The recent court ordered restraining order filed by conservation groups on the lethal removal of a wolf from the Togo Pack is a step backward in what had been a cooperative effort to manage wolves.
The decision of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to lethally remove Togo pack wolves after repeated livestock depredations is consistent with the state’s wolf conservation and management plan, to which conservation groups provided input. Neither party will ever be completely satisfied, but concessions were made on both sides to develop the plan.
WDFW is the governing state agency, and we should trust them as the steward best suited to make impartial wolf management decisions on behalf of both parties. However, when a single group is able to use the court system to supersede WDFW policy, the process is undermined and the possibility of any future collaboration between cattle producers and conservation groups is jeopardized.
Griffin Lowe, Renton