Profanity Peak wolf pack removal cost state $135K | The Spokesman-Review

ENDANGERED SPECIES — Washington wildlife managers spent $135,000 to kill seven of 11 gray wolves in a pack that had attacked or killed about 15 cattle on national forest grazing allotments in northeastern Washington last summer and fall. The Department of Fish and Wildlife have released a 200-page report on the situation and effort to lethally remove the Profanity Peak Pack in northern Ferry County.

Source: Profanity Peak wolf pack removal cost state $135K | The Spokesman-Review

A Message from Conservation Northwest

Profanity gets the best and worst of me

We’re working towards long-term wolf recovery and coexistence. While the loss of some wolves to conflict can be heart-wrenching, unfortunately it’s sometimes an unavoidable component of predators, people and livestock sharing space.

By Mitch Friedman, Executive Director

Profanity gets the best and worst of me. Profanity Peak is the namesake for the rugged and scenic Profanity Roadless Area, the heart of the Columbia Highlands and the Cascades to Rockies habitat corridor. It’s the wild crest of the Kettle River Mountain Range that conservationists have battled to designate as Wilderness since the 1970’s. Gaining permanent protection for this wild place has been near the top of Conservation Northwest’s To-Do list for almost 15 years, confounded in part by opposition from hardliners at the local Diamond M Ranch operated by the McIrvin family… read more.

Washington to lethally remove wolves to stop depredations

Courtesy of Capitol Press

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will lethally remove wolves in a pack that has killed at least four cattle this summer, the department said today.

WDFW Director Jim Unsworth authorized the lethal removal after department investigators today confirmed that a calf found dead in northern Ferry County had been killed by wolves in the Profanity Peak pack.

Previously, in July, WDFW confirmed the pack had killed three cattle. According to department policy, WDFW considers lethal removal after four depredations in one year by a pack.

The wolf pack has at least 11 members, according to WDFW. Read More

Lawmakers question wolf collar data blackout for ranchers

A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife file photo shows a member of the Teanaway wolf pack. Some local and state officials want the department to share wolf tracking data with ranchers during denning season.
A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife photo shows a member of the Teanaway wolf pack. Some state and local officials want the department to share wolf tracking data with ranchers during denning season.

By: Matthew Weaver

Courtesy of: Capital Press
Published on May 6, 2016 10:09AM

Several Washington lawmakers are questioning a lack of wolf location data for ranchers during a key point in the season for both wolves and livestock.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shares raw locations and GPS coordinates off of wolf collars with ranchers with livestock in wolf pack territory, to help reduce the risk of conflicts between wolves and livestock. The department shares the information online with producers who have a data-sharing agreement except for the denning season. Wolf location around den sites may make the animals more vulnerable, said Donny Martorello, wolf policy lead for the agency.

Washington Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, and Stevens County Commissioner Wes McCart say the wolves’ location should be available to ranchers year-round.

Denning coincides with calving, the most vulnerable time for a rancher’s operation, Short said.

“Once again, my farmers and ranchers are the ones getting the short end of the stick,” Short said. “They need access to that data when they are vulnerable.”

“If it’s illegal to go out and poach those animals, I don’t see any one of our ranchers, farmers, anybody that’s going to risk being put in jail or fined just to go track down one den of wolf pups,” McCart said. “I think there’s a total lack of trust on behalf of the department to those that are being affected.”

The online tool to look at the raw information is turned off during this time, but the department still shares the information with ranchers verbally or with printed maps, Martorello said.

“There’s always some risk, particularly when wolves and livestock are in close proximity,” Martorello said.”If we have any producers that overlap with those den sites, we make sure those producers are aware of that.”

Some ranchers make routine calls to determine wolf locations or the department provides a weekly map of the wolves’ activities, he said.

Ranchers concerned about possible close proximity should contact the department, Martorello said.

McCart doesn’t believe the department’s current steps are adequate.

“We have enough money in this state to be paying people to watch computer screens of where these wolves are and give affected property owners a phone call, rather than just let them do it on their own?” he said. “That makes no sense.”

Live collar data will be available to ranchers signed up with a data-sharing agreement again beginning June 1, Martorello said.

The department will meet with county commissioners shortly to determine if there are other solutions to data sharing and den sites, he said.

“We’re looking for a creative solution that meets the needs of identity of critical points on the map for a recovering wolf population but at the same time, meets the needs of producers being able to minimize risks,” he said. “I can’t say what it’s going to look like, but we’re going to roll up our sleeves and try to figure something out,”

“The department is trying to work on these things really hard,” Short said. “My big frustration continues to be, it’s not on my ranchers’ timeline. If they’re the ones on the forefront of feeling the impact, then it ought to be, frankly, done on their time frame, not everybody else’s. We’ve been at this for years and my ranchers continue to be impacted.”