(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)
MORE ACTION: WDFW will continue lethal removal of members from the OPT pack in Ferry County after more depredations…
On August 9, WDFW Director Kelly Susewind reauthorized lethal removal of the two remaining members of the Togo pack, which are located in the Kettle River range of Ferry County. This comes in response to more depredations of cattle on grazing lands.
WDFW has documented three wolf depredations in the last 30 days and four in the last 10 months. A livestock producer also shot a wolf he caught in the action of attacking cattle.
Cattle producers have been using non-lethal deterrents in the area, but they have not stopped the attacks, WDFW said.
Lethal removal is within the guidelines of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, which has implemented incremental removal which means one or two wolves are removed, and the department then waits and observes to see if the pack’s behavior changes.
In August 2018, Susewind authorized lethal removal in the Togo pack in response to repeated wolf depredations, and department staff removed one wolf on September 2, 2018. After documenting subsequent livestock depredations by the pack, the Director reauthorized the lethal removal of the remaining three wolves in the Togo pack on November 7, 2018; however no wolves were removed during that effort.
WDFW has documented ongoing depredation on livestock by the pack since Nov. 3, 2017 (11 total, four within the last 10 months and three in the last 30 days). The depredations were shared with the public in a timely manner, as described in the protocol.
The four depredations in the last 10 months were classified as confirmed depredations, two of which were deaths to the livestock.
WDFW expects depredations to continue based on the history of this pack.