(Here to read more: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/ ... k.html.csp)Some wolf advocates are outraged that the state is preparing for the second time to exterminate an entire wolf pack for preying on livestock in northeastern Washington state.
This is the second time in four years that a pack of endangered wolves has received the death penalty because of the grazing of privately owned cattle on publicly owned lands, the Center for Biological Diversity said.
Washington is home to about 90 wolves, and killing the 11 members of the Profanity Peak pack would amount to 12 percent of the population.
“By no stretch of the imagination can killing 12 percent of the state’s tiny population of 90 wolves be consistent with recovery,” said Amaroq Weiss, of the Center for Biological Diversity, on Thursday.
“We can’t keep placing wolves in harm’s way by repeatedly dumping livestock onto public lands with indefensible terrain, then killing the wolves when conflicts arise,” she said.
Last week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced it would exterminate the Profanity Peak pack in Ferry County. Since mid-July, the agency has confirmed that wolves have killed or injured six cattle and probably five others, based on staff investigations.
Jim Unsworth, director of the agency, authorized the wolf hunts between the towns of Republic and Kettle Falls.
Wildlife officials shot two pack members Aug. 5, but temporarily ended wolf-removal efforts after two weeks passed without finding any more evidence of wolf predation on cattle.
“At that time, we said we would restart this operation if there was another wolf attack, and now we have three,” said Donny Martorello, WDFW wolf policy lead. “The department is committed to wolf recovery, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect livestock from repeated depredation by wolves.”
Originally, I'd heard this news on the radio, and they'd said that the pack consisted of 11 adult wolves and 5 puppies-- all of which were to be killed because of the pack predating several cows who had been allowed to graze in the wilderness. Here are a few comments made by people below the article:
2015 was reported as a record success year for the livestock industry, including calf survival and meat prices, so wolves are obviously not taking their rhetorical toll.
Beyond the dubious morality of killing wolves that belong to, if anyone, the greater American public to protect private cows on public land, the question of economic fairness arises.
Consider the number of Americans who highly value wolves as iconic top predators on their public lands and the relatively tiny number of surviving wolves. How many cows are there on western public lands? How many Americans value cows occupying their lands more than wolves?
The economics of supply and demand greatly favor keeping more valuable wolves on public lands even if they kill a relatively few far less valuable cows.
I say this as an occasional beef eater, one willing to pay for beef from cows raised locally and respectfully on private land.
Ranchers are charged only $1.69 per month per cow/calf "unit" for the privilege of using up already devastated public land.
That is what has to stop.
Stephen J. Remington
Man . . . that is obscene. Cattle are a much bigger threat to the ecosystem than wolves are to cattle. Ecosystems NEED top predators. Cattle are optional.
If you start culling wolves you are messing with the ecological balance. If you introduce cattle into an ecosystem you are messing with that balance. To reduce wolves on top of introducing cattle is to compound the damage done by each act separately