Whether you loath, love or are indifferent to wolves, the recent passage of a Washington wolf is notable on several fronts.
WDFW reports that 32M, estimated to be 12 years old, died last month of natural causes after wandering by itself for several months.
The old male is considered in some circles to be the “patriarch of wolf recovery in the Central Cascades,” siring numerous pups as the breeding male of western Kittitas County’s Teanaway Pack, which was first confirmed in 2011.
The wolf’s death occurred in July and it died in the foothills near Ellensburg, agency spokeswoman Staci Lehman said.
The wolf had been traveling alone since March and was probably responsible for killing some calves in an April attack.
Otherwise it and the Teanaways have largely kept out of trouble with local cattle and sheep grazers, outside of a couple depredations in summer 2015 and an attack on a guard dog in 2011, though robust range-riding efforts probably played a strong role in that.
There was also an incident with hunters that I vaguely recall.
The Teanaways are the southernmost known confirmed pack in the state’s Cascades.
In other Washington wolf news, more calf attacks have occurred by the Wedge Pack following the removal a nonbreeding adult female wolf and has WDFW Director Kelly Susewind mulling a response.
Just to the east, the Leadpoint Pack struck multiple calves grazing in a private pasture in early August, adding to five previous depredations since June, and which also has Susewind evaluating what to do.
WDFW appears to have moved quicker on another wolf matter, recently dismissing Tim Coleman of Republic from the Wolf Advisory Group.
Coleman had been part of an unsuccessful attempt to shackle state wolf management, along with two others suing WDFW in state court over 2019’s Old Profanity Pack lethal removals and claiming that the agency’s wolf-livestock protocols had needed to go through the State Environmental Policy Act review.
The Capital Press reported that Coleman’s part in the lawsuit “threatened to weaken trust among members of the advisory group, [WDFW] Wolf Policy lead Donny] Martorello said,” and that the state farm bureau had been calling for his removal.