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MOSES LAKE – Julia Smith is a relative newbie when it comes to Washington’s wolf issues.
But the statewide wolf coordinator is no newbie to the predatory canines. Prior to coming to WDFW nine months ago, she worked with wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. That work gives her a larger perspective on Washington’s wolf issues.
“Wolf conflict is heated here,” she said during an interview at the Wolf Advisory Group meeting Tuesday. “But it’s much lower here.”
That may be hard to believe during a summer dominated by news of wolves killing and injuring cattle, the state killing wolves, environmental groups filing lawsuits and WDFW canceling a series of statewide meetings due to threats of violence.
Still, Smith said there’s reason for optimism, despite those issues.
“Look at how wolves didn’t exist here 10 years ago,” she said. “That’s important to me. That’s incredible to me. That’s a success story.”