(By Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)
The 2017 Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol describes tools and approaches designed to influence pack behavior with the goal of reducing the potential for recurrent livestock depredation while continuing to promote wolf recovery. On July 20, WDFW notified the public that non-lethal deterrence measures were not achieving that goal in the Smackout pack territory, and that the director authorized incremental lethal removal of wolves as another tool to address recurrent depredations.
The department’s approach to incremental removal consists of a period of active removal operations followed by a period of evaluation to determine if those actions met the goal. The protocol states that once a removal operation has begun, the department will update the public weekly on the number of individuals removed. Lethal removal actions began one week ago, and during that week the department removed 1 wolf. The protocol also states that in most situations the period of active removal will be two weeks or less. Removal operations are ongoing, and the department will provide another update in one week.