WDFW pauses efforts to remove OPT pack wolves

(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)

WDFW removes adult member from Smackout Pack on Nov. 8…

After a two-week period where WDFW officials were unable to locate the remaining two members of the OPT pack, the WDFW announced on Nov. 13 that were were pausing action to lethally remove the wolves in Ferry County. The agency has not moved into a formal evaluation period.

This comes after several depredations by the OPT pack in the summer and early fall.

WDFW staff had used aircraft to remove the remaining two pack members but they were unable to locate them because of dense forest canopy.

This month, the cattle produced removed most of his head from the grazing allotment.

WDFW said the action is consistent with the state’s wolf management plan. The department has already removed two wolves from the pack in September.

On Nov. 8 WDFW did remove an adult member of the Smackout Pack in Stevens County. The pack had previously reached the threshold for lethal removal after several attacks that killed four heifers.

The pack is estimated to have five adult wolves.

After the removal of the wolf, the WDFW suspended removal operations and initiated an evaluation period to see if the action will distrupt the pack’s pattern of attacking livestock. If another depredation occurs, the department may consider additional removal procedures.

There are 27 wolf packs in the state of Washington with 19 of them being in the eastern Washington area. A great majority of those are in eastern Washington.