Today, the kill order for the Wedge pack was re-issued. Here is the report by Northwest Public Radio’s online issue:
Wolf Kill Order Re-Issued For Washington’s Wedge Pack
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has re-issued the kill order for four wolves in a pack in the Northeastern corner of the state. Starting Wednesday marksmen will take to the field, Ashley Ahearn reports.
10 cows have been injured or killed on the Diamond M ranch since July. Two more incidents were reported after the holiday weekend. The two calves had claw marks on their backs and bites along their hamstrings, confirming that the injuries were a result of a wolf attack.
Conservation Northwest, an environmental group that works on wolf recovery, agreed that wolves were to blame. On Thursday of last week officials called off efforts to kill four members of the Wedge Pack. Now, that order’s back on.
The pack is believed to number up to 12 wolves total. The state wolf management plan allows for the killing of some wolves, but environmental groups believe killing four members of this pack is too much.Ranchers urged the Department to continue the hunt until the predation stops.
I’ve been in communication with Steve Clevidence, who is doing everything humanly possible to talk with the McIrvin family of the Diamond M, the ranch that has lost cattle to the Wedge pack.
Tonight, Steve informed me that he made contact with Len McIrvin, the elder of the family. According to Steve, Len reported that calves are being killed by two packs now, on his ranch as well as a neighbors. Also, due to the rough terrain they are unable to pick up the carcasses of cattle so wolves are being attracted. The ranchers have moved the cattle from the upper range to their main ranch but wolves have moved into this vicinity as well.
This is bad news for everyone, but there is hope. In Steve’s words:
“I told Len about Timm Kaminski of the Mountain Livestock Cooperative and asked if he would be willing to talk with Timm and Mr McIrvine said that he would be. So that is my next step in this process. Timm is extremely knowledgable in these matters and perhaps there is a chance to save some of the wolves as well as future ones that will fill the void if they kill this particular pack. We will keep doing our best here.”
Timm Kaminski, if you aren’t aware, is on the Advisory Board, along with Steve, of Living With Wolves, the non-profit that does so much to serve wolves. He is also the principle investigator for the Mountain Livestock Cooperative , where according to their website they, “…develop a practical ‘working model’ to reduce large carnivore-livestock conflicts across foothill and mountain landscapes in western North America. ”
If there is any chance for wolves in the Wedge, it’s with the assistance of people like Steve and Timm. But there must also be the cooperation of the ranchers. If things are to be different in the future, they must be willing to change.
Time will tell… but I am heartened by Steve’s words, “… look at it positively, we opened a closed door, we established communication where communication was previously closed. We have a hard core wolf hater, thinking proactive methods may help, because obviously the lethal methods have not. Stay positive. There is No way they will get all the wolves, and we now have an opportunity that has been previously denied to us.”
Rest well friends.