OLYMPIA, WA - Washington Governor Jay Inslee sent a letter to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Monday asking for changes to the gray wolf recovery program. Specifically, the letter targets recent actions by the WDFW that utilized lethal removal of wolves that were known to attack livestock.
"I understand that conflicts between wolves and livestock do occur, especially as the state's wolf population continues to grow," Inslee says in the letter. "I share the public's concern and am troubled that the Wolf Plan does not appear to be working as intended in this particular area in Northeastern Washington. I believe we cannot continue using the same management approach on this particular landscape. We must look for other strategies that address the unique nature of this particular geographical area, an area which has been characterized as prime gray wolf habitat. 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."
In the letter, Inlsee asks WDFW Director Kelly Susewind to accelerate an update to lethal management guidelines, with the goal of significantly reducing the role of lethal removal in the wolf management program and asks for an update to his requests and recommendations by December 1.