2017,  photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a gray wolf in Oregon's northern Wallowa County. (AP)
This Feb., 2017, photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a gray wolf in Oregon’s northern Wallowa County. (AP)

The chance to comment on how Washington’s gray wolves should be managed once they are no longer a state endangered species has been extended until Nov. 15.

This gives people more time to submit input, especially those in rural areas without internet service, according to a news release from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The postrecovery management plan requires public comment before the state can move forward.

The public can provide input through 5 p.m. on Nov. 15. After that, the next opportunity will be in late 2020 when WDFW evaluates actions, alternatives and impacts related to long-term wolf conservation and management.

“The current plan the department uses to guide wolf conservation and management was started in 2007 and developed over five years, specifically to inform wolf recovery. Because wolves are moving toward recovery in Washington, it is time to develop a new plan,” WDFW wolf coordinator Julia Smith said in a news release. “This is just the start of the process, so if you don’t get your input to us by Nov. 15, there will be more opportunities in 2020.”

For more information, background, and frequently asked questions on wolf postrecovery visit WDFW’s website wdfw.wa.gov.

An online survey and online commenting are also available online. There is also a comment form that can be printed and mailed to the department or general comments can be mailed to Lisa Wood, SEPA/NEPA Coordinator, WDFW Habitat Program, Protection Division, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, 98504. Comments submitted via mail must be postmarked by Nov. 15.

Washington Court to Hear Arguments Friday on State Agency’s Wolf-Killing

OLYMPIA, Wash.— Thurston County Superior Court will hear arguments tomorrow in a case challenging the killing of endangered wolves by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The case is being brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands.

“We’re hopeful the court will protect Washington’s endangered wolves from the state’s reckless killing program,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s senior West Coast wolf advocate. “The majority of Washingtonians want these magnificent animals to recover and thrive, not be gunned down for the private, for-profit livestock industry.”

What: Hearing in Center for Biological Diversity et al. v Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife et al. (No. 18-2-05620-34), a case challenging the department’s killing of state-endangered wolves in violation of state law

When: 9 a.m., Friday Nov. 1.

Where: Thurston County Superior Court, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Building 3, Olympia, WA 98502, courtroom for the Honorable John C. Skinder.

The plaintiffs are represented in the case by the law firm of Animal & Earth Advocates PLLC. The Center’s lawyer and a Center representative will be available after the hearing for questions.

Background

Since 2012 the state has killed 31 state-endangered wolves, nearly 25 percent of the state’s confirmed population of 126. Of those 26 were killed on behalf of the same livestock owner. Those kills have now led to the eradication of four entire wolf packs, including the OPT pack this year, the Sherman pack in 2017, Profanity Peak pack in 2016 and Wedge pack in 2012.

In 2017 and 2018, the plaintiffs — the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands — filed several lawsuits challenging the state’s wolf-killing program. The 2017 case was declared moot after the state destroyed the pack at issue, but the court has since required the department to provide eight hours’ public notice of any new kill operation, to allow plaintiffs or other members of the public time to seek a temporary restraining order.

In late summer and fall of 2018, the state agency issued new kill orders for members of the Togo, OPT and Smackout packs. A lawsuit was filed by the Center and Cascadia in November 2018 to challenge the kill orders on all three packs, and it is this lawsuit the court will hear arguments on tomorrow.

The court will decide whether to dismiss claims brought under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act. That law requires analysis of, and public involvement in, any state actions that may harm the environment. The wildlife advocates argue that the department has failed to do this required analysis.

Washington’s wolves were driven to extinction in the early 1900s by a government-sponsored eradication program on behalf of the livestock industry. The animals began to return from neighboring Idaho and British Columbia in the early 2000s, and their population had grown to 27 confirmed packs by the end of 2018.

But wolf recovery in Washington is still a work in progress. Wolves remain absent from large areas of the state, and although the population has been growing, it remains small and vulnerable.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Cascadia Wildlands educates, agitates, and inspires a movement to protect and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems. We envision vast old-growth forests, rivers full of wild salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia bioregion.

Washington State Kills Wolf Mother to Protect Cows

Friday, October 4, 2019 – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials announced today that they killed a female member of the Grouse Flats wolf pack on September 25. She was believed to be the mom.

On September 24, in accordance with the agency’s controversial Wolf Plan and 2017 wolf-livestock interaction protocol, Director Kelly Susewind authorized the incremental “removal” of wolves following livestock depredations in Grouse Flats territory on both private lands and state wildlife areas in southeast Washington.

The announcement of the killing comes after Governor Jay Inslee expressed concern over the state’s Wolf Plan:

“We must find new methods to better support co-existence between Washington’s livestock industry and gray wolves in our state. The status quo of annual lethal removal is simply unacceptable.”

Since 2012, WDFW has killed an estimated thirty one endangered wolves and pups, has obliterated entire wolf families (including the Old Profanity Territory pack in August), and has caused countless packs to fragment as a result of targeting individual wolves.

Moreover, peer-reviewed research demonstrates that employing lethal action to deter depredation on cows can even result in increased attacks.

Enough is enough.

Please contact WDFW Director Kelly Susewind and respectfully ask him to stop the assault on Washington’s wolves.

Inslee asks Washington wildlife agency to kill fewer wolves, pursue new management methods

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 1, 2019, 9:05 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee heads out after speaking with reporters, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Seattle. Inslee is seeking changes in how the state deals with problem wolves in Ferry County, in an effort to reduce the number of gray wolves that are being killed. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee heads out after speaking with reporters, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Seattle. Inslee is seeking changes in how the state deals with problem wolves in Ferry County, in an effort to reduce the number of gray wolves that are being killed. (Elaine Thompson / AP)

Kill fewer wolves.

That was the message Gov. Jay Inslee sent to Washington’s wildlife management agency in a letter, Monday.

“We must find new methods to better support co-existence between Washington’s livestock industry and gray wolves in our state,” Inslee said in the letter. “The status quo of annual lethal removal is simply unacceptable.”

Inslee acknowledges that in most cases Washington’s wolves are existing peacefully with livestock and people. According to agency statistics 90% of Washington’s wolves aren’t causing problems. He also praised the state’s Wolf Advisory Group, which has members representing cattle, conservation and business interests.

However, in northeast Washington it’s been a summer of conflict with wolves killing and injuring cattle, prompting the state and, in some case, ranchers to kill wolves, in turn prompting environmental groups to sue the state.

In response to the state-ordered killings, Inslee urged a reexamination of policy and procedure in parts of northeast Washington where WDFW has repeatedly killed wolves charged with attacking cattle.

“For reasons that are not entirely clear, numerous conflicts with livestock producers have occurred in a handful of federal grazing allotments,” the letter states.

He also asked WDFW to work more closely with the U.S. Forest Service to work to reduce such conflicts with wolves, “including changes in allotment policies for public lands that are prime wolf habitat, the addition of more intensive range riding, and other proven or promising methods.”

Inslee requested WDFW respond to his requests by Dec. 1.

WDFW responded to the letter by issuing a statement that said reducing wolf kills “ is a top priority” for the agency and that the repeated depredations in the Kettle Range is “greatly impacting” all involved.

“The forest conditions and livestock operations in this particular landscape make it extremely challenging, and unfortunately, has resulted in repeated lethal removal actions,” WDFW’s statement said. “We all share the perspective that something has to change to reduce the loss of both wolves and livestock in this area. WDFW believes this is consistent with the Governor’s request.”

In an email, WDFW spokeswoman Staci Lehman said no immediate changes have been made and “there will be discussion in the coming weeks to see what/if anything changes.”

WDFW killed all members of the Old Profanity Territory wolf pack this summer, after repeated cattle attacks on public land. That pack inhabited the geographic area formerly occupied by the Profanity Peak pack until the state killed seven pack members in 2016.

Wolf advocates and others have questioned whether that land, which is particularly thick and steep, is suitable for grazing. A lawsuit filed by three individuals and supported by a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group alleges that the cattle ranchers and the state did not use nonlethal deterrents prior to ordering the killing of the OPT pack.

WDFW has also ordered the killing of wolves in the Togo pack and the Grouse Flats pack, although as of Tuesday the state hadn’t killed any of those wolves.

Inslee’s letter was greeted enthusiastically by Chris Bachman, wildlife program director at the Spokane-based Lands Council.

“It’s been pretty amazing and pretty emotional,” he said. “I think that’s a huge success for conservation and for the wolf.”

Bachman has written Inslee a number of letters questioning whether non-lethal deterrents were being used and if the thick, steep terrain is a suitable place to graze cattle.

Inslee’s letter, Bachman said, gives his group and others “leverage” to push change in WDFW policy and procedure.

Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest, also supported the letter and its message.

“Our core position is that the collaborative process and nonlethal deterrents are the answers,” he said. “As long as the governor and other political, elected officials are making statements in line with that, I’m happy.”

More money is already being funneled into nonlethal measures this year after passage of a new law that directs the state to spend nearly $1 million over the next two years on nonlethal deterrents in northeastern Washington.

The letter comes after several out-of-state groups have publicly campaigned Inslee and the state to change how it manages wolves.

The Center for a Humane Economy, an animal-welfare group based in Washington D.C., ran a full-page ad in the Seattle Times July 21 protesting the state’s handling of wolf-cattle conflicts.

Some in northeast Washington view suchoutside pressure as out-of-touch and provocative.

“I think it’s people from hundreds of miles away throwing hand grenades,” Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, told the Northwest Sportsman in response to Inslee’s letter.

Kretz did not respond to a call seeking further comment Tuesday.

Stevens County commissioner Don Dashiell said he sees the governor’s letter as a political move.

“He’s just gotten enough pressure from wolf advocates to think he has to say something about it,” he said.

Dashiell doesn’t expect it to change much.

“It wasn’t like the department was running around killing wolves all over the place,” he said “So how can we tell the difference?”

Friedman with Conservation Northwest acknowledged that some stakeholders may see Inslee’s letter as overreach but said hehopes it doesn’t cause critics to “disengage” from the Wolf Advisory Group’s collaborative process.

“It might bruise feelings for a bit, but it’s truthful,” Friedman said. “I think we’re all adults and we’ll play our roles, and hopefully we find solutions together to face the challenge and come through it.”