By Brandon Hansen/The Independent Staff
Washington Department Fish and Wildlife staff lethally removed one male from the Profanity Peak Pack on Friday, Sept. 30, raising the number of wolves killed to seven.
Since July 8, the state agency has documented a total of 14 attacks on livestock, including nine confirmed kills and five probable kills.
“We confirmed the most recent depredation earlier this week,” WDFW wolf policy lead Donny Martrello said. “Given this pattern, we do not believe we have achieved the goal of stopping depredations in the near future.”
Along with the male wolf removed on Friday, the WDFW also removed one female pup on Aug. 22, one adult female on Aug. 21 and two adult females on Aug. 22. The state agency now believes the pack includes one adult female and three juveniles.
“We recognize full pack removal will be extremely challenging, given the rugged and heavily timbered landscape in the area and the wolve’s extensive range,” Martrello said.
WDFW investigating livestock attacks by Smackout peak
WDFW staff has investigated and confirmed one livestock attack by wolves in the Smackout wolf pack area that operates in the Colville National Forest on the Stevens County Pend O’reille county line, the agency announced on Sept. 29.
WDFW officials confirmed an attack on one calf, bringing the number of attacks on livestock by the Smackout pack to three — including one confirmed kill, one confirmed injury and one probable kill.
In 2015, the Smackout pack had at least eight wolves in its ranks.
Stevens County Commissioners declare wolves a public nuisance
Stevens County Commissioners declared wolves within county lines a public nuisance at the commissioners’ meeting on Sept. 7 in Colville. Citing the harassment and killing of livestock since their reintroduction to Northeast Washington, the commissioners also said wolves have been documented as attackers of pets and livestock guardian dogs.
“Public health and safety is in jeopardy due to unknown wolf movements,” the commissioner’s statement said. “Wolf activity is negatively affecting the customs, culture, economic stability and sustainability and ecosystem function of Stevens County which include, not excludes, the human component.”
Commissioners Don Dashiell, Wes McCart and Steve Parker each signed the proclamation at a time where the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is lethally removing the entire Profanity Peak Pack in Ferry County and confirmed attacks and one kill has been recognized by the WDFW on the Stevens and Pend O’Reille County border.
The commissioners contend that wolves are not dispersing to other Recovery Zones in the state of Washington and that their attacks have negatively affected the economic viability of livestock operations in the area.
“Stevens County citizens are suffering an undue, disproportionate burden due to wolf activity and no citizen or group of citizens can bear the affliction placed on them by the actions of an unelected commission declaring wolves endangered.”
The full proclamation can be seen on the Stevens County website.