For Immediate Release, August 17, 2020

Contact:

Sophia Ressler, (206) 399-4004, sressler@biologicaldiversity.org

Washington State Kills Last Two Members of Wedge Wolf Pack

State Continues to Slaughter Wolves Despite Public Outcry for Reform

SEATTLE— Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today that it killed the remaining two members of the Wedge wolf pack Aug. 13. The killing comes after another summer fraught with livestock-wolf conflict and public outcry over the need for changes in how the agency manages this state endangered species.

“The nonstop killing of wolves in Washington has to end now,” said Sophia Ressler, Washington wildlife advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These wolves shouldn’t be gunned down just for trying to feed their families. It’s ludicrous that Washington officials aren’t implementing appropriate preventive measures and instead choose to slaughter a state endangered species.”

The state has now killed 34 wolves, almost all of them for livestock conflicts in the Kettle River Range, an area of prime wolf habitat. Twenty-nine of the wolves killed have been for the same livestock owner.

The most recently eradicated Wedge pack wolves occupied very similar territory to the previous Wedge pack. The department killed seven of that eight-member pack in 2012, effectively destroying it. Yet the 2012 removal failed to prevent wolves from quickly reoccupying the territory.

The Center and several other conservation groups have asked Gov. Jay Inslee to require formal rules that would dictate required nonlethal deterrence measures and extra steps that must be taken in areas of chronic conflict. The current guidelines are created by Washington’s Wolf Advisory Group and are not considered enforceable requirements by the state.

Just last week the state removed a vocal wolf advocate from the advisory group for disagreeing with the department’s choices. This decision outraged conservation groups and prompted a new call to Gov. Inslee for wolf-management reform.

“There is no scientific support that killing wolves is an effective long-term solution for preventing conflict,” said Ressler. “Mandating effective range riding or other appropriate deterrence measures would help to deter conflict and, in turn, save both wolves and livestock.”

The state also has an active kill order out for wolves in the Leadpoint pack, whose territory borders the Wedge pack’s territory.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.