Recently, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a kill order targeting the collared male wolf in the Togo Pack residing in the Kettle Range. Livestock graze these lands under the U.S. Forest Service grazing program. Wolf-livestock conflict is the inevitable result.
A complaint questioning the legality of the protocol used to kill endangered wolves in Washington was filed last fall allowing litigants to file a temporary restraining order, which was granted. The court heard arguments and failed to make the order permanent. The Togo male was killed two days later. We must come together and work toward resolution that keeps livestock and wildlife out of harms way.
Year after year we face the same problem. Livestock grazing on public lands are preyed upon by wolves. Are we grazing cattle in the wrong place? It’s time we consider moving livestock to more protected areas or for private industry grazing livestock on public lands to assume risk of loss.
Chris Bachman, wildlife program director, The Lands Council, Spokane
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