State authorizes killing of wolf pack in Ferry County

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced plans Friday to take lethal action against a wolf pack in Ferry County.

Wildlife managers are authorized to kill at least one member of the Sherman pack.

The pack preyed on livestock at least four times since mid-June, according to WDFW director Jim Unsworth. Wolves killed three calves and injured a fourth, according to WDFW investigations.

"The purpose of this action is to change the pack's behavior, while also meeting the state's wolf-conservation goals," WDFW lead wolf manager Donny Martorello said in a release. "That means incrementally removing wolves and assessing the results before further action."

There are at least two members of the Sherman pack, which formed last year near Sherman Pass.

Martorello said the decision is consistent with the state’s Wolf Management Plan of 2011, which lets the department take action to address repeated attacks on livestock.

The rancher who lost the calves used several non-lethal deterrents before WDFW approved lethal action. He also used multiple range riders to patrol his herd in a leased grazing area, according to WDFW.

"This rancher has made concerted efforts to protect his livestock using non-lethal measures, and has met the department's prerequisite for lethal action," Martorello said. "Our goal is to change the pack's behavior before the situation gets worse."

The decision comes after WDFW authorized lethal action against Stevens County’s Smackout Pack in July. That pack preyed on livestock four times, according to WDFW.

© 2017 KING-TV


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