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Officials Foresaw Conflict Between Wolf Pack, Livestock

File photo of a gray wolf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
File photo of a gray wolf

Stakeholders on all sides continue to grapple with a controversial management decision that would allow Washington state wildlife officials to exterminate an entire wolf pack in the Northeast corner of the state.

Wildlife managers anticipated the conflict between wolves and cattle earlier this summer.

Back in June, the state captured two wolves from the Profanity Peak pack and placed radio collars them.

“As we prioritize, ‘Ok which packs do we need to put traps in this year to get collars out in early spring, summer?' one of the things we are thinking about there is: Which one of these packs has potential for conflict?” said Donny Martorello, who is in charge of Washington’s wolf policy.

Martorello said the department was concerned about the Profanity Peak Pack’s range, which overlaps public land where ranchers graze their cattle in the summer.

The state had previously placed collars on two Profanity Peak wolves, but those animals dispersed to form the Sherman pack that ranges slightly further south.

The state’s management plan outlines requirements regarding the number of breeding pairs for three so-called recovery regions in Washington. The number of breeding pairs in the eastern region far exceeds those minimum requirements.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Emily Schwing
Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio’s programs like “Morning Edition” and “All things Considered.” She has also filed for Public Radio International’s “The World,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.