After 12 cattle depredations in only six weeks, Washington’s Profanity Peak wolf pack has been qualified for removal under the state’s lethal take policy. As the news of the pack’s imminent doom broke, opponents took to the defensive the only way they know how: by issuing death threats.
Despite the fact that the potential for lethal removal has been a part of the conversation since the inception of wolf management in Washington state, opponents flooded the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials with heinous threats.
In fact, the take policy was developed in conjunction with the Wolf Advisory Group (WAG), albeit through some tense negotiations.
“The protocol for lethal removal was co-developed by a diverse group of stakeholders and department staff, and unanimously supported by WAG,” WDFW Wolf Policy Lead Donny Martorello told King 5 News. “The protocol attempts to balance a diversity of values from environmental, livestock producer, and hunter perspectives.”
This isn’t the first time officials have been forced to remove wolf packs in the state of Washington. Since 2008, the department has removed the Wedge Pack, Huckleberry Pack and now the Profanity Peak Pack.
In working closely with ranchers, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has taken a very hands-on approach in an attempt to bridge the gap between ranchers and conservationists. Among the practices instilled, WDFW aided ranchers in cleaning up carcasses, utilizing range riders and waiting a longer period of time before releasing calves.
Despite their efforts, both sides were still unable to keep the wolves away from cattle, resulting in the decision to remove the pack.
Moving forward the department vows to remain vigilant in working closely with ranchers, encouraging them to be a part of the solution rather than a victim of circumstance.