Washington Wolves the Topic of Upcoming Public Meetings

By Tom Bacon

Three public meetings - including one in Spokane Valley - planned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife may turn out to be lively, polarized sessions.  The topic is wolves.
 
In typically dry language, the department said that recovery and management of gray wolves in the state will be the focus of a panel of experts who will talk about the state's program and also take questions from the audiences.

WDFW enforcement Officer Pam Taylor steadies a male gray wolf in Pend Oreille County. Photo courtesy of WDFW.But any discussion of wolves is almost certain to draw strong views across the spectrum.

Gray wolves are now listed as endangered throughout Washington under state law, and they're on federal endangered lists in the western two-thirds of the state.  Wolves were virtually extinct in Washington for more than 70 years, but they've begun to drift into eastern Washington from Idaho and Oregon, and into the Cascades from British Columbia. Wildlife biologists have confirmed at least eight resident packs and transient wolves from time to time.

The agency has established a goal of limiting the wolf population to 15 breeding pairs in three regions of the state before de-listing them as endangered.

The public meeting in Spokane Valley is scheduled next Wednesday (January 16th) from 6 until 8 pm at the Center Place Regional Event Center. Two other meetings follow in Olympia and Seattle.



Photos: 
Gray Wolf. Photo courtesy of Gary Kramer, USFWS.

WDFW enforcement Officer Pam Taylor steadies a male gray wolf in Pend Oreille County. Photo courtesy of WDFW.

On the web:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jan0713a/
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