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Washington Bill Concedes Uneven Wolf Recovery

posted May 12, 2019, 9:19 PM by chloe owens

4/3/2019, by Don Jenkins, Capital Press

Washington bill concedes uneven wolf recovery

Wolves in northeast Washington could be managed differently than in other parts of the state under a bill endorsed Tuesday by the Senate agriculture committee. If passed by the Legislature, House Bill 2097 would be an unprecedented acknowledgment by lawmakers that wolves have affected life in one corner of the state, even though statewide recovery has lagged. “We envisioned recovery on a statewide basis. It really hasn’t worked out that way,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joel Kretz, who represents northeast Washington…Washington’s wolf plan carves the state into three regions and calls for each to have a reproducing population of wolves. The eastern one-third of Washington has surpassed recovery goals, while the the North Cascades and South Cascades are not close to the goals. Fish and Wildlife already is reviewing the status of wolves and supports the bill, the department’s wolf policy coordinator Donny Martorello said at a hearing Tuesday. The Cattle Producers of Washington and environmental group Conservation Northwest also supported the bill, as did the Colville Confederated Tribes in northeast Washington. The tribe allows some hunting by tribal members on its reservation in Okanogan and Ferry counties.