Fish and Wildlife Commission denies petition on codifying wolf policies
The Cattle Producers of Washington recently applauded a decision by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to deny a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups to codify parts of the Washington Wolf Plan, essentially creating inflexible rules for dealing with wolf related issues.
The Commission denied the petition put forward by the Center and seven other environment groups, including the Kettle Range Conservation Group, to establish artificial parameters for the lethal removal of problem wolves. Among other provisions, the Center’s petition wanted for four separate, documented kills on four separate days in a four month period before a problem wolf could be removed. The Center filed a similar petition last year that was also denied. Instead a Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) was formed to help the Washington Fish and Wildlife department craft policies to address wolf concerns with the input of diverse stakeholder groups. However, the Center said that ,”livestock producer and sports-hunting groups on the committee” refused to agree to the inflexible, prohibitive rules suggested by environmental groups on the WAG, so they proceeded to petition the Commission again.
CPoW President Dave Dashiell said the most recent petition by the Center shows that they are not in favor of sensible wolf management, but are driven to pursue a particular agenda.
“This petition disregards the work that the various groups serving on the WAG have completed this year and shows an inflexible, flawed perspective by some environmental groups who are only interested in a radical agenda,” said Dashiell. “We know that every problem situation involving a wolf is going to be different and there needs to be a great deal of flexibility to make sure the situation is resolved in a fair manner for all involved.”
CPoW worked with four other likeminded groups: the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association, the Spokane County Cattlemen, the Stevens County Farm Bureau and the Science First Coalition to send a letter to the Commission against the petition from the Center.
“We appreciate that the Fish and Wildlife Commissioners recognized how changing the wolf situation is with every year and at every location. It is important to keep all options on the table, particularly when dealing with a predator species that is coming back onto the landscape,” Dashiell said.