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OLYMPIA — A new law will require a statewide analysis by the Department of Fish and Wildlife of wolf recovery efforts to see if a change in conservation status is warranted.State Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, sponsored House Bill 2097, which Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed and is effective July 28. The bill passed the House of Representatives unanimously and the Senate by a 43-5 vote.Julia Smith, a wolf specialist with Fish and Wildlife, said the department conducts status reviews of endangered species every five years. The gray wolf review is delayed, she said, but would have been done regardless of the new law.The most recent estimate from Fish and Wildlife showed 27 wolf packs in Washington, the majority in the northeastern part of the state.Eastern Washington has reached wolf recovery goals, and the Northern Cascades zone is close. However, the Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast zone has not reached those goals.When it comes to conservation status, the state doesn’t make distinctions between different regions, Smith said.

Source: Lawmaker Wants Review of Wolf Recovery Efforts | Northwest Regional News |