The Wenatchee World editorial board wrote it last weekend, and the Spokane Spokesman-Review picked it up today as an “Outside View” — an opinion piece that supports WDFW’s current draft wolf management plan.
Wolves are not optional. We cannot declare the state a wolf-free zone or build an impenetrable wolf barrier along our border to keep out the interloper Canis lupus from Idaho or British Columbia. We can’t pack them up and send them to Issaquah. We certainly cannot send out wolf extermination patrols to do away with them.
In this regard, some of the anti-wolf sentiment expressed so vociferously at the state’s recent meetings in Okanogan and Wenatchee has no serious point. The question is not whether there will be wolves in Washington. The question is how to manage them. For that, the state Department of Wildlife’s proposed wolf management plan seems as reasonable as a plan could be.
Public meetings on the plan, which in part describes recovery as 15 packs in three areas of the state for three consecutive years, wrapped up last week in Wenatchee, though comments are still being taken through Jan. 8.
Currently, Washington has two confirmed packs — the Lookout and Diamond packs in Okanogan and Pend Oreille counties — though it’s possible there’s a third in the Blue Mountains along the Oregon border.
The piece calls BS on allegations that the packs were reintroduced in “secret wolf-by-night relocation scheme, as some claim,” and continues by saying “It is the state’s obligation to protect them until they are plentiful enough to be self-sustaining. Then, when they are removed from the endangered species list, it will be its obligation to manage the population at a reasonable level.”