The fight continues to recover Washington State wolves

When the first breeding pair of wolves returned to Washington in 2008 after being killed off in the state by the 1930s, not everyone greeted them with elation and open arms. Since then, anti-wolf bills have been introduced in the Washington Legislature and the 2024 session was no different.

The Endangered Species Coalition staff and our Washington State members helped defeat them this winter in what has become a yearly ritual.

Only 216 wolves reside in Washington and breeding pairs have yet to return to the South Cascades and Northwest regions. They are still listed as endangered under both the federal and state Endangered Species Acts. Yet, we continuously see bills that would allow their killing and block their recovery throughout the state.

Several anti-wolf bills were introduced in this year’s legislature with two being particularly egregious.

The first would have allowed ranchers, families or employees to kill the first wolf to return to a site of any type of predation of livestock. It would have allowed the baiting and killing of wolves. It also ignored the state protocol on preventing livestock and wolf conflict and the determination on how an animal died or what type animal it may have been killed by.

The second would have set up regional/county wolf management plans in lieu of the current state wolf conservation and management plan. The bill would have cut out citizen input, disregarded best available science, and ignored that wolf packs home ranges don’t follow county lines.

In my position as the Endangered Species Coalition Pacific Northwest representative, I testified against these bills and our Washington State members rallied and sent in over 1,300 comments in support of wolves to their legislators. 

Your support helped kill these anti-wolf bills and continue to give Washington wolves a chance to recover throughout the state.

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