WDFW LogoWashington Department of Fish & Wildlife
  HELP | EMPLOYMENT | NEWS | CONTACT  
WDFW LogoConservation

Washington Department of
Fish & Wildlife

Main Office
Natural Resources Building
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501
360-902-2200
Get Directions

Mailing Address
600 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501-1091

Phil Anderson
Director

 

 

<< Back to all DEIS Comments


Public Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
Online Comments on DEIS: Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington

<< Back to DEIS Online Comments list

General comments on the DEIS or draft plan:

After living in Idaho and experiencing negative impact from wolves in I do not support a wildlife plan that includes wolves. It is simply a matter of time before there will be a fatal wolf attack if wolves remain protected. I also have experienced the negative impact of wolves on the Idaho Elk population.

Mark D Knight,  Moses Lake WA

I am a hunter. My favorite hunts are the ones deep into the wilderness areas of our state. The return of the wolf to these remote areas is not only unavoidable but critical to true, healthy wilderness. How can you have a wilderness void of the last great predator? Of course I'm concerned about how my elk and deer will fare and I'm sure there will be areas where we will see a decline in their numbers as the wolves increase but with proper game management we can compensate for this. Eventually the proper balance will be reached. I feel that the wolf should be allowed to return and grow to healthy numbers then managed like we manage all our game animals. While I would never kill a wolf if we can grow their numbers properly we can then manage them. I can only hope that some day on a hunt deep into the Pasaytan wilderness I hear the song of a fellow predator. Only then will the wild return to wilderness. Good luck.

Gregg Bafundo,  Normandy Park WA

With some of the changes in the laws our wildlife has enough preditors chasing them around and eating the young with out us trying to reintroduce the wolf. What we should do is look at some of our neighboring states like Idaho who also thought this would be a good idea years ago and see how it has impacted the numbers of deer and elk. I have seen the impact and cannot support the effort and the money for such a program. What are we thinking??? Rick

Rick ,  Centralia WA

my wife and i are not in favor of any wolf reintroduction plan-look at idaho,montana,and wyoming-their big game herds have been depleted by the wolf introduction

eldon riggle,  clarkston WA

I support alternative plan 1A. It makes more sense to start out small in numbers given the research shows the population grows 22% every year.

Jim Sizemore,  Centerville WA

It will be a very sad day for the hunters in Washington state if the wolves are reintroduced. Hunters in Washington have had to face many different challenges such as cougar and bear over populations, tribal hunters having their way with the permit areas and wintering grounds and the crash of the blacktail deer population due to hair loss. Those are just a few problems, there are several that I could talk about for days but reintroducing wolves would be far worse than any of those. We already know that it has been nothing short of a nightmare for the people in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. I don't understand why we would even be considering it in Washington. The wildlife in this state cannot afford another threat they are already vulnerable and I fear that wolves would lower the number of deer and elk and other game to the point that they could no longer be hunted. It is painfully obvious that WDFW has dropped the ball with game management and adding wolves to the mix would be recipe for disaster. I am surprised the game department would support a proposal that would have a negative affect on the already declining number of game that Washington has. I'm sure that if we had a vote right now every hunter in this state would vote no and hunters pay the game departments bills.

Jaycee Jerome,  Winlock WA

Hello. As someone who has spent much time recreating in, studying in, and contributing to the economy of the Olympic Peninsula since 1995, I ask that Alternative 3 of the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan draft EIS be selected for implementation. I believe strongly that it is WDFW's responsibility to work closely with the federal government to reestablish a sustainable wolf population on the Olympic Peninsula (OP). Until this reintroduction is accomplished on the OP, the ecosystem there will remain incomplete and regrettably compromised. The preferred Alternative 2 falls well short of this need. Wolves should be present on the OP -- which happens to be the best such habitat in the state of Washington -- prior to their delisting. This, of course, means that relocation of wolves to the OP is an absolute necessity. Wolves inhabiting the Cascades will be unable to cross the I-5 corridor to the Willapa Hills and OP. I am greatly concerned that salmon habitat on the OP is being degraded by elk which are behaving unnaturally due to the absence of wolves, drastically altering riparian vegetation in the process. Moreover, the endemic Olympic marmot is on a headlong trend towards listing under the Endangered Species Act if interior coyotes are not reduced in number. As we have seen elsewhere, wolves are the only reliable means of achieving reduced coyote populations over the long term. Surely WDFW recognizes this problem and the obvious, natural solution. Alternative 3, however, does need a few additional improvements. Rather than the absurdly low goal of 15 breeding pairs needed to delist the wolf, I concur with independent scientists who recommend this number be set at 60 breeding pairs. Additionally, non-lethal alternatives, including translocation, should be the preferred method of addressing wolves that impede livestock operations. Lethal methods should be a last resort in all cases. Along these lines, WDFW would do well to recall that the agency must answer to the public at-large in the state of Washington, and not act as a mere handmaiden of the cattle industry. Thank you for your consideration of these important factors in wolf recovery.

Jim Scarborough,  Bellingham WA

the wolfs have destroyed the elk and deer in idaho and they will destroy them washington. we have protected these animals so that our kids in the future will have the chance to see wild animals in the park-not the howl of the wolf as it kills live stock next to the town

john gilbertson,  port angeles WA

When considering the ideas of “wolf conservation” it is important that we look not only at the effect on wolves and herd animals, either wild or domestic, but it is equally important to look at the effect that wolves have on the entire eco system including smaller game and the effect their presence has through out the natural food chain. The issues of cattle and wolves generally develop on Public Lands leased by private individuals. Grazing leases have an impact on the entire “natural food chain”. The logical question concerning areas of Public Lands is, Which has the greatest benefit to the public which owns the lands know as Public Lands, grazing leases or a natural ecosystem? Wolf conservation is influenced far more by hunters who want to kill a wolf than by scientific research. In developing plans and goals the ESA requires scientific research. Up to this point, this has not been the general rule. We along with many other National Conservation Organizations urge the USFWS along with the state of Washington to consider only the scientific data based on a complete relevance study before considering any form of wolf conservation program, which could result in lethal means. The first consideration for conservation on Public Lands is the desires of the public. The general public rather than a segment of the public. To do this would require a vote by all registered voters on the areas concerning Public Lands. We urge both the state and Federal agencies to proceed with these goals in mind. 1.Base determinations and decisions on scientific data after the conclusion of in depth studies. 2.Consider the benefit for the entire food chain rather than the loss of a few cattle and the desires of a few hunters. 3.Publicize this issue on a level that the general public has the opportunity to participate rather than the closed door methods that have been practiced in other areas in the past.

Jim Windwalker,  Cragford AL

I applaud the hard work done by WDFW and stakeholders for this draft plan. I do think there should be higher levels of support for wolves in WA state and support Alternative 3.

Lisa Dabek,  Seattle WA

I support Alternative #3.

James Raskob,  Everett WA

Thanks for having a plan with a citizen working group. If wolves come into Washington on there own, that's fine. NO TRANSLOCATION!!!

Dave Welch,  White Salmon WA

I strongly support the recovery of wolves in Washington State. I have had a long time strong interest in wolf recovery in the United States and especially in my home state. I am very pleased to see that Washington State has moved forward on creating a wolf conservation and management plan. I had the opportunity to sit in on a few of the wolf working group meetings and appreciate all the views that were part of the process to give feedback to help create this plan.

Kristin Mitchell,  Seattle WA

January 6, 2010 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife SEPA Desk 600 Capitol Way N. Olympia, WA 98501-1091 http://wdfw.wa.gov/wildlife/management/gray_wolf/. To Whom It May Concern: I write to you on behalf of the Okanogan County Farm Bureau and its nearly 900 member families. The WDFW held a meeting at the Okanogan County Agriplex on November the 9, 2009. I attended the meeting on behalf of our members and chose not to comment at that time because I wanted to listen to your statements and hear the concerns of the citizens and Farm Bureau families in attendance prior to submitting these formal comments. It is our opinion that the State Department of Fish and Wildlife has not fully studied the impacts of the gray wolf being reintroduced into Okanogan County. The department has not done a fully qualified economic impact study nor adequately determined the negative impacts specifically to Okanogan County. The potential economic loss to farmers in Okanogan County is sizeable. Please provide the specific economic impact study for Okanogan County compiled by the WDFW that verifies the county will have no economic loss to our farmers and ranchers nor will we have any loss of ranch lands managed by the DNR and WDFW that are currently under lease by ranchers. This question is raised as it appears that the WDFW is pushing option two from the draft plan. We are concerned about the disproportionate cost laid on the landowners and livestock owners. Livestock owners especially have to deal with the loss of the animal, additional costs spent proving that a wolf killed the animal, and time spent fighting for compensation from a fund that could run out of money based on state budgets. Option two requires farmers and ranchers to be reimbursed if it can be confirmed that a wolf killed the rancher’s cow, calf or both. The problem with that option is the following example: Preliminary results of an investigation of a cow carcass found in Okanogan County, Washington, near the home range of the state’s first confirmed wolf pack in 70 years, concludes that the carcass was too old and scavenged to determine the cause of death. An agent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, along with a biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife investigated the carcass May 22, 2009. When the agents finally arrived to investigate the carcass, it was at least 7 days old. Your own department acknowledges they are unable to determine if it was a wolf kill on March 22 because the carcass was too old. Therefore, this rancher will not be refunded for his or her loss under option 2. Will every investigation by your department lead to the same conclusion that the carcass is too old and savaged to be determined? Second under option two, it states that your department must fully fund this initiative. In the face of a $3 billion dollar deficit for the State of Washington, your department should suffer cuts as well as cuts to public services. What assurances do we have that you will even have the money to pay the ranchers for their loss? We also must remind you that if the obligations of option two are not met, then you must start the process over in its entirety. At the Agriplex meeting County Commissioner Bud Hover shared the concern that state and federal agencies had not consulted with Okanogan County about the wolf recovery plan. Okanogan County has a local ordinance that requires your department to participate in coordination efforts. To this date, this effort has not occurred and we advise you that you must follow the ordinance that requires coordination. I use the quote from Commissioner Hover at the meeting for emphasis: “Okanogan County deserves more than just commenting,” said Hover. “We should have been in on the ground floor.” Therefore we demand that you work with our commissioners in a coordination effort consistent with our local ordinances and that when you participate in this coordinated effort that the executive board of the Okanogan County Farm Bureau be invited to those meetings. Our organization has grave concerns about how the wolves ended up in the Methow Valley. Okanogan County has had a history with the department where an agent planted hair from an endangered species in the area. We are not convinced nor has the department given proof that these wolves were not transplanted into the area. It is imperative that your department provides our organization with independent and unbiased DNA testing results. We are also concerned that the wolves will have a detrimental impact on game animals in Okanogan County like deer, elk, moose, and big horn sheep. Cougars are already decimating these game animals and your department has done nothing. Therefore, we have no confidence that the department will handle wolves in a manner that will protect family farmers and ranchers from devastating losses. It is very important that hunting wolves be allowed as a management tool. We are gravely concerned with the Draft Wolf Management plan and the WDFW must answer our questions and concerns prior to the adoption of any wolf management plan. Respectfully, Jon C. Wyss, President

Okanogan County Farm Bureau ,  Tonasket WA

I would prefer you to choose an alternative that involves translocation of wolves to the Olympic range.

Ann Soule,  

I support wolf recovery in Eastern Washington. My home is in Chesaw, Okanogan Highlands. I know the surrounding country and its people well. While the adjustments to the return of the wolf may be bumpy, I know we can accomodate the animal back into the ecosystem, with help from the wildlife agencies, and hope, patience, and time.

G.K. Gillespie,  Okanogan WA

this is something that montana, idaho and wyoming got shoved down their throats by the feds and the tree huggers. we in washington have enough problems with decreasing game populations without adding predation from wolves to the ecosystem. wolves on the olympic peninsula is a bad idea. we already have enough loss of wildlife from decreased logging and a 6 month indian harvest of deer and elk.

roger droz,  port angeles WA

I appreciate your wolf conservation efforts and well-designed draft process. In general I think non-lethal methodologies are extremely important over lethal. I suggest removing lethal options from the plan all together. I believing compensation to farmers and businesses for realized losses is a great idea, but should NEVER be COMBINED with wolf culling. Once these entities are compensated, there is no reason to use lethal actions on the wolves. Educational programs for the public regarding wolf pets, wolf hybrids, protecting domestic pets, and protecting commercial animals is paramount. Fund those educational efforts.

JULIAN RUSSELL,  BRISTOW VA

We need a sustainable wolf pack(s) in WA state. Hunters, ranchers & farmers should not be allowed to indiscriminately kill these animals! We have proven time and time again that MAN is the superior hunter/killer. Let us see if we can be responsible stewards! Deer, elk & moose are just a different form of cow with no predators. With wolves back, they become wild animals again, and the herds become healthier. And yes, those with livestock taken should be compensated, but with standards.

Joe Staebler,  Winthrop WA

Please accept these comments Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington DEIS. I personally value wolves and want Washington state to help re-establish self-sustaining populations throughout the state. I support Alternative 3 because it provides the highest likelihood that wolves will be fully recovered in Washington. Alternative 3 has an advantage for management because it adds another recovery region that has both high quality wolf habitat as well as generally greater public support. It is worth noting that healthy coastal wolf populations have been recently been documented in Canada that have a prey base that does not conflict with ranchers and hunters. This is good justification why there should be a separate coastal region with its own recovery objectives. In my home town, I have talked to numerous people who have seen wolves or their sign in the last few decades. Most of these people are excited about seeing wolves. In the Methow Valley, mule deer create a large number of conflicts, notably 400-500 vehicle collisions and one or two fatalities per year. Yet there is still overwhelming public support for both mule deer and wolves in the Methow Valley. If the state wants to be successful in recovery, the Plan should have an educational component tied to monitoring efforts. People want managers to help avoid potential conflicts. The Plan has spent a great amount of time addressing livestock concerns. But in more suburban areas like the Methow, there should be more attention given to addressing potential conflicts with dogs. Both wolves and dogs have the potential for negative interactions with each other and with livestock and humans. In addressing livestock depredations the Plan should consider predator or mortality insurance as another means of protecting livestock owners from losses. This would reduce the blame put on wolves when dogs and coyotes have been known to kill as many or even more livestock animals per capita. This Plan is needed in order to better address wolf conflicts. As it now stands, conflicts are managed in an uncoordinated manner. A small population of wolves has been observed continually in the Methow over the last several decades. But lacking a management plan, these observations had no status and there was little impetus for the public to report these sightings. The animals were left to themselves with the result that the WDFW was unaware of any conflicts, and potential recovery and educational efforts were missed. Lacking a plan, wolf protection defaults to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as the management authority, not Washington state. Because of the lack of a coordinated management plan to monitor wolf populations, a year ago, the USFWS had no official records of wolves in the Methow Valley, despite many sightings, including some made by Forest Service Biologists. The management plan needs to specify that delisting efforts can proceed only after populations of established breeding pairs have increased. The Plan should describe the type of monitoring that would be necessary to demonstrate that wolves are increasing. The Plan needs to describe how the movements of wolves will be monitored in traveling between the different recovery regions. Now that wolves are established, the Plan should include a schedule for wolf translocation as a means of reaching recovery. The movements of wolves in the Methow Valley are closely tied to the movements of mule deer. Mule deer populations in the Methow Valley are very high, and estimates range to over 30,000 animals. On years with heavy snows, deer die by the thousands. On the other hand, development within mule deer habitat limits the number of wolf packs that can live here. Claims that deer populations will be reduced don’t take into account that there are far more deer than a realistic number of wolf packs could significantly reduce. I support the use of ungulate monitoring in the Wolf Plan to ensure that deer and elk numbers remain within acceptable limits. The Plan should explicitly state how these numbers will be assessed and should be held accountable to provide those numbers. Also, the expectation that moose will provide part of the “main prey” base may be premature, considering that moose populations are relatively unknown at this point. Again, the Plan should include reasonable targets for the ungulate prey base. It has been demonstrated in Yellowstone that healthy wolf populations can benefit the overall ecosystem, keeping riparian areas protected from overgrazing and maintaining the health of ungulates. In some ecosystems, wolves are a keystone species that determine how well the ecosystem functions. Different ecosystems however, may respond differently to the presence of viable wolf populations. The point is that the goal of wolf recovery goes beyond mere attainment of numbers. Different ecosystems will benefit differently from wolf recovery, and the exact nature of these benefits are still largely unknown. For this reason, it would be preferable to maintain viable populations over diverse areas, rather than merely attaining set numbers for a given time interval, as if this was just a zoo. These are reasons why Alternative 3 should be preferred. Alternative 3 also is preferable because it does not allow for wolf killing based on so-called “caught-in-the-act” killings. In the spring of 2009, a number of false claims of wolf depredation were made, apparently to justify such a provision. There is just too much potential for abuse of such a provision, particularly considering the large range of non-lethal deterrents available. Even state-sanctioned hound hunters have been caught in the act of poaching. In the case of wolf poaching, this would cost the state large sums to try to recover animals that are being unnecessarily and sometimes secretly killed. It would be far better not to enable this provision in the first place.

George Wooten,  Twisp WA

Wolves should be returned to the Olympic Mountains

Jack Geer,  Port Angeles WA

We both strongly support Alternative 2 on Wolf Conservation and Management.

William Miller,  Port Townsend WA

We both strongly support Alternative 2 on Wolf Conservation and Management.

Maria Miller,  Port Townsend WA

In brief, I would like to respectfully and strongly request that Alternative 3 be chosen as the final Wolf Conservation Plan. I feel that it is imperative that the return of wolves to the Olympic peninsula be facilitated to the greatest extent possible by physically translocating them to the peninsula. A Pacific Coast recovery region should be established in which wolves are well represented before being delisted statewide. Olympic National Park offers the best habitat, the largest unmanaged elk population, and the lowest probability of wolf-human conflicts in the state. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Charles Wilkinson,  Seattle WA

I attended the Seattle meeting at REI. Plan 3 or 4. Plan 2 is not even close to being sufficient. It would appear the WDFW is more concerned with the Cattleman's Association. Plan two isn't about what is best for the wolves. I am horrified by what I saw at that meeting an. Clearly WDFW is not looking out and standing strong for the wolves. If that were the case Plan 2 wouldn't even be a consideration. This is a Human problem - the Humans are the problem!! Idaho is a complete nightmare thanks to humans, including Salazar. This cannot be allowed to happen here in Washington. There are those ranchers have to come to terms with co-existing with the wolves and dealing in non-lethal ways. This is a repeat of history once again with those who want to do away with the wolves all together - nothing has changed from generation to generation in those circles. It is up to the rest of us to act with common sense, responsibility and an understanding of the whole. WDFW is failing the wolves with Plan 2.

Andrea Maki,  Seattle WA

The plan stresses the need to improve ungulate populations to support increased wolf predation but does not indicate how this is to be accomplished. Ungulate populations are significantly constrained by excess accumulation of final stage forest due to fire supression policy. The plan should include increase use of wildland fire, particularly in wilderness areas, to support sustainable ungulate recruitment.

David Willson,  North Bend WA

I have a hard time beleaving the Game Department is even considering this. I live on the Olympic Peninsula. The amout of game has declined over the past twenty years. This is due to the Game Department stopping the hunting of cougar with hounds. Your own studies say a cougar can eat a deer a week. I can't imagine Wolfs living of small rodents. I am a avid hunter and I support the State of Washington by buying a hunting license every year along with the other millions of State residents. The ones that are wanting the wolfes are a bunch of liberals that don't even hunt. They due nothing to support the Game Department like the American Hunter. But I guess if you are stupid enouth to go along with them go and an shot your- self in the foot. Thank God they haven't figured a way to reintroduce the dionorsars.

Richard Pitt,  Port Angeles WA

Despite the need to manage interactions between livestock farmers and wolves, and ungulates and wolves, I am in favor of a plan that requires higher numbers of wolves for delisting. Wolves historically were an important part of the ecosystem here, and we need to learn to live together.

Anonymous

The Washington State Muzzleloaders Association does not support the reintroduction of wolves into Washington is any manner or form whatsoever. We believe that the prey base (deer and elk) for wolves in this state is not of a sufficient nature/amount to support both wolf predation and human hunters. The DFW use of funding from hunter license sales, etc. to support a wolf introduction program will be considered a "slap in the face" to the huntings of this state.

walt christensen,  des moines WA

I support alternative 3

Sue Nattinger,  Port Angeles WA

Alternative No. 3 is preferred. in addition, no wolf killing should be allowed except by authorized government personnel. There are too many scoflaws and poachers looking for a chance to kill a wolf, so there should be no wiggle room to excuse a kill. Pay for verified wold kills of livestock. Thatr will be cheaper and easier to enforce than removing so-called renegade wolve which could destroy family relationships. More breeding pairs are needeed to ensure recovery and opportunity for wolves to populate new areas. Provision should be made for wolves to populate the Cascades and especially the Olympics and coastal area.

Harrison Grathwohl,  Redmond WA

I am currently unable to download adobe reader, so I can not comment on the plan itself. However I would like to voice my support for a plan to translocate wolves to all areas of Washington. After all, they were native to the area before we destroyed them. The least we could do is help them re-populate their former territory. I am an avid hiker and would love the opportunity to hear, or maybe even see these beautiful animals in nature. We need to restore the balance in nature. The elk herd in my area is out of balance. We need a predator to thin the herd. The only drawback I see is the livestock problem. I am sure some satisfactory compromise can be made in resolving this dilemma. Please bring the wolves back! Thank you.

Ben Krok,  Port Angeles WA

I tried to submit comments earlier but may have not exited properly. I wasn't finished so I am trying again. My general comments is that I prefer Alternative 3, because it allows for a higher population and also creates four management units. However, I do not see why there is such a high compensation for the cattle taken on public land. I do not see where a cattle allottment on public lands requires the government to assure the survival of the animals for any reason. If cattle are let loose on public lands then the cattle owner is responsible for the safety of their stock-not the government. If the public determines that the return of wolves to the state is desireable, then under a mixed use strategy for management, the cattle owner must adapt their cattle management accordingly. The public is the decision maker on the use of public lands. For cattle taken on private lands, some form of compensation is warranted-but twice the value for lost cattle is not. Nor is the provision for compensation of a suspected loss in production without evidence of killed animals. How is anyone going to sort out all the varying factors affecting the survivability of cattle-such as weather, forage, other predators, poaching etc.

Ray DePuydt,  Kettle Falls WA

I support the reintroduction of wolves into the Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest, which I think is best accomplished by Alternative 3 in the EIS.

Phil Andrus,  Chimacum WA

Keep wolves off the Olympic Peninsula.

Anonymous

I would like to express my concern about wolves in washington. How this plan will have negative effects on my families ability to enjoy the wilderness areas in our state and the negative effects on the abundance of wildlife and game animals. This is NOT a good draft plan because there is no option for zero wolves!!!!!!

Anonymous

You say you would like 8 breeding pairs which in your terms means 80 wolves! ? how many deer will 80 wolves a day? 4 would be a safe guess that comes out to 1460 deer a year. Even if the # was 3 a day that's still over a 1000 a year! how many years can the methow valley deer herd servive at those losses per year? Note we have had land and cabin near winthrop for 41 years and are there at least 2 weekends a month year round I have seen the good years for deer and it's been a long time since the good years.

mark kopf,  Seatac WA

The department of fish and wildlife may have the authority to protect the existing wolves in this state, but the authority to transplant Wolves from other areas or from other countries should be prohibited, and by law is upsetting the balance of the existing system of nature. Whereas the ruminants of deer, Elk and Moose are a more viable animal for the use of the Citizens of this State, bring more income to areas of hunting, and spread a better economic endeavor to the communities throughout the state, in overall support to both the tax base, the F&W, and citizens. Not only does the better managementship of ruminants help the state, its better for citizens in terms of food value as with all fish and wild game being high in Omega 3's and lean quality food. Introducing more Wolves does not help the situation of good economic development of other wildlife which are far more beneficial to the general public overall. Whereas with the infusion of additional Wolves leads to the detriments of all of the mentioned above. With the Wolves, the litter propagation is higher, the intake of viable and useable ruminants at the number of 23 or more deer per Wolf per year to sustain the health of a single adult Wolf, will radically reduce the amount of useable game animals in the form of all ruminants and even possible detriment to free range cattle and other farm animals. Cost effective wise, the infusion of additional Wolves to this State, both East and West areas or State Wide, is inefficient Government spending, unwise outdoor practices, and contradictory to good economic sense. All of the DEIS draft plans are unacceptable to me as a citizen of these United States. Before the infusion of Wolves began, I was not informed about it, I was not asked to comment on it, I had "no vote" in any of the draft plans. All of the draft plans I have read are bad. I do not approve of any of them. All of the people I have discussed these plans with do not agree with any of them.

Anonymous

Wolf populations should be strictly regulated. Wolves have detrimental effects on other wildlife, especially ungulates. See ungulate population decline after wolf reintroduction in Banff National Park and Yellowstone. Ungulate populations decline due to direct predation by wolves. They also die off because wolves restrict their foraging, therefore they do not have adequate nutrition to reproduce, or make it through long winters. Wolves are one of the few species known for extensive "sport kill" or "surplus kill." They kill elk/deer,etc. Often eat little, and kill more. See documented studies of elk, deer, domestic sheep. Wolves have been known to kill 30 Idaho sheep in one night. Why should we allow a predator like this to dominate our wild lands. Please limit wolves in Washington. Help save the rest of our wild animal populations.

Kirk Alexander,  Seattle WA

I really don't see the need for wolf packs in Washington, Period. I am scared that the lack of management that we already have with the current deer and elk populations will only get worse as our WDFW attempts to manage one more species. Especially being that this species will have a very large impact on deer and elk herds.

Johnny Rebel,  East Wenatchee WA

You dont see what is happing in the other states the wolfs are eating everything we dont have the game here in washington to have wolfs.NO WOLFS PLEASE.

ricky pennington,  centralia WA

I realize that we have no choice on accepting wolves due to mandates. Implementation of the plan should agressively maintain wolves at the minimum level required by law. Then when the impact of this foolish decision is realized it will be easier to downsize.

Dan Howell,  Kelso WA

I ask that you allow hunting wolves to be part of any final draft plan. To not do so will severly effect WDFW revenue as hunters will not purchese tags or hunt in areas that are depleted of game with no way to address the problem. I am willing to accept wolf reintroduction but I ask that it be done with the intelligence that hunting wolves will be needed to balance the ecosystem.

Jayson Hills,  East Wenatchee WA

A useful synopsis.

Sean V Owen,  Seattle WA

I would encourage WDFW to consider Alternative 1A, the responsible approach, as presented by the Washington Cattlemen's Association.

Anonymous

I've reviewed the Draft Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington. It is a very well researched and written document. I especially appreciate the careful way in which the plan made clear distinctions between factual information and uncertainty or speculation. I paid particular attention to the relationship between wolves and the transportation system. There was little on mortality rates associated with collisions with vehicles. Mention of 3% of Rocky Mountain wolves dying from human-related accidents was the only thing close. I believe it's likely that most or all of these were collisions with vehicles, perhaps trains. If there is additional information or clarification on this, it would be good to see it in the final document. Once again, excellent work on this plan. I'll look forward to seeing the final.

Kelly McAllister,  Olympia WA

From: The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of Lewis & Clark Law School 10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd. Portland, Oregon 97219 Phone: (503)768-6795 http://go.lclark.edu/saldf To: WDFW SEPA Desk 600 Capitol Way N. Olympia, WA ?98501 Regarding: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Grey Wolf Management Plan. I. Introduction The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) respectfully submits this comment to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) supporting Alternative 2 as the basis for the final Grey Wolf management plan in Washington State. Alternative 2 is a sufficient option for ensuring the reintroduction and continued existence of wolves in Washington. SALDF commends the agencies involved in the creation of the draft plan. It is balanced and reasonable and significantly furthers the lofty goal of protecting the Grey Wolf. However, while Alternative 2 is adequate incorporating elements from Alternative 3 and reconsidering the appropriateness of direct hostile action towards wolves could improve the proposal. These additions and recalculations would create a plan that would be more effective in meeting Washington's management goals. This hybrid plan would restore a viable wolf population to Washington, and is calculated to do no harm to the interests of other stakeholders that are addressed in the current Preferred Alternative. The addition of SALDF's suggested provisions aiding wolves will not alter the balance of interests struck by the current plan but represent value added at little cost to the proposed status quo. First, this comment will address the structure proposed for state delisting of the Grey Wolf. Second, this comment will address the use of non-lethal harassment and lethal control measures in managing the wolf population in Washington. Third, this comment will address compensation for livestock producers resulting from wolf depredation. Finally, this comment will address the reduction of conflict between wolves and ungulate populations (and those who have an interest in ungulate population levels). II. The Path to Delisting Wolves in Washington All 3 of the viable proposed plans have the same basic graduated structure leading to the delisting of wolves when their population level reaches 15 successful breeding pairs. However, the plans differ in the distribution of wolves within the state that must be achieved to move wolves from one level of protection down to a lower level. The requirements presented in Alternative 3 are more likely to achieve the goal of restoring wolves in Washington and to create a population that is sustainable over time. Alternative 3 is superior to Alternative 2 because it requires the Pacific Coast region to be considered separately from the Southern Cascades. This difference significantly advances the goal of sustainable populations by increasing the distribution of wolves in the state. This distribution ensures that populations will not lose genetic diversity and will be able to recover even if substantial challenges to wolf survival in one area arise. The preference for Alternative 2 regarding this issue is arbitrary in light of stated goals of the plan. There are clear benefits from increased wolf distribution. Additionally, there are no significant conflicts present if wolves repopulate the Olympic Peninsula because there are negligible ranching interests in that area of the state. The Preferred Alternative states that the Pacific Coastal Region is good wolf habitat. It also claims that the Peninsula may be one of the hardest areas for wolves to reach naturally. Despite these facts Alternative 2 would allow wolves to be delisted even if no wolves were present in the Pacific Coast Region. This could happen if all of the breeding pairs for the combined area (South Cascades and the Pacific Coast) needed to delist wolves were only present in the eastern portion of that territory. This is an unreasonable outcome because there is a possibility that wolf densities will be focused in the eastern portion of the state where ranching interests are strongest and human-wolf conflict will be high and wolves will not be present on the coast where conflict potential is low. Under Alternative 2 it is possible and in fact likely that wolves will be delisted despite the fact that a large area of habitat free from human-wolf conflicts exists and is not being utilized. The only rationale given in Alternative 2 for ignoring this issue is that delisted status could be reached more quickly under that plan then under Alternative 3. Delisting is not synonymous with recovery and restoration if this major area of the state is in effect ignored. Alternative 2 allows this to happen by lumping together the Coast and the South Cascades, two areas that do no share similar conditions. The Student Animal Leal Defense Fund urges WDFW to include the additional Pacific Coast Region proposed under Alternative Three when finalizing the Grey Wolf Management Plan. Alternative Three mandates that the goals of sustainable wolf populations wholly distributed through out the state exist before the protection for wolves are removed. This will better ensure the sustained survival of wolves in the State of Washington. III. Non-Lethal Harassment and Lethal Take of Wolves A. Non-Lethal Injurious Harassment The Endangered Species Act prohibits the “take” of endangered species. The term "Take" includes acts that "harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect [as well as] attempt[s] to engage in any such conduct" (ESA § 3(19); 16 USCA 1532). 50 C.F.R. § 17.3 defines "harass" as acts or omissions, whether intentional or negligent, that annoy wildlife so as "to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering." 50 C.F.R. § 17.3. The harassment proposed by WDFW under this plan will violate the ESA by allowing individuals to shoot at and wound wolves. Additionally, the actions allowed in the Preferred Alternative would violate the definition of “harass” under 50 C.F.R. § 17.3 by disrupting the normal behavioral patterns of the wolves. WDFW should not violate the ESA, Congressional intent, and agency rulemaking or permit others to do likewise under this plan. WDFW has many options other than harassment to prevent livestock conflicts. The proactive non-lethal non-harassment measures proposed by the plan do not violate the Endangered Species Act and 50 C.F.R. § 17.3 and should therefore be the focus of the plan to recover the wolf populations. In summary, Alternatives 1, 2, and 3 allow for the harassment of wolves, at some stage of protection, which is prohibited under the ESA and 50 C.F.R. § 17.3. Thus, WDFW should change the final plan to eliminate the possibility of engaging in or permitting others to harass endangered wolves. B. Lethal Control: for Livestock Depredations and Attacks on Livestock/Dogs The Preferred Alternative accurately states that “[i]t is unusual to include lethal management strategies in a plan for recovery of a listed species.” (Wolf Recovery Plan). It is counterproductive to the goals of the recovery plan to shoot any individual animal of the species in recovery. During the time when the ESA clearly prohibits this action, federal law should be followed. Additionally, when Wolves are federally delisted in Washington lethal methods should not be used. With so few wolves in Washington, lethal methods of controlling livestock depredation and attacks are not necessary or reasonable and should not be an option. Livestock conflicts are better remedied through compensation for livestock producers. WDFW should not engage in or permit the killing of wolves, it is unusual in endangered species recovery plans to kill the species that is the focus of the plan and it is unnecessary in context of restoring wolves to Washington. C. Conclusion In Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill, the United States Supreme Court stated that “[t]he plain intent of Congress in enacting this statute [ESA] was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost.” Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill 437 U.S. 153, 184. The “cost” of wolf recovery in Washington should be limited to education, outreach, compensation, and proactive non-lethal and non-harassing methods to reduce depredation and attacks. The “costs” of wolf recovery should not include the killing and harassment of the wolf itself, especially when multiple other options exist. The plan accurately states that “conserving wolves in Washington and meeting the delisting criteria will necessitate social tolerance for wolves on both public and private lands.” (Wolf Recovery Plan). WDFW should therefore promote tolerance for wolves, not the killing and the harassment of wolves. The recovery plan does not need to take the “unusual” method of permitting violations of the ESA or 50 C.F.R. § 17.3 while working to recover the endangered wolf. The plan includes several methodologies that are not “unusual” lethal control or harassment. These options should be sufficient to mitigate human-wolf conflict. While working to recover wolf populations, WDFW should not adopt a plan that involves the killing or harassment of the wolf. Instead, the WDFW recovery plan should focus on the non-lethal and non-harassment methods discussed in the plan that do not violate the ESA, 50 C.F.R. § 17.3, or involve unusual practices in the recovery of an endangered species. IV. Compensation for Livestock Depredations Reducing conflict between livestock producers and wolves is an essential part of any viable final plan protecting wolves in Washington after Federal protection falls away. The Preferred Alternative is sufficient to recompense any loss suffered by most producers in the state. However, higher amounts of money will be more likely to prompt those in conflict with wolves to take the time and effort to use the administrative process rather than resorting to violent actions against wolves. The parcel size requirements within the plan seem to be a reasonable ways to assist those producers who may have undiscovered losses. However, the Preferred Alternative allows for the amount paid for probable depredation to drop below the full fair market value of the livestock killed by wolves on small plots. This is an unnecessary risk. An essential goal of developing a management plan is to defuse conflict between wolves and ranchers. This can be done with out excessive monetary burden on the state. The Preferred Alternative states that there will be less human-wolf conflict in Washington than in other states that have reintroduced wolves. There will be less conflict because there are a lower number of livestock animals overall in the state and there is a significant difference in the types of species cultivated in Washington compared to other states. In addition, the actual total number of wolves in Washington and thus the number of animals killed by wolves will most likely be small. Thus, providing additional monetary incentive to reduce conflict will not be a financial burden on the state. Washington will only have to pay for a small number of livestock killed. Compared to this small cost there are great additional benefits to providing full market value in all situations where there is sufficient evidence of predatory activity by wolves. This policy will improve wolves' public relations and will reduce violence towards them. The actual amount of money paid out to ranchers will most likely be small but the perception of the Final Management Plan by livestock producers will be greatly improved. The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund suggests that the final wolf management plan raise the minimal amount paid out to livestock producers to fair market value in both confirmed and probable depredations. The more fair and equitable the plan appears to be the lower the risk that the illegal killing of wolves will occur. The increased monetary burden on the State will be small and will not significantly outweigh benefits to wolves V. Ungulate Conflict Management A. It is important to take proactive measures to reduce depredation, Wolf Specialists provide the ability to take proactive measures. Increasing Washington’s wolf population numbers is an important goal in preserving the local ecosystems, and preserving a wolf population over time. By reducing the amount of human-wolf conflict, wolves will have a greater likelihood of successful recovery. The Preferred Alternative’s implementation of a Wolf Specialist is critical to wolves' success in Washington. Wolf Specialists will be highly educated on the subject and able to educate the residents of areas where people and livestock are in conflict with wolves about non-lethal methods of reducing the likelihood of wolf encounters. Additionally, these specialists will have the experience and expertise necessary to properly and effectively implement proactive measures to reduce depredation. Specialists can provide technical assistance to the livestock producers, thus they can more effectively assist livestock owners compared to existing WDFW staff. Livestock owners' implementing non-lethal control techniques is essential to the success of the wolf management program. Aiding livestock owners with specialists is necessary to ensure that the plan has an opportunity succeed. The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund believes that it is critical that Washington include Wolf Specialists in their final plan to implement proactive measures to reduce depredation. We urge the WDFW to include these new staff members in the final wolf management plan. B. The wolf recovery should be a high priority when dealing with ungulates. Healthy ungulate populations are critical for a healthy ecosystem, continued sport hunting, and a healthy wolf population. It is not possible to definitively determine whether or not the introduction of a wolf population will directly reduce the ungulate population in Washington. Additionally if there is a reduction in ungulate population after wolves are introduced the causation of this drop it will not be clear. Because decreases in the ungulate population cannot be definitively linked to the introduction of a wolf population (which is required before action can be taken under Alternative 2), measures should be added to the final plan to preserve the ungulate population even before there is a problem. The measures set forth in Alternative 2 are sufficient to preserve ungulate populations in Washington. Habitat improvement, harvest management, and reduction of illegal hunting are all likely to decrease any significant negative impacts a wolf pack may have on the ungulate population. These methods would be successful in preserving ungulate herds even without the threat of wolves. In the context of this plan there is the added benefit of increasing the amount of prey for wolves. Unfortunately, Alternative 2 would only adjust recreational harvest levels to benefit wolves in localized areas when the wolves were not meeting recovery objectives. Protecting ungulate populations ensures that growing wolf populations will have adequate prey to support their needs. This fosters increased distribution and numbers. In order for the wolf program to be successful, wholesale management of the recreational take of ungulates should be implemented to create a sustainable environment for the new wolf population. Although the methods in Alternative 2 are necessary, the measures in Alternative 3 are more likely to see successful results in a shorter time period. Rather than requiring research to show that the recreational harvest is having an adverse effect on the wolf population, keeping them from meeting recovery objectives, Alternative 3 allows for the adjustment of recreational harvest levels to benefit wolves in each recovery region until recovery objectives there are met. This ensures that the recovery will be expedited. Further, conclusive findings of inadequate recovery due to over harvest will be unlikely. Showing that the cause of the failure to recover is directly related to recreational harvest levels will likely be a difficult task. Trying to show this conclusively will delay the recovery of wolf populations. The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund believes that the ideal situation would be to allow reductions in recreational harvests from the outset of the program, and then adjusting harvest levels based on the wolf population performance. This course of action will build a strong population from the outset, rather than waiting to take action until the wolf population is struggling. C. Special attention may be paid to wolf interactions with protected species, but there is no need for lethal control. Alternative 2 allows for non-lethal measures while wolves are listed to reduce interaction with protected species, and allows for both non-lethal and lethal response options after wolves are delisted. Non-lethal measures are a superior choice for reaching the goal of delisting Washington's wolf population while also ensuring the survival of other important species. For example, the Preferred Alternative appropriately expands efforts to maintain and restore landscape connectivity and allows translocation of problem wolves. These options allow wolves to interact with the ecosystem but also include the potential safety valve of removal if the wolves are jeopardizing the survival of another species. This option is critical to the maintenance of a diverse ecosystem and does not allow one species to dominate another. Alternative 2’s plan for wolf interactions with protected species should be included in the final plan, however, it should be noted that even after wolves are de-listed, lethal measures should be only a last resort. D. Wolf-Ungulate conflict management must be managed in a way that protects both the ungulate populations, as well as preserving the established wolf populations. The state of Washington has both a hunting population, as well as a population of wildlife watchers. Each of these groups has a significant interest in the wolf populations. The hunters may fear that the wolf population will reduce their ability to have a successful recreational hunt, and wildlife watchers may welcome the possibility of wolf sightings, but fear the possibility that wolves will lead to reduced ungulate sightings. If the wolf population rises to a level at which it can be delisted Alternative 2 allows for both lethal and non-lethal techniques to reduce wolf abundance. This control can be applied in localized areas with at-risk ungulate population, if it can be shown that the wolf presence in the area caused the reduction in that specific ungulate population. This plan is appropriate because before any disturbance to the wolf population is allowed there must be a showing that the ungulate reduction is caused by the wolf presence. There should not be a disruption of the ecosystem, unless a population is actually threatened, and wolves are the cause. With that said, lethal force should always be only a means of last resort. SALDF believes that preserving wolf populations is as important to the ecosystem as preserving ungulate populations. Thus, the use of lethal force should not be an open option, it should only be used when the preservation of the ungulate population requires it. Hunting is an important part of outdoor life in Washington. In order to maintain wolf populations in addition to hunting opportunities, recreational harvest management plans must be implemented. Alternative 2 provides for restrictions such as antlerless take reductions, shortened hunting seasons, etc. These management tools should be expanded and included in the final management plan to help ensure that the prey population of the state is maintained at a level that can satisfy wolves’ need for food, as well as the hunter's desire for a healthy population of ungulates. We urge the WDFW to include Alternative 2’s plans for wolf-ungulate management in hunting areas in the final wolf management plan. We propose that the plan include additional provisions allowing for lethal removal only after delisting and then only in circumstances where there is a significant danger to the continued existence of other species. E. Outreach and education is critical to a successful campaign to preserve Washington wolf populations. A healthy new wolf population in Washington will affect a variety of interest groups, some positively and others negatively. Because there are multiple interests involved, it is vital that all parties affected are aware of the management plan, and are able to obtain advice and guidance on how to properly implement the plan while preserving their interest. In order to effectuate this, Alternative 2’s wolf specialist plan is vital. The plan will hire specialists to develop and conduct outreach and education programs. These programs will target those interested parties and provide the needed guidance. The education of livestock owners, hunters, and other effected groups is key to a successful program. The more these groups learn about how to live with the wolves, the more likely the program will succeed. The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund believes that education is a necessary component of a successful wolf management program. The final plan should include Alternative 2’s specialists to educate and assist interested parties. VI. Conclusion In conclusion Alternative 2 is an adequate option for a final management plan for Grey Wolves in Washington. It should serve as a base below which efforts to protect wolves should not dip. However, Alternative 2 could be improved by incorporating elements from the third alternative plan proposed by the state as well as reconsidering the affect of direct hostile action towards wolves by agency actors and private livestock producers. These additions and recalculations would create a plan that would be more effective in meeting the goal of restoring a viable wolf population to Washington. These additions could improve the protection of wolves and their chances for survival in the state while doing no harm to the other interest and stakeholders affected by the presence of wolves. Sincerely, Stefan Heller, Pro Bono Coordinator Mark Jordan, Member Kimberlee Petrie, Member Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of Lewis & Clark Law School 10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd. Portland, Oregon 97219 Phone: (503)768-6795 http://go.lclark.edu/saldf

Stefan Heller,  Seattle WA

I was involved in the writing of this plan and I believe it is a good overall plan, assuming the Washington Legislature is willing to fund it fully. If the legislature is not willing to fund the plan fully, I would suggest that wolf recovery be stair stepped and regionalized in our state. The idea would become that the eastern 1/3 of Washington State already delisted federally by USFWS become a separate recovery region from the western 2/3 of washington state. Wolves would have to achieve the breeding pair numbers currently in the plan for the eastern washington region for each step from endangered to threatened to sensitive and then would be delisted. I believe we could substantiate their viability due to interconnectivity of these populations with Oregon and Idaho populations which ensure genetic diversity and the continuing renewal of packs through cross migration. I understand this would take action by our legislature to make our state endangered species law allow such an effort, but if the legislature is only willing to fund partial recovery then they should be willing to change the law so we can properly manage wolves in areas with high population numbers, while protecting wolves in areas with low population numbers. I would suggest that a similar plan be implemented for the north/central cascades and other regions as they recover wolf numbers if the legislature continues to be unwilling or unable to fund the wolf recovery plan fully. My hope is for a practical plan that ensure recovery while protecting agriculture and hunting interests at the same time. Art Swannack

Art Swannack,  Lamont WA

In my opinion, in these days and age, our wildlife populations are much too delicate to allow wolves into this state much less into the country. They do entirely too much damage and will literally destroy many herds or seriously weaken them. The state should do all we can to keep the wolves out by killing everyone we see that crosses the border.

John Comer,  Yakima WA

I strongly oppose any plans to introduce wolves anywhere in Washington. Yes, I know they are already here. They will spread on on their own and will do great damage to wildlife eventually, and this should not be aided by the department.

Gregory R Field,  Seattle WA

Only 15 breeding pairs of wolves across a state with the size and diversity of Washington does not jibe with the weight of the scientific evidence available about the number of animals needed to sustain a healthy wolf population, here or elsewhere. At minimum 20-30 breeding pairs would seem a more reasonably defensible goal. Moreover, not including the Olympic Peninsula amid these Alternatives, is to critically omit the largest, contiguous natural prey base that remains in the state. The Draft Plan ably gathers and assesses available scientific information about the associated requirements of wolves and humans. Yet, the Preferred Alternative, in balance, weighs all too heavily on the side of protecting human needs at all costs over those of the wolf and its related natural ecosystem processes. Such a strategy, therefore, is unlikely to accomplish the goal of enabling a sustainably healthy wolf population in Washington, nor the longer term benefit—to the citizens and nation—of having a major large predator that co-evolved with humans in these ecosystems persist on into the future.

Bruce Moorhead,  Port Angeles WA

Dear Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Thanks very much for the opportunity to comment re the Draft Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. My comments today target the proposed "Pacific Coast Recovery Region" which would be created if your Alternative 3 was implemented. I urge you to consider Alternative 3 as the Olympic Peninsula, and Olympic National Park represent a prime location for the reintroduction of the Gray Wolf. This region represents the best habitat for the reintroduction of this species. The ample numbers of elk and deer would benefit from having this historical predator reintroduced, and unlike the surrounding area of Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies, there are less livestock herds, obviously a potential for conflict. That relocation/reintroduction conducted in the 1990's in the Rockies is widely accepted as a success, I believe reintroduction in the Olympics would succeed as well. Lastly, the peninsula represents an area with the least chances for wolf-human conflicts. As an avid hiker, climber and adventurer who frequents the wilderness in this area, I would welcome the reintroduction of this important species, and accept the small amount of risk it represents to humans. The large number of wolves still on Vancouver Island in Canada are the closest biologically to the species that was extirpated in the Olympic Peninsula, and would be the best option if artificial reintroduction was implemented. This would most certainly be my proposal. As Congressman Norm Dicks remarked in the mid-1990's (I'm paraphrasing) "the reintroduction of the Gray Wolf in Olympic National Park is a chance for us to right past wrongs done by government agencies". The extirpation of this species in this region can be reversed by your implementing of the Alternative 3 in your draft management plan. I urge you to reconsider your preferred alternative. Thank you again for an opportunity to comment. Sincerely, Ronald Pearson Seattle, WA.

Ronald Pearson,  Seattle WA

In general, I support the reintroduction of wolves into the Cascade Mts. of Washington State. My concerns are centered with the reintroduction of wolves into the Olympic Mts. and/or coastal areas on the Olympic Peninsula. I see this as very problematic. I have lived on the Olympic Peninsula for over 30 years. Much of that period, I have lived west of Port Angeles, including 12 years on the Northwest Coast near Neah Bay. I am a naturalist by heart. I firmly believe any wolves who would exit Olympic National Park on the NW, W, or SW regions would be at risk of being shot illegally. The human population of these areas have two distinct issues to be dealt with. First, is the fact much of that area is designated tribal lands and/or U&A hunting territories for six native American tribes. While attempting to regulate and supervise native hunting rights, I feel WDFW has been very ineffective in stopping the taking of animals. WDFW just doesn't have the staff to patrol these remote areas effectively. I feel the wolves will be extremely vulnerable. The second issue is the non-native population of these same areas. My experiences having lived amongst this group, is that they too firmly believe they have the right to shoot any animal they want that crosses their land for any reason. Eightly percent of these shootings go unreported. I have witnessed multiple bear, elk, deer, cougars and one lynx being shot and not reported. Folks on the Olympic Peninsula are closer in mindset to Alaskans, and don't live or think the same as the throngs of environmentalists in the Seattle area would hope. I really believe the Olympics are too small of an area for the long distance ranges wolves prefer. Almost immediately, problems will arise in my opinion. Thank you for the opportunity to share my concerns.

Pat Ness,  Joyce WA

I think having only 15 mating pairs of gray wolves is too small. Impacts on hunters should be ignored and decisions should be based on scientific data that best supports healthy reintroduction of gray wolves. There should be at least 30 pairs of breeding wolves in WA state which will ensure successful reintroduction and healthier elk herds.

Joe Sheeran,  Ellensburg WA

I (as a hunter) support the Alt 2 plan. I beleive this to be the best plan to manage the wolf pop. and protect livestock.

Dave Harder,  Buckley WA

What good can come from any wolf plan that does not unclude hunting as a method of management of the wolves?

David Worgum,  Mt Vernon WA

Washington needs to learn a lesson from Idaho. Sportsmen and women support the fish and game departments. We are the ones who pay the bills, not the people who want the wolves. We have payed billions of dollars over the years to enhance habitat to sustain populations of game animals. We deserve those animals and the opportunities they provide, we have earned them. If washington chooses to "bring" more wolves into the state than what are coming in naturally, they will destroy the game populations and in-turn destroy big game hunting and will lose millions of dollars. I know I will take my hunting dollars elsewhere. I used to spend $1500+/year in Idaho hunting, no longer. They can have their wolves, I'll take my money to a non-wolf state, they (Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico etc. would love to have my non-resident dollars. Well the same goes for Washington...I can take my money elsewhere.

Ty Brown,  Naches WA

Your plan does not consider rural residents who live near the areas that wolves will inhabit. It also puts too many wolves in Washington. This has been unfairly put together and forced upon Washington.

dale denney,  colville WA

* Alternative 3 of the Draft Wolf Management Plan provides the best protection for wolves in Washington. * Wolves are native to Washington and should have strong federal and state protection to encourage their return and prevent them from disappearing from the state once again. * The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) should invest resources into helping Washington ranchers adopt non-lethal methods to avoid or reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts. * Wolves play a crucial role in enriching whole ecosystems and protecting the overall health of deer and elk populations by culling weak and sick animals and preventing overgrazing. * The WDFW should educate Washingtonians about wolf ecology to increase public awareness of these often misunderstood animals and help empower communities to coexist with wolves.

Tatyana Hanley,  Vancouver WA

I would like to make some general comments on the Wolf Plan. I applaud the effort that has been put into this plan. I strongly support the return of the gray wolf to WA. I believe that their recovery is valuable to our natural ecosystems as has been shown in many studies. This animal has been demonized for too long. We need to support its return and teach people about the value of the wolf and about living with wolves to dispell the myths that remain. I had the pleasure of an encounter with a wolf pack at the end of November during a backpack in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness of Montana. They came within 50 feet of my camp and I happened to step out as they were near. It was an exhilarating experience that has lifted my spirits ever since. I felt no danger. We shared a moment together, then they sauntered on. I look forward to similar experiences in WA as well. I understand the desire to quickly remove the listing statuses from the wolf in order to allow the state to manage it better. I personally don't know what the correct number of breeding pairs should be, but I believe we should listen to what our best scientific knowledge shows. When I read that the targets of 6, 12, and 15 are "minimal or barely adequate", I feel that this is a plan that is doomed to fail. I am an engineer, and whenever things are designed with these conditions, in the end, it is never adequate. With the challenges that the wolf will face in modern society, I don't think we can successfully plan using these terms. I also strongly disagree with a "caught in the act" killing policy while the wolf is still listed as threatened or endangered. I am reading stories of poaching in this state so often, that this just seems like a loophole that poachers will abuse. We must make all efforts to protect the wolves during early listing status because there is too much unjustified hatred of the wolf. We should make a full effort to implement non-lethal methods to deter the wolves, and ranchers or citizens must learn these methods. I understand there will be cases where these methods continue to fail with a specific problem wolf or two where removal is necessary. I fully support paying ranchers for livestock losses since this will help the few people that may actually be negatively affected by the wolf recovery. I think recovery is worth this expense. I also applaud the reference to Defenders of Wildlife in the plans. I know at the public hearing in Spokane, someone commented otherwise, believing that the WDFW is siding with Defenders. However, there is huge lack of funding by the government to support the recovery, but there are an incredible number of people willing to supply some of that money. Defenders of Wildlife and other such organizations are the means by which we can do this. Lastly, I believe we should have recovery on the coast. Without a requirement for this in the plan, this recovery may not occur. It may require translocation to achieve. Of course, long term, we must maintain and create connected habitats for the wolf and all species to support healthy populations. For all of these reasons, it appears that Alternative 3 should be the correct choice, as well as reviewing the number of breeding pairs to achieve a goal above the bare minimum for survival. We must create a scientifically sound plan.

Ken Vanden Heuvel,  Spokane WA

I do not support wolf recovery in Washington. Things have changed. We now manage wildlife populations to provide a stable population of wildlife. Historically, with wolves & grizzly bears that population dynamics were different... population ups and downs... this is not now acceptable and thus the a stable elk/deer population will result in an over abundant wolf population eventually and we know that human predation on wolves will not be allowed to keep that in check, at least not at the level to maintain a balance. Whether we like it or not, human hunting has taken the place of the major predator populations. Cougars are on the rise... people support grizzly bear and wolf recovery. Is not the ultimate goal to eliminate human depradation. Does anybody account for the positive impact on the environment of human hunting and the livestock that does not need to be slaughtered because of the hunters that can meet their meat needs through wildlife. Let the wolves be where they are and manage them... but do not import them to places like the Olympics and western washington... its just a can of worms.

Thomas Allen,  Olympia WA

Consider an economic statement for each county that you plan to have wolves in. Listin to the conserns that were stated at the public comment meetings.

AnonymousClarkston WA

I am a resident of a small rural community in Washington and actively hike, ski, fish, and observe wildlife on state and federally owned public lands in Washington. I am generally in support of Alternative 3 in the “Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington”, as it provides the greatest probability that the wolf population in Washington will fully recover. This support does come with some caveats. The plan as written reflects an attempt to forge a compromise between groups that support wolf recovery and those that do not. Actual recovery has nothing to do with political compromise, however, but is based on the ability of the wolves to disperse, reproduce and otherwise be biologically successful. The plan’s basic elements — and particularly the threshold numbers for downlisting and delisting, and the control methods that are to be employed — should be chosen based on the biological requirements of wolves, with a view to maximizing the potential recovery of Washington’s wolf population. First, to ensure lethal control is used correctly, lethal control of wolves — at all stages of recovery, including when delisted — should be carried out by state or federal wildlife agents. Allowing livestock owners and hunters to kill wolves may lead to abuse and indiscriminate killing of wolves. It will almost certainly result in increased suspicion and distrust between conservationists and others who support wolf recovery on the one hand, and those who feel threatened by wolf recovery (e.g. livestock owners and hunters) on the other. I support providing livestock owners with a fair compensation package if wolves actually predate on their livestock, but believe that limiting the use of lethal control to state and federal agencies will significantly benefit recovery efforts. Second, the number of breeding pairs proposed for downlisting and delisting is extremely low. According to the Public Review Draft, the targets of 6, 12, and 15 successful breeding pairs for downlisting and delisting that are used in Alternatives 1, 2 and 3 are considered “minimal or barely adequate” for achieving population viability and recovery. A number of scientists now agree that the original population goals for wolf recovery in the northern Rockies were too low and would put wolves there at a higher risk of inbreeding, disease, and future extinction. In addition, recovery in Washington depends on migration from Idaho and British Columbia. Washington state has no control over the wolf populations in those states, and the assumption that populations here will be self-sustaining after 15 breeding pairs have been observed for three consecutive years is just that — an assumption. Ideally Washington State’s wolf plan and recovery objectives should be based on the latest and most relevant science, but in the absence of requisite information, it should adopt a precautionary approach. I therefore support setting higher targets for breeding pairs until more research is conducted on the ecological and biological requirements of wolves in Washington State. I strongly support undertaking an information, education and awareness campaign that targets all segments of the population (including hunters, ranchers, hikers and environmental groups), and provides non-biased information about the basic biology and ecology of wolves, the low risk of wolf attacks, actions that can be taken to prevent wolves from becoming habituated to people and livestock, the overall importance of wolves in natural ecosystems, and living with wolves. The economic analysis presented in chapter 14 of the Public Review Draft indicates that a substantial proportion of Washington’s population (40%) engages in wildlife viewing, and that the direct economic benefits that derive from wildlife viewing in Washington exceed those from hunting. It is likely that viewing of wolves would be very popular in Washington (as it has been in other states), thereby increasing the direct economic benefits associated with wolf recovery. In summary, wolf recovery makes sense — ecologically, politically (a majority of Washington residents support wolf recovery in the state), and economically. I urge you to modify the proposed Wolf Conservation and Management Plan to increase the likelihood that recovery is successful.

Mark Smaalders,  Eastsound WA

We need to keep Wolf season open longer so we might have a chance to control the hugh increase in their pop.

Bill Swank,  Spangle WA

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on this plan. My comments are made with first-hand knowledge, as I lived in Island Park, Idaho, hear YNP when the recovery plan was put into place and continued to live there until moving to WA in 2002. The wolf is a majestic animal. Prior to the recovery efforts in YNP, I was always excited about the prospect that the wolves were moving back into the Park, on their own. I did not support the recovery plan in YNP, as I felt that the wolves would multiply too rapidly and upset the balance of the elk, coyote, fox and wolverine populations. Indeed, that has happened. And it has happened to the point that Idaho held a state-sponsored wolf hunt this year to "thin" the population. To watch this happen was very disturbing. The wolves killed sheep, lambs, guard and stock dogs and family pets. They circled a neighbor and his Black Lab while out on a winter's walk. While I abhored the fact that a hunting season was imposed, I do think it was necessary. One can never go back to "restore" what we lost, as times and circumstances change. If wolves repopulate themselves by walking across the border, it is great! But please do not parse words in an effort to make it seem that you are estabishing a population in the Olympics because they have already "established" themselves in WA. I am against a recovery plan for ONP, as I do not think it is in the wolf's or public's best interests. Karen Jones Port Ludlow WA

Karen Jones,  Port Ludlow WA

This is nothing but a waste of state money,which the state can ill afford.

Jerry Doyle,  Port Angeles WA

I strongly support taking the following steps in this plan: * Giving priority to Alternative 3 because it provides the highest likelihood that wolves will be fully recovered in Washington state. * Increasing the number of established breeding pairs before any delisting is proposed. It should also give a stronger evaluation of what measures can be taken to ensure that wolves will be able to move safely from northeast Washington to the Cascades. * Eliminating the reckless "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners in the early phases of recovery. Investing in non-lethal deterrent methods and providing livestock owners with a fair compensation package are more effective approaches at the early stages of wolf recovery. * Translocating wolves to the southern Cascades and Olympic mountains from areas of Washington with a healthy wolf population is a proactive way to speed recovery and delisting.

Roger Chapanis,  Sammamish WA

Please choose Alternative 3 for the final plan. It is highly important that a long-term viable wolf population be established in Olympic N.P. in order to restore the ecoystem to it original and proper functioning and will help to ensure that the wolf population can be delisted. I support wolf translocation to the Olympic Peninsula as crucial to the delisting effort. The goal of 15 breeding pairs needed to delist the wolf from federal and state protections is too low. Scientists suggest 30 to 60 breeding pairs as a more realistic minimum number. By taking reintroduction (from out-of-state wolf populations) off the table, the draft plan severely limits the chances for recovering wolves on the Olympic Peninsula and in Olympic National Park. Naturally dispersing wolves from the Cascades will not survive crossing the I-5 population corridor. Only non-lethal methods, including translocation, should be used in dealing with "problem wolves" that interfere with livestock operations. Olympic National Park offers the best habitat, the largest unmanaged elk population, and the least chances for wolf-human conflicts in the state. Returning the park's keystone predator -- the only species missing from Olympic -- would benefit the entire ecosystem, from endemic Olympic marmots to streamside forests. And the presence of wolves would bring lasting economic benefits to surrounding Olympic Peninsula communities.

Margaret Woodward,  Port Angeles WA

I stand with the Okanogan resident that wished to remain anonymous (as written in the "Wheat Life" dated Jan 2010 published by the Washington Association of Wheat Growers in Ritzville, WA). I live in Whitman County and am a wife of a resident farmer. The family has been here over 100 years. I believe that wolves have there place in the balance of nature but I also believe that we as residents have our rights as well. Elk come out of the Idaho hills during the winter to feed on our young wheat. I have seen wolves here for the past couple of years. Once last year, there was one below my bedroom window going after my dog. I had my bedroom window open and was screaming at this wolf at the top of my lungs to try to scare it off. It wasn't afraid of me what so ever! There was a pack of over 150 elk in a neighboring field, yet according to this plan I am not allowed to rend assistance to my dog. Part of my family! To say the least, I don't feel safe going on a walk around our farm ground here without a firearm now. Yes, wolves have a place in the mountains but not in our fields. This draft is encouraging reporting. Absolutely not. I wouldn't. What then, I can't farm because I may harm a wolf. (Remember the infamous tree frog or the "Save the owl"). Forget that. I can see it now, report a sighting then be watched forever from that day forward by some Official or environmentalist wishing to take away my rights as a protector of my land and family. I have a friend with very expensive hunting dogs - which are his livelihood. They aren't just part of his family, they are working dogs. He uses them for guide hunting. He would just have to sit back and watch the wolves take his stock. I'm doubtful that the government would want to cough up $5000+ per dog plus pay this individual unemployment benefits while he trains new dogs (which could take years). I stand with the many farmers and ranchers who will eventually (and already have) had problems with wolves attacking their livestock. Give the landowner right to protect their property and livelihood.

Anonymous

My wife, two year old son and I enjoy hiking in the woods of Washington state. I will be afraid for the safety of my family if you introduce these wolfs into our state. I will keep enjoying the outdoors, but will take the necessary precautions to protect my family. You will also be responsible for keeping these wolfs away from my pets and livestock, and off of my property.

Anonymous

Nice job so far

James Maves,  Pomeroy WA

I do not understand these instructions, but I want to vote for alternate #three (3)

Ginny Clerget,  Lacey WA

I am concerned that option 2 of the plan is a result of political expedients and does not consider the full biological and habitat needs of the wolf. To not consider relocation of wolves from other states or countries, (specifically Canada) you are eliminating a biologically sound approach to ensuring a broad gene pool of Washington's wolf population. Option three is the only option that would allow wolves to repopulate the Olympic Peninsula, one of the best habitats in the lower 48 states for wolves to live and not be so severely threatened by human activities. Alternative is the best of your three plans, but it could stand improvement. The WDFW should set as one priority the development of resources to help Washington ranchers develop and adopt non-lethal means to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts. Wolves play a crucial role in enriching whole ecosystems and protecting the overall health of deer and elk populations by culling the weak and sick animals and preventing overgrazing. The WDFW should invest in public education to increase awareness of these animals. In the past two centuries, ignorance guided wolf "management" policies which let to the virtual extinction of this species in several areas and to the full extinction of many subspecies. Under no circumstance should the state of Washington allow private citizens to hunt wolves from aircraft under the false pretext of "management", as we have seen being done in Alaska. Aerial killing should be banned altogether except for a rare wildlife emergency such as a rabies outbreak which should be executed by state biologists. The laws regarding this should be very specific and clear to bar any abuse of management policies and prevent the same kind of wildlife abuses we have seen in the state of Alaska. I hope I will live long enough to see and hear wild wolves in the Olympic National Park.

David Burroughs,  Port Townsend WA

We need to realize that planet earth is evolving and that the human population is expanding. We can't hide the fact that humans and wolves are competetors at the top of the food chain. We can't compair planet earth before western civilization and today because of the impact that humans have on ecosystems.

Laura Siegford,  Forks WA

I am very concerned about the plans to re-introduce or transfer wolves into several areas of Washington state. We have been working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to manage the herd of elk that has moved into the Snoqualmie-North Bend area in the last few years. The concentration of these elk in and near residential areas has generated problems with public safety and private property damage. We have been working with private and public agencies to develop improved elk habitat in the surrounding National Forest to accommodate these elk and move them away from residential areas. Re-introduction of wolves will make these newly developed habitats less viable for the elk herd, and could in fact cause increased elk migration from the surrounding National Forest into residential areas. This would counteract our efforts to disperse the problem elk herd and increase the possibility of problems with public safety and private property damage both by the increased concentration of elk and also the new presence of wolves. The currently existing concentration of elk and the potential increase in elk concentration will considerably increase both the public safety and private property damage issues caused by the presence of wolves in our area. I am not against the re-introduction of wolves in areas that will not increase already difficult wildlife management problems, however, I believe that the plans described in the Draft EIS are not supported by sufficient data and experience to assure the success of the program. I believe that wolves should be initially re-introduced in the Rainier and Olympic National Parks where public safety and private property damage issues can be more easily controlled. Once the experience of this initial re-introduction in the National Parks has been gained and its success has been demonstrated, the state can realistically consider further plans.

Philip Cassady,  Snoqualmie WA

Please do all you can to limit the spread of wolf populations in the State of Washington. The destructive force wolves have become in neighboring States should serve as an example of what Washington will soon face if populations are not kept in check.

PAUL KATOVICH,  Waterville WA

I am very glad to see that WA. is attempting to deal with the wolf population and the question of finding space for the predators.

Diane Sonntag,  Tenino WA

handled exactly the same as the coyote, year around season with no bag limit

Tom Mustard,  cheney WA

Responsible Approach to Wolf Management for Washington State We find the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) alternatives 1, 2 and 3 for wolf recovery and management to be unacceptable and alternative 4 “no plan” to also be unacceptable. As a result, we are recommending a fifth alternative for consideration by the WDFW and the Wildlife Commission, Alt. 1A, The Responsible Approach, recognizes the mandates of the WDFW and the Commission and embraces the purpose and need for developing a wolf conservation and management plan. The DEIS does not mention nor does it follow the mandates that the Washington State Legislature set forth for the WDFW in (RCW 77.04.012) "..the department shall preserve, protect, perpetuate, and manage the wildlife..."; and "The commission shall attempt to maximize the public recreation...hunting opportunities of all citizens, including juvenile disabled, and senior citizens..." The overall goals are to protect, sustain, manage hunted wildlife, provide stable regulated recreational hunting opportunities to all citizens, protect and enhance wildlife habitat, minimize adverse impacts to residents, other wildlife, and the environment. The WDFW Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (WCMP) requires that the number of Breeding Pairs (BPs) for downlisting and delisting be maintained for a three year period prior to moving forward with any downlisting or delisting actions. During each year the number of BPs will increase by 24% and will likely double at each three year listing level. (NRM wolf population of 1,876 wolves for 2008(assuming continued population growth of 24 percent as documented prior to 2008. Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 62 / Thursday, April 2, 2009 / Rules and Regulations page 15166). Alt. 1A, (The Responsible Approach) ensures a smaller number of BPs for down listing by not requiring that the downlisting process be suspended for a three year period at each level. Alt. 1A, (The Responsible Approach) states that the numbers of BPs must be maintained in order to stay in each specific status category. The number of BPs to down list to Threatened and Sensitive in the four alternatives that the WDFW has put forward in the WCMP are too high in relation to available habitat in Washington State. Especially with the winter confinement of ungulates in non-wilderness wintering areas and the proximity of human population bases and agriculture in ungulate wintering areas. According to the WDFW Washington’s Population is 6,490,000 people and has a population density of 97.5 people/sq mi (Wolf Working Group WWG Draft Plan). The WCMP Preferred Alternative #2 is too restrictive in regard to the control of problem wolves which will lead to social intolerance. Alt. 1A, (The Responsible Approach) & the (Minority opinion as referenced in the WCMP) both call for three BP at the Threatened level, six BP at the Sensitive level and much wider use and availability of management tools throughout recovery. The WCMP must allow U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and WDFW a wide range of flexibility to manage problem wolves thus, fostering the greater public social tolerance of wolves necessary for a successful recovery of the species. “Wolf populations have a high reproductive capacity and a great deal of demographic resilience and persistence” (Fuller et al 2003). “Wolf populations are highly resistant to human taking. It has been well demonstrated that wolf populations can sustain annual harvest rates of up to 50% of their populations per year” (Fuller et al.2003). This is supported by David Mech, PhD, one of the world’s foremost wolf authorities, in his declaration to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (Missoula, Montana) on 09/25/09. We are not dealing with an animal that is on the edge of extinction or endangered world wide but an animal that was extirpated in Washington State at the turn of the century by poisoning and trapping for state sponsored bounties. The wolf will recolonize in our state at a high rate given the present availability of ungulates even with the small amount of wolf habitat available. See David Mech population estimates in the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) in his declaration to U.S. District Court for the District of Montana on 09/25/09. Alt. 1A (The Responsible Approach) recommends the use of the Ruckelshaus Center for delisting of the wolf in Washington State (See delist page 4 of this document). This process would build social acceptance for the wolf in Washington State and also build a legally defensible product, based on sound science, biology, social acceptance and economic viability. This approach is designed to maximize acceptance from a wide range of stakeholder groups while still providing the WDFW with a workable document for wolf recovery. Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach recommends that hunters be used as a tool to manage wolves after delisting. Total annual mortality of 30% is the threshold identified for stable wolf populations across North America. Please read the declaration to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (Missoula, Montana) on 08/24/09 by Mark Hebblewhite PhD. “I have come to the firm scientific conclusion that while harvest will certainly kill individual wolves, it will not irreparably harm the wolf population” (Hebblewhite 08/24/09). As to genetic diversity, there will naturally be continued genetic redistribution. Redistribution and proof of genetic diversity should not be required in the plan to delist the wolf. This is an issue for future generations to consider. The North American model of Wildlife Conservation using hunter’s dollars has recovered Wildlife populations very successfully, and is being used successfully world-wide. The WCMP and its preferred Alt 2 ignores this success and its dollar contribution by managing for wolf ungulate prey harvest first. Pittman-Robertson Funds, license sales and miscellaneous sportsman contributions account for approximately $70 million annually into the WDFW budgets. This does not take into account the countless millions of dollars that are spent locally in counties throughout Washington State for hunting related activities. Sportsman, hunters and livestock producers support Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach because it will require the determination of optimum levels of wildlife (management plans) including the wolf in each Game Management Area, while recognizing the social, economic and biological needs of wolf recovery and sustainability of all species. The foundation and goal of the proposed Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach is to ensure the re-establishment of a self sustaining population of wolves in Washington State and to encourage social tolerance for the species by reducing and addressing conflicts. We believe that conflicts with wolves will be the largest threat to the responsible recovery and conservation of wolves in Washington. Our alternative will allow the WDFW to ensure that wolf delisting occurs prior to the collision of public, economic and social pressures while relying on sound science. This proposal has been developed by the Coalition for Responsible Wolf Recovery and represents several years of involvement in the wolf planning process. Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach is much like the original backline version developed by the WWG and the Minority Opinion that was created by in conjunction with the draft plan. Further comments on the WDFW’s Preferred Alternative 2 and our proposed Alt 1A Responsible Approach as the final solution that the WDFW Commission adopts: Number of recovery regions: Alternative 1A Responsible Approach utilizes three main recovery regions (Eastern WA, Northern Cascades, Southern Cascades) and once an EIS is completed on translocation the inclusion of the Pacific Coast region. Alt. 1A would allow for wolf recovery to occur at any location in the state. The DEIS Alt. 2 has 3 recovery regions Eastern WA, Northern Cascades, Southern Cascades/ Northwest Coast. Downlist to Threatened: Alt 1A Responsible Approach 1 BP in Eastern WA, 1 BP in Northern Cascades, 1 BP in Southern Cascades / Pacific Coast (3 successful BP, this number must be maintained to stay in the Threatened level). The DEIS Alt. 2 calls for (2 BP in Eastern WA, 2 BP in Northern Cascades, 2 BP in Southern Cascades / Northwest Coast (6 BPs + 3yrs to Downlist to Threatened). Downlist to Sensitive: Alt 1A Responsible Approach 2 BP in Eastern WA, 2 BP in Northern Cascades, 2 BP in Southern Cascades / Pacific Coast (6 successful BP this number must be maintained to stay in the Sensitive level). The DEIS Alt. 2 calls for (2 BP in Eastern WA, 2 BP in Northern Cascades, 5 BP in Southern Cascades / Northwest Coast, 3 anywhere in the state (12 BPs + 3yrs Downlist to Sensitive level). Delist: Wildlife management rarely occurs without the injection of politics and private agendas. The number of wolves needed for delisting is and will be a highly debated socially driven issue. The wolf and the plan to recover them is already a polarizing issue in many communities, with volumes of science on both sides of the issue. The majority of current science has been developed outside the Pacific Northwest and more importantly outside of Washington State. Several variables must be included into any calculations that pertain to Wolf recovery in Washington State such as, the available prey base, road densities, human populations, landscape attributes. We currently lack the mechanism to resolve conflicts between various interest groups, scientists, stakeholders and agency managers. The Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach recommends that, when social intolerance of wolves intersects with WDFW’s ability to fund the plan and its ability to deliver WDFW and Wildlife Commission Mandates to wildlife and user groups, the Ruckelshaus Center lead a scientifically-based discussion to determine the number of wolves needed for recovery and sustainability in Washington State. When this occurs, a balanced group of stakeholders will go immediately to the Ruckelshaus Center to define the acceptable population number of wolves needed to delist the species. “Collaboration is necessary to define what is acceptable, science is necessary to define what is possible, organizing people to use knowledge to design and implement management in the face of uncertainty is fundamental” (Gates et al.(2005). This approach will work if the goal truly is to get the wolf off of the endangered species list and under state control as a sustainable population while maintaining public support. The DEIS Alt. 2 calls for (2 BP in Eastern WA, 2 BP in Northern Cascades, 5 BP in Southern Cascades / Northwest Coast, 6 anywhere in the state (15 BPs + 3 yrs to Delist). The DIES Alt. 2 is a single species management tool that uses a preconceived number of BPs as a management objective. The overriding issue is how the Wolf Plan affects all social/financial elements and ecosystem processes in the whole and how the WDFW wishes to manage for the Wolf. Translocation: Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach should be available as a tool pending a completed DEIS for any regions that may use this tool. The DEIS Alt. 2 also calls for this as a tool. Manage for landscape connectivity: Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach recommends to continue existing efforts. The DEIS Alt. 2, recommends to expand existing efforts to maintain and restore habitat connectivity for wolves. This expansion may be the single most expensive and publicly sensitive component of Alt. 2. Use of non-lethal injurious harassment: Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach same as DEIS Alt 2. The DEIS Alt. 2 allows non-lethal injurious harassment with a permit and training from WDFW during all listed statuses; will be reconsidered during Endangered status if used inappropriately or mortality occurs under this provision. Lethal control by state/federal agents of wolves involved in repeated livestock depredations: Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach is the same as DEIS Alt 2. The DEIS Alt. 2 allows lethal control by state/federal agents during all listed statuses and after delisting, consistent with federal law. Lethal control by livestock owners (including family members and authorized employees) of wolves involved in repeated livestock depredations: Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach allows lethal control by livestock owners with an issued permit on private lands and public grazing allotments they own or lease when wolves reach the Sensitive status. (This = 6BPs with the Responsible Approach). The DEIS Alt. 2 also allows this with an issued permit on private lands and public grazing allotments they own or lease when wolves reach the Sensitive status. (DEIS Alt. 2 = 12BPs + 3yrs) Lethal take of wolves in the act of attacking (biting, wounding, or killing) livestock. Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach allows lethal control by livestock owners (including family members and authorized employees) on private land they own or lease during the Sensitive status. (This = 6BPs with the Responsible Approach). Would be reconsidered if used inappropriately. The DEIS Alt. 2 allowed by livestock owners (including family members and authorized employees) on private land they own or lease when wolves reach Threatened status. Would be reconsidered if used inappropriately or more than 2 mortalities occur under this provision in a year. (DEIS Alt. 2 8 BPs + 3 yrs) Lethal take of wolves in the act of attacking (biting, wounding, or killing) domestic dogs: Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach Allowed by private citizens on private lands when wolves reach Threatened status, and on private and public land when wolves are delisted. (This = 6BPs with the Responsible Approach). Would be reconsidered if used inappropriately. The DEIS Alt. 2 allowed by private citizens on private lands when wolves reach Sensitive status, and on private and public land when wolves are delisted. Would be reconsidered if used inappropriately or more than 2 mortalities occur under this provision in a year. (DEIS 12 BPs +3yrs). Compensation for livestock (cattle, calves, pigs, horses, mules, sheep, lambs, llamas, goats, guarding animals, and herding dogs): (payment for confirmed cases), Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach is the same as the DEIS Alt. 2, allows twice the full value for each confirmed depredation on grazing sites of 100 or more acres. Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach, is the same as the DEIS Alt. 2, allows full value for each confirmed depredation on sites of less than 100 acres losses covered on both private and public lands. (payment for probable cases sites over 100 ac) , Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach, is the same as the DEIS Alt. 2, allows full value for each probable depredation on grazing sites of 100 or more acres covered on both private and public lands. (payment for probable cases sites less than 100 ac) Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach, is the same as the DEIS Alt. 2, allows half the value for each probable depredation on grazing sites less than 100 acres covered on both private and public lands. Proactive measures to reduce depredation: Under Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach, just as in the DEIS Alt. 2, the WDFW would hire wolf specialists, whose duties would include working with livestock operators to provide technical assistance to implement proactive measures to reduce conflicts assistance with some costs may be paid by Defenders of Wildlife on a limited basis. The Coalition strongly believes that the WDFW must make funding of the WCMP and Compensation component a requirement in all future budgeting decisions. Ungulate management: Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach, allows the WDFW to manage ungulates by utilizing Wildlife Management Plans including the wolf in each Game Management Area, while also recognizing the social, economic and biological needs of wolf recovery and sustainability of all species. This will be done by using existing WDFW game management plans and by adhering to WDFW and Commission mandates (this alternative builds trust with impacted parties to ensure social acceptance of the wolf plan). The DEIS Alt. 2 manages for healthy ungulate populations through habitat improvement, harvest management, and reduction of illegal hunting using existing WDFW game management plans. The WDFW and sportsman have been doing habitat improvement for decades and in today’s uncertain economy there will be fewer dollars available for these activities. Managing for healthy ungulate populations through harvest management is a great concern as this is viewed as managing ungulate for wolf prey first. Today sportsman through numerous programs have practically eliminated illegal hunting and with limited resources it would e virtually impossible to increase enforcement. The DEIS Alt. 2 manages harvest to benefit wolves only in localized areas if research has determined wolves are not meeting recovery objectives and prey availability is a limiting factor. This is managing ungulates for the wolf first, an unacceptable shift. Each aspect of the DEIS Alt. 2 ungulate management builds distrust in the WCMP amongst affected stakeholders. Wolf-ungulate conflict management: Under 1A The Responsible Approach once wolves reach Sensitive status (6 BPs), and research determines that wolf predation is a limiting factor for ungulate populations that are below herd objectives or at risk, WDFW would implement translocation, lethal control and other techniques. This approach maximizes the WDFW’s available tools to ensure that social conflict is minimized, while working toward the goal of delisting and sustainability of wolves. The DEIS Alt. 2 allows after wolves are delisted (15 BPs+3yrs), if research determines that wolf predation is a limiting factor for at-risk (ESA Threatened Caribou or Mountain Sheep, etc.) ungulate populations, could consider moving of wolves, lethal control, or other control techniques in localized areas. Managing for wolves as a priority over at-risk ungulate populations is unacceptable. Outreach and education: Alt. 1A The Responsible Approach allows the WDFW to hire wolf specialists and to use staff to conduct outreach and education programs. The Recording of accurate counts of BPs and individual numbers of wolves per recovery zones and Game Management Areas will be a high priority activity for the WDFW. Regular updates will be provided to the Commission. The DEIS Alt. 2 uses WDFW wolf specialists to conduct outreach and education programs. These are important issues but, not as important as a socially acceptable plan, that has transparent wolf numbers with wide support. We are quite concerned that the scientific “blind peer review” process being conducted by University of Washington will yield a response that will be viewed by impacted stakeholders as lacking on-the-ground experience with recovering wolves. We would like to have seen the WDFW utilize University of Montana and their extensive experience with wolf recovery for this critical phase of the WDFW WCMP. A socially acceptable plan with wide support will be much easier to fund. The Coalition for Responsible Wolf Recovery is being led by the Washington Cattlemen’s Association and includes legislators, county governments, livestock, outdoor, hunting, and sportsman’s groups. Washington Cattlemen’s Association PO Box 96 Ellensburg, WA 98926

Washington Cattlemen's Association ,  Ellensburg WA

I am writing to support Alternative 3, because it presents a better opportunity for wolf recovery throughout the state.

Ron Good,  Port Townsend WA

wolves should be treated the same as coyotes, season open year round, no bag limit. As a sportsman I want to be able to harvest deer and elk, not have the state raise the game animal for wolf food and let the sportsman do without.

Robert Colvin,  Wilbur WA

I belive the numbers for downlisting are too high. I think with the states fragmented habitat the numbers should only be 6 breeding pairs for delisting.

Kenneth G Matney,  Ellensburg WA

I support the presence of wolves at population levels high enough to have an ecological effect. It looks as though alternative 3 is most likely to do that. However, I understand that political expediency leads to alternative 2.

Matt Dahlgreen,  Wenatchee WA

I strongly support efforts to fully restore wolves to Washington State. It is heartbreaking that the Emerald State has been deprived of wolves since the extensive wolf extermination campaigns of the late 1800s eliminated these magnificent animals from Washington, and I was very happy to learn that two packs have made their way back to eastern Washington. These packs -- and the wolves that may someday follow -- represent a golden opportunity for Washington to fully restore wolves to their rightful place in the beautiful wild spaces of Washington, including the coastal range. Historically, wolves have not only played an important role in balancing ecosystems in Washington, they also figure prominently in Washington's rich cultural heritage, particularly in the creation stories of the Quileute Native American tribe of coastal Washington. The recovery objective numbers of breeding pairs needed for down-listing and eventual delisting of wolves is too low to ensure a viable wolf population in WA. The lethal kill provisions for livestock owners and private citizens whose livestock or domestic dogs are attacked by wolves while wolves are in threatened or sensitive status are too liberal during the critical early phases of wolf recovery and could slow recovery. Wolves have just returned to Washington. This is not the time to contemplate killing them off again. As the state considers the fate of wolves in Washington, I strongly urge you to recognize the important value -- not to mention potential tourism dollars from wolf enthusiasts like myself -- that wolf restoration efforts will bring to the state of Washington if these magnificent animals are allowed to return to their former home. Thank you for considering my comments.

Eileen Hennessy,  Melrose MA

The recovery objective numbers of breeding pairs needed for down-listing and eventual delisting of wolves is too low to ensure a viable wolf population in WA. The lethal kill provisions for livestock owners and private citizens whose livestock or domestic dogs are attacked by wolves while wolves are in threatened or sensitive status are too liberal during the critical early phases of wolf recovery and could slow recovery. Translocation of wolves from areas within WA with healthy wolf populations to other areas to establish new populations is an important tool and will speed up the recovery and delisting process.

Lisa Paribello,  Olympia WA

Our game population cannot take the hit that the wolves will kill. Wolves kill just to kill and not just to maintain themselves. I understand (but do not agree with) that we have to have a minimum population of mated pairs of wolves. We should be able to remove all the wolves above that number, with special permits as the population grows over the minimum. The reduction of hunters buying licenses due to the poor hunting and the cost of reimbursing the ranchers for the loss of sheep, cattle, goats, chickens, etc. the state will take a big loss in revenue. It will not be a "Yellowstone" situation here to draw tourist to see wolves. What park would that be??? I work in a sporting goods store and have not heard one customer that was in favor of wolves coming into Washington. Since the hunters are the ones that PAY for most of the Wildlife bill, you would think that we would have a bigger say in what happens or how the money is spent. Seattle will not have to put up with the loss of income from lost livestock or have their pets eaten and killed due to the increase in predators in the state, the rural communities will. They are not afraid to go on outings without a gun to protect themselves from predators, as we do now. We sell lots of guns to people that live or recreate in the rural communities that have had close calls with dangerous wild animals. Why add more??? Hal Snively

Hal Snively,  Pasco WA

Thank you for providing the public the opportunity to comment on this most important topic. For centuries, humans have demonized and exterminated the wolf, while at the same time accepting the right of other species - some of which are actually dangerous to man - to inhabit this planet, as they were meant to do. As you finalize your plan, I'm sure you are keeping in mind this psychological pathology whereby men are so frightened about wolves that they are willing to gas pups in their dens and have aerial shoots sanctioned by government officials. I'm sure you are aware of the gleeful remarks by the governor of Idaho regarding his personal desire to kill wolves. If humans were educated to the fact that wolves practice natural birth control, that they are loving parents, and that the pack protects the little ones, perhaps they could see the similarity of pack life to the lives of humans lucky enough to be in a loving, nurturing human family. As you state in your draft plan, wolves who have not been taken over by very stupid people (the ones who raise and sell wolf/dog hybrids, for example) want nothing to do with humans. Humans have been their killers and torturers, certainly not their friends. Our governments (federal and state) need to do everything possible to reeducate humans about where wolves fit into the natural order and how they benefit our planet. The limitations you propose on the numbers of breeding pairs are much too low. We have seen the vehemence with which humans kill wolves when those humans are not prohibited by law to do so. So, until humankind is educated about the truth of wolves, all wolves must be protected against human abuse, torture, and killing.

M.J. GRAY,  LA MESA CA

I do not want wolves in Washington to be managed. They were eradicated for a reason. Nothing good can come from their return. List them the same as coyotes, year around shoot on site!

Thomas E Ring,  Spokane WA

It does not make any sense to protect a preditor that is at the top of the food chain. This is threating the lives and livelyhoods of thousands of tax payers in this state. I understand the socalled enviromental community has great pull in this, but to endanger people, livestock, and potentially eradicate populations of other wildlife seems counterproductive for the department. My vote is for no wolves, and eradication of the ones we already have!

Jess Kayser,  Centerville WA

I am concerned about the liberal policies regarding livestock owners abilities to kill wolves while they are still on the recovery list. I believe translocation is a better option. Thank you!

Laura Helling,  Darrington WA

After much study of The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) alternatives we find them all to be unacceptable including WDFWs preferred alternative 2 Little argument can be made for not allowing wolves to naturally repopulate their former range but with seven of eight elk herds in the state below their targeted population we shouldn’t be trying to maximize more predation. Alternatives 1, 2, and 3 do this by setting the number of breeding pairs too high for downgrading to threatened status and sensitive status and final delisting. We support the repopulation of wolves in Washington but at minimal levels. To do otherwise with an already less then robust elk population is inviting disaster. Wolves should not be allowed to decimate our ungulate populations but kept to a level where an optimum elk population can be maintained. We also find the time frame to progress through the stages towards delisting to be unnecessary. Status change should be triggered when the population reaches the targeted number not after an arbitrary three year break. We find the degradation of property rights to be appalling. People should be able to protect their property and this includes pets and service animals as well as livestock through all phases of the delisting process. This could set us up for an attack on humans if a wolf is allowed to take pets or service animals in close proximity to people with no consequences. When delisting does occur the wolf population should be managed through hunting and trapping. Licensed hunters and trappers should have the opportunity to harvest a wolf when they reach sustaining healthy populations after delisting. The Cattlemen’s Association has proposed a sensible alternative in Alt. 1A. The Washington State Trappers Association supports their well thought out approach. We would hope that the Fish and Wildlife Commission would adopt it. Bruce Vandervort President, Washington State Trappers Association

Bruce Vandervort,  Humptulips WA

I would like to see no wolves entered into Washington State.

Brad Cameron,  Centerville WA

The recovery objective numbers of breeding pairs needed for down-listing and eventual delisting of wolves is too low to ensure a viable wolf population in WA. The lethal kill provisions for livestock owners and private citizens whose livestock or domestic dogs are attacked by wolves while wolves are in threatened or sensitive status are too liberal during the critical early phases of wolf recovery and could slow recovery. Translocation of wolves from areas within WA with healthy wolf populations to other areas to establish new populations is an important tool and will speed up the recovery and delisting process

Rebecca Zwettler,  Tenino WA

I don't see a problem at all. Ranchers and Farmers are compensated. People are in far more danger from trying to breed real wolves with domestic dogs, than danger from wolves. there are plenty of people like myself who pay money to keep wolves alive and protect the wolves from the predators in human form. American Indians did not slaughter wolves wholesale, and they very well could have; they had too much intelligence to do that though.

John Boynton,  Vancouver WA

I have reviewed the draft wolf conservation and management plan with particular attention to issues that relate to Washington's transportation system. Overall, this plan is extremely well researched and clearly written. I particularly like the care given to stating the facts clearly and indicating where there are pertinent areas of uncertainty or conjecture. I looked for indications of knowledge of road-related mortality rates, resulting from collisions, and only found the one mention of 3% of Rocky Mountain area wolves dying as a result of "human-related accidents" which would seem to be road collisions, for the most part. If there is additional clarification that can be added to the issue of wolf mortalities due to vehicle collisions, that would be useful to include. Thanks for putting this plan together with so much attention to accuracy and detail.

Anonymous

The wolf recovery numbers are too high- I support the minority opinion with regard to population sustainability. The plan mentions ungulate population research to manage appropriately if wolf predation becomes an issue- is there any research planned or currently underway? There should be data collected to document predator prey relationships and prey availabilty and survival. Translocation may not be appropriate until we wholly understand the genetic differences between cascade wolves and rocky mountain wolves. Regional management is neccessary for Northeast Washington. We are going to be handcuffed in recovery while the south cascades are slow to meet population objectives.

Stephanie George,  Newport WA

The recovery objective numbers of breeding pairs needed for down-listing and eventual delisting of wolves is too low to ensure a viable wolf population in WA. The lethal kill provisions for livestock owners and private citizens whose livestock or domestic dogs are attacked by wolves while wolves are in threatened or sensitive status are too liberal during the critical early phases of wolf recovery and could slow recovery. Translocation of wolves from areas within WA with healthy wolf populations to other areas to establish new populations is an important tool and will speed up the recovery and delisting process.

Jane Hoffman,  Rye NH

To have TWO wolf packs in WA that have made it here on their own is monumental!! We MUST be an exemplary example of wolf management to other wolf populated states, who are right now slaughtering adults & pups based on archaic management practices! We must NOT fall down that rabbit-hole!!

Frances Gloor,  Enumclaw WA

The recovery objective numbers of breeding pairs needed for down-listing and eventual delisting of wolves is too low to ensure a viable wolf population in WA. The lethal kill provisions for livestock owners and private citizens whose livestock or domestic dogs are attacked by wolves while wolves are in threatened or sensitive status are too liberal during the critical early phases of wolf recovery and could slow recovery. Translocation of wolves from areas within WA with healthy wolf populations to other areas to establish new populations is an important tool and will speed up the recovery and delisting process.

Wendy Young,  Bellevue WA

I applaud the WDFW for their hard work on this issue. I highly recommend Alternative 3, with at least 15 breeding pairs in Wash. State - but actually would like to see that number even higher before delisting is allowed. There are still those who will poach/poison//kill on site, no matter the law. We need to give these animals a chance to fully recover and become stable in the remaining pieces of their natural environment within Washington State. I also highly recommend and hope that any remaining wild areas of Washington can be forever preserved as "wilderness" (ie., Columbia Highlands) to give wolves and other wildlife some chance for continued survival for the benefit of our ecosystems and for own generations to come. Separate population recovery areas are a good idea, and translocation between those areas should be allowed. Perhaps separate recovery plans should be made for the Olympic Peninsula. More wildlife corridors should be funded and established - the proposed ones are very slow in coming. Livestock owners should be adequately reimbursed should wolf predation occur, but I do not believe livestock should be roaming the public forest lands. While hiking, I have seen the destruction cows do to natural streams in the forest - besides eating the vegetation that is there for wildlife. Grazing leases should be limited to lower elevation open range land, and then overseen so that overgrazing does not occur. An increase in the cost of grazing leases is long past due, and could help offset the cost of some of the very necessary wildlife programs that the State manages. Problems that may arise with domestic livestock should be handled using non-lethal methods wherever possible. Thank you for my opportunity to comment. Gail Jordan E Wenatchee, WA

D Gail Jordan,  East Wenatchee WA

I feel the draft plan needs desperate consideration concerning wolf management.

Karen A Seeno,  Walnut Creek CA

WDFW discontinued hound hunting of cougars. This has had a detrimental impact on the deer and elk populations in western Washington. I imagine that you have studies that contradict this statement, but I would doubt the accuracy of the studies themselves. Wolves would have an even more negative impact on both deer and elk populations! Washington state, considering its vast natural resources, is terribly mismanaged by your department, and has been for quite some time. I have no faith that you can manage wolves any better than you manage anything else.

Keith Olson,  Quinault WA

As someone that has witnessed the destruction of deer and elk herds near my summer home in Montana, I'm not in favor of ANY wolves in this state. They are too detrimental to the ungulates. Keep the very minimum it takes to satisfy the people in Washington D.C. that don't have a clue what really happens in the mountains and wilderness. There is not enough game in this state anyway and I think you realize that and will agree with me. Times have changed, we do not need or want wolves in Washington state.

Duane Bernard,  Rainier OR

The number of BP's are not a viable option for this state. This state only has a very small amout of habitat available to sustain a Wolf population. This state has the least amout of habitat available, out of all the states in Wolf management program. And yet Washington is to have a larger number of BP's. Your math figures do not add up. This plan needs to be revisited and reviewed with all the new scientific data that is now available. If any of these plans are implemented as writen now. I will have lost all confidence in WDFW.

Anonymous

We are part-time residents of the Twisp River Valley. Our land is on the Twisp river at Newby Creek, which is between Lookout Mountain, where the wolf pack's home is and Little Bridge Creek where there have been wolf sightings. We have heard wolf calls so we know they pass our land on occasion. This is thrilling for us and we urge you to do everything possible to facilitate their recovery. We do not share the views of some in the valley who consider the wolves a menace and are we angry about the wolf killing last year by the Twisp rancher and his family, whom, as far as we know, has never been prosecuted. We are opposed to the "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners because of abuses like this. Furthermore, in this valley there will need to be a large number of breeding pairs before the wolf is delisted because poaching and misuse will likely threaten their recovery. Thank you for your work developing the recovery plans. We hope you will give the wolves the greatest protection possible. Thank you, Kathleen and Frank Fisher

Kathleen Fisher,  Shoreline WA

We are part-time residents of the Twisp River Valley. Our land is on the Twisp river at Newby Creek, which is between Lookout Mountain, where the wolf pack's home is and Little Bridge Creek where there have been wolf sightings. We have heard wolf calls so we know they pass our land on occasion. This is thrilling for us and we urge you to do everything possible to facilitate their recovery. We do not share the views of some in the valley who consider the wolves a menace and are we angry about the wolf killing last year by the Twisp rancher and his family, whom, as far as we know, has never been prosecuted. We are opposed to the "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners because of abuses like this. Furthermore, in this valley there will need to be a large number of breeding pairs before the wolf is delisted because poaching and misuse will likely threaten their recovery. Thank you for your work developing the recovery plans. We hope you will give the wolves the greatest protection possible. Thank you, Kathleen and Frank Fisher

Frank Fisher,  Shoreline WA

As the four alternatives are listed, I will have to support Alternative #4 No Action. The three other alternatives are introducing wolves into areas they are not currently residing at. Alternative #4 can be pursued to help protect and even enhance the wolves in the area that they are in, but in no way should the wolf population should be enhanced or expanded beyond there current 'range' area. The threat to the indiginous populations in almost every area should not be realized just because another species, wolf is endangered. In addition livestock and people are not allowed to defend themselves till the wolf population reaches a minimum amount is not realistic and should not ever be realized. Thank you / Bob Hester

Bob Hester,  Yakima WA

It is too bad that no wolves is not being consider as an alternative.

Gary Nielsen,  Colville WA

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE WOLF MANAGEMENT PLAN TO ALLOW ENOUGH BREEDING PAIRS IN THE STATE TO ACHIEVE DELISTING STATUS. IT SEEMS THAT ANYTHING LESS WILL NOT ALLOW FOR A VIABLE POPULATION. I DO NOT SEE WHY THE PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE CALLS FOR THE COMPENSATION OF TWICE THE VALUE OF LOST LIFESTOCK-WHY TWICE THE Value??

Ray DePuydt,  KETTLE FALLS WA

let sleeping dogs lie.look at the problems they are causing in states like Wyo., id. montanathe elk and deer heards are being disimateted

gary Ryan,  sekiu WA

I live near the Look out Mountain Pack and I support having wolves in my neighborhood. I support alternative 2 and 3 in the draft EIS. I want to see funding for the compensation programs for livestock losses.

Jennifer Molesworth,  Twisp WA

Nile resident concern, elk and deer winter in my back yard. wolf food supply will be in my back yard. Nile residents kids will be waiting for buses in the winter. Elk in pasture with horses now, dont need wolves eating our horses,dogs.

corey johns,  naches WA

I am encouraged by the wolf C&M plan but feel it does not encourage establishment of a wolf population on some of the best wolf habitat in the state - the Olympic Peninsula. Reintroduction will likely be necessary to get wolves across the I-5 barrier, and although more widely acceptable from a political perspective, a plan with reintroduction will likely be slower to achieve goals. The delisting criteria of less than 20 reproducing pairs seems quite low for the entire state of Washington. I wonder about the scientific justification for this low delisting criteria.

Liam Antrim,  Sequim WA

Please record my support for Alternative 2, which has already been selected as the preferrred alternative.This plan seems to best cover the re-establishment of wolves to Washington while addressing the concerns of ranchers.

Tracey Wiese,  Twisp WA

I urge the managers to chose Alternative 3. Though the best plan, it needs to be improved by increasing the current goal of 15 breeding pairs to 30 to 60, as wolf experts have recommended. Furthermore, it should allow reintroduction of wolves from other states. Problem wolves that interfere with livestock should be managed by non-lethgal methods such as translocation.

Doris Cellarius,  Prescott AZ

I believe Wa.state has enough depridation of wildlife without the introduction of more wolves into the state.The WDFW has already taken away days from hunters because of a deplinishing deer hurd.Why would we want to add another preditor species to areas of our state.After the ban on hound hunting,baiting,the recent change on mountain lion season firearm restrictions as well as poaching problems we evadently already have enough reduction of our herds in our state.thank you

Darrell Quimby,  Elma Wa WA

In draft #2, I didn't read anything that talked about a management plan. For example, harvest of the excess wolves. Like we've seen in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, the wolves will populate quickly and decimate our native game populations. As a lifelong resident of Washington, I sure hope you look seriously at this wolf situation, and learn from our neighbors to the east. If not, the only game the state will be monitoring will be the wolves and the cougars. Once the wolves reach the level for delisting, they should be managed like our coyote populations.

Pat McAferty,  Littlerock WA

I oppose spending tax payer dollars on re introduction.

Ken Phillips,  Tacoma WA

Our State needs to be very careful in promotion of increased Wolf population. I visit Idaho often and find from actual experience and also talking with hunters there, that Elk populations in many areas are being decimated by Wolf predation. For example, I recently visited some area in Idaho where I had before hunted, at the high country surrounding the headwaters of Newsome Creek which runs into the South Fork of the Clearwater river. In a full day of 4 wheeling and scouting this area, which was excellent Elk habitat only a few years earlier, we found only a couple of Elk tracks. My relatives and friends in Idaho tell me this is becoming more common each year. It has been demonstrated to them that the Wolf is largely responsible. They also believe that the Idaho Fish and Game looks at the Wolf situation through rose colored glasses as they do not want to admit to a problem. However, as you probably know, they did issue Wolf hunting licenses in 2009. VR Bob Craven

Bob Craven,  Port Orchard WA

Alternative one/ manage through lethal force

Anonymous

I am not in favor of restoring wolf populations to the Olympic Peninsula. They are dangerous to man and livestock and kill for the fun of it. They will be a danger for hikers in the Olympics and trail users on all properties. There restoration in Idaho has been a disaster for wildlife and made it dangerous to be in the woods by yourself. We have enough problems here with the Cougar population which is getting out of hand due to WDFW rules prohibiting use of dogs in tracking them. No wolves on the Peninsula.

Rich James,  Port Angeles WA

Wolves have not been in Washington for decades. They need to be totally eliminated again. Introducing a major predator into an ecosystem that has not had one is devastating. This is a feel good program promoted by people who are totally opposed to any hunting. Capitualating to agenda driven ideas is bad game management, and you are funded by hunters who will lose hunting opportunity. Bottom line is I feel they need to be eliminated totally from Washingon.

Ron Oules,  Brewster WA

I would like state my support for Preferred Alternative #2 of the gray wolf recovery plan

John Garner,  Tacoma WA

The Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington should be zero tolerance. There is a reason our forefathers all but eliminated the wolf from the state by the 1930s. There is a reason the federal government delisted the wolf for the eastern third of Washington in 2009. That reason is wolves are not needed or wanted in the state of Washington. Wolves should be treated the same as coyotes, Statewide open season year round with no bag limit. If serious controll of the wolf is not implemented soon, Washington will be in the same boat as Montana and Idaho where elk numbers are dwindling. Wolves will have a significant impact on ungulates and livestock costing us more than just money spent recouping loses for ranchers.

Daniel Haydon,  Creston WA

no water for stevens county--no wolves, no cougars, no salmon, no clams, no no-taxes tobacco, no no-tax fireworks, no casinos. Fish and Wildlife--most hated department in Washington State!

roger mcmillan,  colville WA

only commet is you will not do what is write for the wildlife,you will do what saves your political choice for the rich. there is enough data that states what you are trying to done is wrong in all aspects of wild life managsment

Anonymous

I support Alternative no.3. I would like to see wolves reintroduced to Olympic National Park. This is probably the best place for them.

Charles LeBer,  Port Angeles WA

I would like thank the Department for this opportunity to comment on the Gray Wolf plan in my home state of Washington. As a Sportsman & Washington state native I have serious reservastions on the Wolf reintroduction to Washington State. I beleive it undermines the the game managment progress that has taken place over the past several decades. Wolf population increases will drastically diminish our precious Elk herds & harm Deer populations as well. Wolf packs are the apex of the food chain. I believe Washington should take a nuetral stand on the Wolf issue. We should not invest any resources or money to reintroduce the Wolf, a natural spill over from Idaho and BC will quite enough as it is currently negativly effecting other game species. With this in mind Washington State should adopt a liberal Wolf mgmt policy stand to let landowners and Hunters dispatch any problem animals. a liberal policy should also let the department asses wolf populations within regions of Washington state to set legal hunting seasons as more and more Idaho & BC wolf spill over into the Evergreen state.

Kolby Hanson,  Otis Orchards WA

15 breeding pairs is to many.

Anonymous

Please choose Alternative #3 for your final plan.

Anonymous

I support Alternative 3, which is the least lethal of the 3 alternatives and promises the fullest recovery of wolves in Washington. The other alternatives seem like temporary measures designed to increase the number of wolf packs for a short period of time but do not promote general and permanent recovery.

Dawne Adam,  Seattle WA

This is ridiculous. I have personally watched the wiping out of a whole area of Idaho for deer and elk hunting and thye have lost my biz as WA State will also. Their F & G is lying in all they have to say on the impact. Once wolves are introduced there will be no looking back. Once the depletion of our elk and deer herds begin due to wolves they will never recover because thye will never have the opportunity to. Wolves are killlers, they go beyond eating for food and have no place in our ecosystem and managed hunting. With this intro, I and many others will quit buying licesnses and tages - best of luck in managing things when there are no animals and no hunters paying your salaries. We can't even control the poaching that is done behind closed gates under the guises of brush picking ,etc.. in Pacific County. I am saving my money as we speak so that I can hunt outside of the state. I have seen this "public commnet" before. It simply fills a requirement and no one listens to anyone - you just move ahead with your idiotic plan and further taxpayer waste of money. I am sure that the people in charge of this are close to retirememtn because there won't be any Dept. of Wildlife, it will go by the wayside along with our deer and elk. You can all go to hell

Mike Morris,  south bend WA

if you want wolfs in this state you just confirmed your stupidity. we don't have any deer already. cougars are already a problem. do not do big game like you have done the fish, ruin it.

gene meyers,  toutle WA

Science sure seems to be getting short shrift these days regarding matters of science. I'm confident the D of F&W has a good pulse on the science. I understand the need of cattle ranchers to ranch, and the desire of elk hunters to hunt. What I don't support is the idea that elk hunting humans should have the elk all to themselves. Similarly, I don't support the idea that cattle ranchers should send their herds into the hills and dales of Washington State's wild areas -- or establish their homesteads in wild areas -- and then expect they have the right to sweep anything from those areas they perceive as competition. Such a policy spells doom -- as it has -- for any large predator species. Only man (many elk and deer hunters) insists on a monopoly on prey that nature has provided for many predators; only man (many cattle ranchers) insists on a monopoly on the land that other species legitimately depend upon. It is my opinion man has exploited that monopoly quite fully, and it is past time for a re-balancing of the natural equation of which man is but a part. Sure he's the strongest, but that strength shouldn't be misused to destroy other species that have evolved or been created to share and depend upon these natural resources. I agree with the idea that wolves are a "balance wheel of nature", and a net benefit to the ecosystem. The world and our state is richer with such species in it; it is poorer and more barren without them, unless one's sole measure of wealth is the monetary measure. That is a narrow perspective indeed, but nevertheless a perspective held by many. Fifteen breeding pairs spread across this state is sparse. I support at least a minimum of 15 breeding pairs, as do a fair number of scientific reviewers. I would like to see the D of F&W err on the side of caution regarding too low a de-listing level. I support the idea of separate recovery options for the west side of the state versus the east side -- the terrain and fauna are substantially different, as is the people population and higher public support on the west side. I believe the plan must include firm strictures and penalties against poaching, otherwise poaching will (continue to be) a substantial problem in Washington State. By the same token, livestock owners must be provided with fair and effective compensation packages for losses incurred. However, it seems to me fairness and reasonableness work both ways: ranchers sending their cattle into the deepest wild, public range lands -- though they're getting a good deal on the leases -- are tempting fate sending cattle into lands that nature never intended for such clunky, mindless, tasty creatures. I applaud the D of F&W reps who had to deal with the Wenatchee crowd. Most in the crowd were reasonably respectful, but a few were rude and insulting, and many were in no mood to hear about the science and research findings regarding the matter. John Muir said, "The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual." I add that there is a place for human capitalism and sport, but not when it demands the right and demonstrates the hateful will to smother nature. Thanks for this opportunity to comment. Sincerely, Dan Jordan East Wenatchee WA

Dan Jordan,  East Wenatchee WA

There are more than enough wolves in the state of Washington at this time. If not, Idaho, Oregon, and British columbia will gladly send more our way. They need to be managed immediately as waiting for more breeding pairs will only complicate the situation. Washington will soon have the same problems that Idaho, and Montana have now. They have so many wolves that they are feeding on a declining population of wild game. They are also harassing and killing domestic livestock in those states. This creates a hardship on farmers and ranchers. Adequate management and compensation should be provided to keep wolves from encroaching on these two industries. Numbers managment should be started immediately before the wolves become so numerous that managment is not possible. Alternative 4 would be the best of those proposed. Washington does not have the money nor the resources to manage the wolves. Washington does not have the large primitive areas to provide habitate for the wolves. The spread of the population areas in Washington and the spread of the domestic livestock producers in Washington makes proper habitat for the wolves impossible without continual depradation of domestic livestock. The livestock producer should be authorized to protect his investment and should be compensated for harassment and damage to his livestock. This would include his valuable stock dogs. Set a "number of individuals" limit on these preditors, not a number of breeding pair. Vaden Floch Asotin, WA

Vaden Floch,  Asotin WA

You state that one of the main goals is to re establish the wolf as a self sustaining species, including reintroducing breeding pairs into the designated regions. It seems that rather than spending a lot of money on reintroducing breeding pairs we simply let the natural populations expand as they have in Wyo., montana and idaho. If they are to repopulate former geographical areas, it stands to reason that, except perhaps for the Olympic Penn, they will naturally reach into the other areas of WA. This is obvious since WA now has established breeding groups that were strong enough for the Feds to justify downlisting the wolf in eastern WA. It would be better to radio tag and (or) study members of the existing 2 populations and monitor their growth, expansion, or decline through natural causes. Clearly we are not at any point that requires the kind of money that likely will be spent on this management plan. It is vital at some point to have such a plan and especially be prepared to deal with the consequences of these animals being closer to populated and livestock areas.

Dave Mack,  Renton WA

Now I know why the federal health care reform legislation numbered over 1500 pages -- your document is OVER 340 pages. How many staff hours did this take and at what cost?

AnonymousSequim WA

Option #3 will best suit the Olympic, Pacific Coast eco regions.

julie Jaman,  Port Townsend WA

Please choose Alternative 3 for the final plan to create a Pacific Coast recovery region. I would like to see wolves translocated to the Olympic Peninsula and established here before they can be removed from the endangered species protections. Non-lethal methods, which can include translocation, should be used with any problem wolves that interfere with livestock operations.

Connie Gallant,  Quilcene WA

I am a life time resident of Chewewlah/Colville area, we don't need these killing machines in our area or any other area in the United States. If the bleeding heart animal lovers want these preditors they can inplant them in their own back yards so they can kill their livestock and even possibly their children. The areas that the fish and game say there a breeding packs is limited to the Okanogan and Ione (in particular laclare creek area) I have spotted wolves in the cottonwood area just southeast of Chewelah. Then just north of us by Northport their has been an on going problem with the wolves killing cattle. There was a good reason to exterminate these killing machines in the past and any ignorant group of people that want these preditors back need to have their heads examinded. Better yet most of these ignorant groups of peoople are in King county and surrounding counties, so if you want the wolves to grow in numbers transplant them all to Seattle. Thanks for taking the time to read my comments, but keep in mind I represent about 90% of the public opinion in Steven, Ferry, and Pend Oreille counties. Miles Hartill

Miles Hartill,  Chewelah WA

Wolves kill a very large number of game animals. I think that aggressive attempts should be made to keep wolves from expanding throughout the state. Whichever plan keeps the wolf population at its lowest is what I recommend.

Jeff Frederick,  Moses Lake WA

I am adamantly opposed to the plan as written. To pass it must consider and resolve the issues identified in Appendix D. Wolves have serious impacts on livestock, wildlife, the economy and human interactions. For real life examples talk to the citizens within the wolf recovery efforts in Arizona and New Mexico and their reactions to not being able to do anything except watch as wolves rip the guts out of their livestock while still alive. Check with impacts in Idaho and what the wolves have done to wildlife populations. Coyotes are gone, elk herds desimated. Idaho sells 30,000 out of state hunting licenses each year and is a big part of the economy. In 2009, 10,000 tags went unsold and the state lost 1/3 of the normal income from sales of these licenses. Recover wolves, but you don't need them wall to wall across the state! Make sure the plan considers all the points in Appendix D and especially a quick reaction to wolf problems and population numbers. Finally, don't be stupid and ignore history. A tremendous effort was made to stop wolves in early America because of their predation and impacts to human populations. This was done for fun but out of necessity to stop a serious problem. Do not pretend that we can now have the wolf back without the serious problems the have caused in history!

Wayne Vinyard,  Glenwood WA

Life is balance, balance is life; if one part of life is removed, then you are out of balance. I live in an area were the deer have over taken gardens because of no natural balance, but this last year, the carnivous animals that help keep the deer in check have increased and the deer issue has decreased...let the wolves balance out the difference that their absence has caused.

Karen Withers,  Bainbridge Island WA

I am not in favor of Wolves in the State of Washington. Period.

Scott Coogan,  North Bonneville WA

I do not support the encouragement of wolf reintroduction. There were good reasons for the extirpation of wolves during the settlement of this country and they still exist. Wolves may have a place in the wilds of Canada/Alaska, but not in the lower 48. This plan takes a much too aggressive approach to the reintroduction of wolves and will ultimately cause wide ranging human/animal conflicts.

Nathan Putnam,  Glenwood WA

Just because other states have been sursed with new and expanding wolf populations doesn't mean we have to bear the same burden To want to have wolves in the State of Washington is idiotic.

James Schleusner,  Glenwood WA

There is no sound reasoning behind a top of the line preditor when there is already a healthy population of cougars, bears and coyotes competeing in the food chain. The deer and elk are already stressed enough.

Anonymous

DO NOT introduce wolves in our state

Chris Herres,  Pomeroy WA

Stupid Stupid Stupid.

Anonymous

You would think that Washington could learn from these other states that have introduced the wolf. i have read the plan and common sense is lacking. 15 pairs do not seem like allot but 15 pairs for 3 years will turn into many more than that. They will be out of control without management. It even says that there will need to be discussions for actions after the 3 years. These beurocratic discussions take too much time and you are gambling with our wildlife. I am a sportsman that loves the outdoors and loves to hunt in this state. We are finally getting to where there are ample opportunities to enjoy a quality experience and see moderate amounts of game in our hunting areas. Why do you see the need to take a chance on messing it up. I would love nothing more to hunt these cold blooded killers for sport in Washington, but I am not willing to sacrifice our other wildlife for the chance. I say save our money and do not let wolves multiply in our state. Your plan is way too liberal for these animals. Manage and control them or they will control you.

Don Reeves,  wenatchee WA

9-I FEEL THAT WASHINGTON STATE SHOULD LET NATURE TAKE IT'S CORSE AND HAVE THE WOLF COME HERE O THERE OWN AND NOT BROUGHT IN. IT SEEMS TO ME HUNTING IS HARD ENOUGH IN THIS STATE AND IF YOU DON'T DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT I WILL BE FORCED OUT OF STATE LIKE MANY HUNTERS BEFOR ME. MIKE WOLD

MIKE WOLD,  CHELAN WA

The wolf program is going to create a problem with this will become a bad thing for all game species, and cattlemen,s livestock. and of course we know who is going to pay for the damages that occur because of this. all you have to do is look at Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and you know whats going to happen these people that want these wolves just don't care about the torture these wolves put on all animals as they are being killed. enough said I'm totally against a plan to introduce wolves back into this state.

Dennis E Beeks,  Dallesport WA

You are condeming all ungulate populations in this state in exchange for allowing wolves to re-populate here. This will end all Big Game hunting as we know it. I realize there is little you can do since Olympia governs what you do and since this is mostly a political and emotional issue there is no easy way to stop this from happening. It just saddens me that hunting will eventually be ruined in this state just like it's happening in Idaho. I'm a strongly against the wolf reintrodution in our state as I think the bad far outweighs any good that can come of it.

Anonymous

Well I am not sure where to begin but here it goes. Your prefered plan is not realistic. Look at the area and the numbers set for delisting for the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves. For three states it was set at what you are proposing. We should do half what they did. We have the second biggest human population of all the west besides California. We are prone to have problems. Secondly, we should NOT manage our ungulates to sustain the elk. We need to manage the predators such as the wolf to sustain maximum numbers of game species. We need a hunting season on wolves. They expand between 20 - 30 percent per year so there shouldn't be a problem with a hunting season on them. Remember where the WDFW gets its money wildlife management. It is from hunters, so hunters should be your number one priority. Wildlife management has worked and we should keep with this model and that means managing to keep wolves under control.

Anonymous

I realize that Washington now has a resident wolf population and, by law, that population must be protected to some exent. My opinion is that the wolf population should be kept at the lowest numbers possible that still allow management by the WDFW and not the feds. A large wolf population will have unwanted and adverse affects on the rural human population, including financial, recreational opportunities and possibly safety.

Dennis Tarbert,  Wenatchee WA

If the goal of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and preserve wildlife for the benefit of current and future generations, specifically focusing on the issue of wolves native to Washington State, the only plan that makes sense is plan #3.

Daniel Lavin,  Seattle WA

I do not agree as a sportsman, that we should introduce wolves to this state. The revenue from sprotsman will defenitley decrease if wolves are introduced.

Shawn Budlong,  orting WA

I feel that every Licence buying person in the State should be notified by mail and a vote should determine if Wolves should be allowed to be reintroduced. I personaly feel that the Wolves that are trying to reistablish are an invasive species (not the original native wolf) and should be treated as an invasive species and they should be eliminated before they get established.

John Evans,  Longview WA

It is pretty clear from the cast of committee members that the voices of those who make their livings from livestock were underrepresented and those that make their livings singing the praises of wolves were overreprestented.

Corey Watson,  Auburn WA

I will start by saying thank you for allowing John Q. Public to comment on our position with this issue. I want to express my concern with the reinstatement of the wolf in our state, or any state for that matter. The best way to put it in short is go talk to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming etc. and ask them how they feel about the issue Ask the rancher and the public in general not just the officials, although I have talked with a few and most of them don't care for the wolf either. There is a reason why they were removed; perhaps a revisit to that issue is needed. It really doesn't matter what I say though, the bleeding hearts will win this issue as they more often than not do anymore. Isn't the cougar a big enough threat to our game, livestock and children? Have you ever been run down by a 200lb. tom? I have and let me tell you it happens so fast you have no time to react. I think we have enough on our plate already without even bringing the grizzly into the equation. As you know we have more of them in our north cascades than people really understand, I grew up riding those mts. with my father and have seen them. I will end on that and I just hope you all think this one through, as for I am totaly non supportive of this reckless addition to the wild. Thank you for your time.

Anonymous

There is no reason why we should intoduce more wolves or increase their population. As a hunter there isn't enough game right now for me to fill my tags. You will be absoulty nuts if you increase the wolf population. Take a look at Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. I use to hunt there and now I don't because of wolves. There is no game. What is a childs life worth, it is just a matter of time before one kills a child for dinner. You are in never never land if you think this is not going to happen. And you will be responsible.

Stan Bauer,  Graham WA

I support the return of viable wolf populations to Washington state.

Jana Hobbs,  Kirkland WA

Any wolf plan is a bad plan, unless it's a wolf hunting season.

Anonymous

This proposal is one more example of "government" not listening to the majority, or not looking at the results in other states where wolves have been introduced. There has been a negative impact on elk/deer numbers (some outfitter/guide services tell clients to not expect to see the numbers areas have held prior to the introduction of wolves) and ranchers have suffered livestock losses. I am certainly opposed to this plan. Right now Wa elk and deer numbers have declined from hunting as well as loss of habitat. Wolves will only compound the problem to the point many more hunters will be going to other states where the hunting opportunities are better because of better management policies, and no wolves to prey on game animals. Again. I am opposed to this plan.

Robert E Daharsh,  Woodinville WA

There are already wolves in eatern wa., i own property in Okanagon Co. and have seen wolves already, they are already impacting the deer herds in the area and I know how that part of state makes alot of money locally on hunters during deer seasons and i have seen them taking range cattle calf's during the spring when they being born. There is very good reasoning behind the killing off of wolves and what it does to the county's that have to live with them, so I personally do not think we need to put any more wolves here, but need to keep track of what is migrating in from Canada and Idaho to see how fast they reproduce in these areas where they are at now, and the impact over 5 to 10 yrs. that they may have because of the lack of other preditors that wolves in the wild have. I have seen wolves in what the N.F.S. has set aside to be LYNX wildlife sanctuary and you will not see a lynx in these areas, I have set out game camera's for the last three yrs. and have not seen any lynx in the area and only 1 pair of cougars in this area. I am very interested in this plan to see how it comes out and hope if the plan is to keep the wolves here that the people that are coming up with the plan have to live in these areas where they will be so they can see what the impact is to our wilderness, and wildlife, parks, camping ,hunting etc. THANK YOU FOR THE CHANCE TO COMMIT LEE LIVELY Tonasket, wa.

curtis Lee lively, Jr,  tahuya WA

I am opposed to reimbursement for livestock loss at a 2x rate for two reasons: the intent of loss recovey is to "make whole" not "make rich." And, if Wa. pays twice the value of loss,it adversely impacts adjoining states that only pay the value of the animal lost. Second, I oppose artifical "planting" or introduction of wolves to SW Wa. or any other area. they should come naturally so that we don't set up yet another artificial system of management. The wolves will know when it's time to establish a pack at St.Helens or anywhere else. I expect huge public backlash if we reintroduce artificially.

craig lynch,  ridgefield WA

I object to the plan becoming one to re-establish wolves in the State. We didn't bring wolves into this State on purpose, they came in by default from Idaho. They're here and they are protected so we have to manage them but we don't have to re-establish them in various other parts of the State. In fact, I question the legality of the plan since we have never formally adopted a plan to reintroduce wolves to Washington State.

Glenn Rasmussen,  Wapato WA

The numbers of wolfs in the drafts are not realistic and should be scaled back to 4 breeding pairs total.

John Eaton,  Ellensburg WA

Ensuring a viable population of a native species, in this wolves, is essential to the the eco system's balance. The number (bredding pairs) discussed in most of the alternatives does not seem sufficient.

James R Salkas,  Oak Lawn IL

Go to saveelk.com. Take a look at Montana and Idaho, they have a real problem.

Brian Newhall,  Longview WA

delist and sell tags

Chris Heitstuman,  Uniontown WA

I have not read the entire plan, but I have read enough to see I do not like the direction it is going. Deliberately moving wolves to help them disburse in the state is the first mistake. I think we need to establish a low number of breeding packs in a few places in the state and control them to that exact number through lethal means. People would be willing to pay for tag opportunites and this could be a revenue stream for the state. Planning to use any other alternative will cost many tax dollars and will be ineffective in controlling the numbers. Allowing wolves to multiply past quotas as has happened in all the other states they have been reestablished in cannot be allowed to happen. I am very concerned about lost hunting opportunity that any wolves will have on ungulate populations. It will happen just like it has happened in every other state and is already happening in Oregon in the Joseph area with just a small population. I hunt there and I have noticed a lot less deer already.

Mike Cibart,  Walla Walla WA

This plan cannot be succesful when it is using money from hunters, and reduces the availability of hunting in the state of Washington. It will inherently decrease hunting oppurtunity, and therefore it will decrease the funding for the program. There has to be something in it for the people of the state that are funding it.

Charles Olney,  Yakima WA

As a hunter of this state for many year I have seen a continual decrease our states game resources with a continual increase in management personnel and dimenising hunting season length. It appear the game depatment has a problem of managing the current peditores to the deer & Elk population what makes you think that this plan with help work to enhance the species that generally pay for the fFsh & Wildlife budget. By no way can I see from what has taken place in Montana, Idaho and Wyomaing with the interduction of wolves has the health of the Elk & Deer population benifited from it. Like wise the interaction between wolves & demestic animal also been drastically effected. Next where is the funding for this coming from? Is it federal funding or will this be paid out of the revenue that is made off of the sportsman. Because as one of the states hnters there is no way that I want any of th emoney I spend of hunting or fishing licenses spent on an animal that has only one function in life and that is to kill what ever it can for fun or food. I suggest you get PETA and all of the other animal rights activist to fund this since they are the only people reall interrested in the wolves come back.

Anonymous

how will i be compensated for the loss of my current deer and elk population??? (which will become unsustainable in short time and force me to quite hunting thus no moneys to you for your jobs(which will be unsustainable at that time)-remenber that you work for the public that pays your salary thru hunting licences and tags-no amimals to hunt-no monies from hunters!!!-the herd of elk in yellowstone has been desimated and is now unsustainable for your fierse and kill happy wolves!!! i speak for most hunters when i say you must not plan the continued multiplicating of these wolves!!!you will only lose us and your jobs by doing so!!!!

Joseph Harshman,  walla walla WA

In general, it looks like Alternative 2 is the best although I don't see why "Twice the Full Value" is paid for livestock loss or why "Full Value" is paid for probable livestock loss.

Bob Hatton,  Portland OR

I am glad to see that the state is taking an active role in providing for the needs of wolves in the region. I do see this as a long term approach and am very happy that Washingtonians are welcoming back wolves into their lives and lands. I think this plan is over due and look forward to seeing how the department will stay engaged in communities to help protect wolves and meet their needs.

David Moen,  Oregon City OR

The only draft plan I believe in, is to trap and relocate back to Canada or hunt these wolf's back out of Washington. Our activities, ranching, farming, and advancement into the wilderness through home building, recreation and hunting can not support such an animal. Too dangerous for all.

Anonymous

I do not believe that it would be in the states' best interest to allow any wolves into the wild. If wolves grow into any significant numbers, they will kill a ton of game that could otherwise be hunted and would meke the state money by way of hunting license fees. The state would be making a huge mistake, and has already began making it by allowing wolves to take out our game animals. There are already enough cougars pillaging through the woods and taking horrible amounts of deer and other game: but the use of hounds to hunt the cougars is illegal during regular hunting seasons. I could continue for a long time on this subject, but I believe that I have made my point. Thank you

keith maupin,  bellingham WA

havent we learned anything from montana, and idaho. we are going to have more wolfs than we want in time from idaho, and montana. ive hunted both states for 30 years, i have seen the wolf impact first hand. in the last few years.

Raymond Healy,  lake tapps WA

i just read on your news release that "there are no federal or state plans to reintroduce wolves into washington" What am I missing here?????!!!!

dylan peterson,  federal way WA

I believe this plan is flawed from the beginning. The first thing to catch my attention is the ratio of population to wilderness area that you want these wolves in. I don't believe we have enough wildlife or wilderness area to sustain the amount of wolves that you feel we need in this state. My second major concern is who's going to pay for all of this? In these tough economic times with everyone cutting their budgets I feel it's going to fall on the hunters to finance this wolf recovery plan. We will be one of the major players who are going to suffer the most from the effects the wolves will have on our wildlife. I see absolutely no benefit of your plan to distribute these wolves throughout our state. Which by the way seems only to be in Eastern Washington. Respectfully, Bruce Oergel

bruce oergel,  ellensburg WA

i do not think that any part of this plan is a good idea. bringing wolf packs back to this area has no positive outcome for anyone. i have lived ,hunted ,fished and enjoyed the washington forest lands for 30 years and over those 30 years i have watched a steady decline in our local dear and elk heards. this is a huge concern to me because i truly do'nt believe that those heards could sustaine another predator hit with the hound hunting being eliminated for the general public the couger and bear populations are booming and poching seems to be so popular these days,the next animals you will be trying to rehabilitate will be the deer and elk. on another note ,i do'nt exactly like the idea of having to go bow hunting and carry a sidearm for protection. i'm sure the "tree huggers" resposible for this great plan would not think it was such a good idea if the wolves were being turned loose on the corner of their block. thats pretty much all i have to comment on. please feel free to call me if i was not clear enough about my comment thank you jason tole home- 360 537 9349 cell- 360 580 6795

jason allen tole,  hoquiam WA

Just pure bs is all this is. Thanks for taking the side of the greenies and anti-hunters and use our hunting license monies to help do away with our sport. Cause in the end what is left of the blacktail deer will be gone from the wolves. Once again thanks, one way or another we wil have somethng to hunt and carry on the hunting tradition in the end, so bring on the wolves. What a crock this departmnet and whole state gov has become. Libs rule and we must bow to them. I look forward to the day we have another species to hunt since they wiil have destroyed our deer and elk populations like in Idaho.

Terry Moore,  Raymond WA

There was a reason we got rid of them in 1930. They are killers who are wiping out elk population in montana, are we really going to allow that to happen here?

gabe stajduhar,  gig harbor WA

I strongly disagree with this project. We the hunter provide the local and state economy $. The current management and seasons are more restricted than other state. I can only see more issues in the future as the game populations decrease....As a hunter I disagree with this program.

Scott ,  enumclaw WA

Wolf populations have destroyed deer and elk populations in states that have allowed their introduction. I have hunted in Idaho for deer and elk the past 11 years (but not in 2009). I have seen first hand the elimination of elk and deer herd numbers to dramatically low levels. Herds of 40 plus elk are down to small herds of six to eight. Doe and fawns virtually to zero. Wolves were killed off for a reason and reintroducing them for any reason is insane. They will eliminate deer and elk popualtions and destroy recreational hunting period. There are numerous reports filled with biased lies that dispute my claims but a goverment study is always filled with lies to justify the study. You have done such a fine job managing the salmon stocks by allowing seals and sea lions to feast on them. I have the utmost confidence that you will screw this up totally also. But I guess that is why you work for the goverment, laziness and no common sense are the two hiring requirements to work for the goverment.

Tim Morris,  South Bend WA

I hope and pray any activists that get involved with this take a look at idaho and montana and see the impact reintroducing wolves has had on the big game population. Also houd hunters can not even hunt because the wolves stretch the dogs. If there is no balance the wolves win and take over and the elk and the deer loose and die off.

colleen martin,  roy WA

I believe that before the department of fish and wildlife gets anymore animals to manage they need to properly manage the ones they have. (I.E the sharp tailed grouse, big horn sheep, elk, and especially the coyotes.)

Anonymous

As a citizen of Washington, I value wolves and their positive effect on ecosystems. I wish to see their recovery to our state's wildlife and habitat. The draft wolf conservation and management plan now before you needs to be strengthened to ensure that wolves are given the chance to recover to a point that their numbers are stable and the populations are healthy enough to effectively play their role as top predators in Washington's ecosystems. To ensure recovery of wolves, I urge you to further strengthen the working group's plan: * Increase the number of established breeding pairs before a delisting is proposed, or provide a stronger evaluation of the state's habitat connectivity to other regions and details on how connectivity will be improved over time. A significant number of scientific reviewers believe that the department's numbers for delisting were low, especially since the plan relies on natural migration from areas outside the state for recovery. * Provide separate population recovery objectives for the Pacific Coast where high quality wolf habitat and increased public support justify it having its own recovery objectives. * Eliminate the "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners at the endangered and threatened phases of recovery. Given the history of poaching in this state and the high potential for misuse, this provision could seriously hamper recovery efforts. Investing in non-lethal deterrent methods and providing livestock owners with a fair compensation package are more effective approaches at the early stages of wolf recovery. * Support the translocation of wolves as a strategy to speeding recovery by establishing implementation mechanisms and providing a funding schedule in the plan. Thank you making sure Washington state's plan is visionary, pragmatic, and strong enough to conserve and manage wolves in a balanced way that will ease the transition for everyone, including the wolves. Sincerely, Sandra Allen 4511 Lakeway Dr Bellingham, WA 98229

Sandra Jane Allen,  Bellingham WA

Request 6 Breeding Pairs for total de-listing. Request language in the plan designating that wolves be designated as Big Game as soon as the required number of Breeding pairs is met. Request language in the plan that livestock owners and pet owners can kill wolves in the act of attacking pets or livestock.

jason bolser,  

#3 is the best to support wolf recovery. Is support plan #3.

Jetta Hurst,  Auburn WA

I have hunted Idaho for the last 11 years untill this year. The last 2 years have been bad due to the wolves in our hunting area. We have found several wolf kills while hunting and hear them every night. If you go through with your proposals I believe you will decimate our deer and elk populations, along with having a large cost on livestock loss. Idaho has lost r revenue due to the reintroduction of wolves. They have even sent out questionaires on why our group of seven hunters decided not to buy our 2009 liscenses. Most of the comments on why liscenses were not purchased was due to wolves. I am against any wolves in our state. What next? Use DNA to reintroduce prehistoric dinosaurs?

Anonymous

I feel that the Alternative one is the best route to go right now. Wolves are obviously re-introducing themselves, but I don't think we should help them along as much as the other alternatives seem to.

Hans Hurlbutt,  Sedro Woolley WA

I am pleased to see plans at least in progress for this.I am thinking there is more wolves in Washington than one realizes.

Dennis Merritt,  Newport WA

Insanity! The wolf was extrected from th eecosystem because it was a menace to people and animal alike. Are you all paying attention to how the wolfs are decimating the Elk and Deer heards ib the other states they are being shoved back into. There is no room for these predators with the urban growth. If you want the elk heards thinned give out more tags. Terrible idea so people who live in concrete buildings in downtown Seattle might get to hear a wolf howl but go home and have no clue that the elk may be gone. As a state we have already stressed the deer heards by eliminating the use of hounds and bait to hunt Bear and Cougar. I live in the woods. I can personally attest that I now see more bear and cougar annually around my home then deer. When is the madness going to end? We have no business trying to re-establish an ecosytem we have changed forever and re-applying the wolf is a recipe for disaster!!!!!!!!!

Chris McCallum,  Chehalis WA

NO wolves

Anonymous

Big Mistake to bring back the wolves to Washington. Tax dollars used to manage could be put to better use. The toll on other wild-life such as Elk and deer is huge! Lets learn from Idahos mistake, and keep the wolves out!

Robert Mears,  Mead WA

The scope of this plan should have been limited to the scope of the current listing of graywolves as endangered by ESA.. Western Washington

Anonymous

the hunting population of washington can not and will support gray wolf reinterduction $380,00. wolf conservation and management is better done with a box of 180 grn. 30-06 shells at a cost of $38.00 ANTLER DOUG Idaho Hunter

Anonymous

I believe it was a mistake to reintroduce the wolves and now the State of Washington will get stuck with dealing with a new wolf population. This population should be kept at a minimum.

Anonymous

All in all, I think the draft EIS plan has conducted a thorough examination of the factors which will impact wolf management in Washington State and I support Alternative 2.

Karen Goodrowe Beck,  Gig Harbor WA

Draft Plan #2 appears to be the most workable. However, concerning the protection of dogs (101 confirmed killed by wolves since 1995 in the Northern Rocky Mountains) and stock animals, the Federal Study done there suggests that lethal taking of wolves in the act has not had a significant effect on the wolf population as shown below......... QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FINAL REVISION OF THE SPECIAL REGULATION FOR THE CENTRAL IDAHO AND YELLOWSTONE AREA NONESSENTIAL EXPERIMENTAL POPULATIONS OF GRAY WOLVES IN THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS January 9, 2008....... ........ (2) Allow any legally present person on private or public land to lethally take a wolf that is in the act of attacking the individual’s stock animal or dog, provided there is no evidence of intentional baiting, feeding, or deliberate attractants of wolves. ....... The individual must be able to provide evidence that taken wolves were recently (less than 24 hours) in the act of attacking stock animals or dogs, and a Service-designated agent must be able to confirm that the wolves were in the act of attacking stock animals or dogs. ......... Q. By allowing this revision to the 2005 special regulation for the central Idaho and Yellowstone Area Nonessential Experimental Populations of Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concerned about the continued recovery of the gray wolf? A. Data indicates that the human-caused mortality rate in the adult-sized segment of the northern Rocky Mountain wolf population was nearly 26 percent per year from 1994 to 2006, and that the wolf population still continued to grow at about 24 percent annually. This data indicates that the current annual mortality rate of about 26 percent in the adult portion of the wolf population could be substantially increased and the wolf population could still maintain itself at current levels. This information and other factors of wolf behavior and population dynamics mean that wolf populations are quite resilient to human-caused mortality if it is regulated. ............." As you can see, the final report says that this lethal protection of dogs and stock animals does not reduce the wolf population, it only slows the growth of the pack. By lethal taking of wolves who hunt/take dogs and stock animals, you should cause the surviving wolves to eventually shy away from human/dog/stock animal contact without significantly affecting their recovery.

Bryan Anderson,  Port Orchard WA

I am in favor of the state to manage its wolf population.

Mark Olis,  

Due to the negative impacts on ranchers, deer and elk I believe it is a bad idea to get wolves established in our state.

don wells,  battle ground WA

I am against the introduction of Wolfs to Washington all together.There is a reason our forfathers got rid of them,I am a sportsman and have bin all my life.I pay to keep elk and deer populations huntable I sure as hell am not paying to feed wolfs. I don't want them in this state at all.

leon Chmielewski,  spanaway WA

All deer and elk hunters should be issued their own shovel with the purchase of a deer or elk tag. To use as they see fit. Ted schwab

Ted Schwab,  Deer Park WA

Wolves are the alqaeda of nature and should be eliminated everywhere.

william G poggensee,  Buckley WA

Re Introducing Wolves into their historical range is a noble thought but the environment that once supported them has been drastically changed. Development, agriculture, highways and roads have replaced much of their former range not to mention the declining number of native prey. If you truly want to reintroduce the grey wolf successfully you must remove the houses, orchards, ranches, cattle and roads.The grey wolf population will have to be continually protected and monitored. I would love to see grey wolves but I would also like to see Grizzly bears and the once magnificent migratory mule deer return. This can only happen if the areas that once supported them are taken out of development and placed into a national wild life refuge that has limited access and use. Our National forests are way too crowded by private land so lets expand the national forests but keep them open to recreational use. To do anything less only makes the reintroducing of the grey wolves a feel good project for biologist who should know better. I have talked to people from Idaho and Montana who have said how the reintroduced wolves in their state have caused havoc among domestic cattle and the elk and deer populations. No the wolves fault. They are wild animals who's time has come due to Development and too many humans.

Brian Bessey,  Quilcene WA

Our neighboring states have already done this and it has devastated the deer and elk populations in areas where hunting was excellent in years past. Wolves other than to satisfy a few people serve no purpose in our environment anymore. Will we have't to expect limited seasons so wolves will be able to survive. I will close my farms down if wolves are introduced

Michael Mathews,  Dayton WA

Let's keep a realistic awareness of the breeding pairs of wolves so Washington farmers and ranchers do not wind up with the wolf over population that Idaho and Wyoming have. Those who live in the wolves' habitat can get along with them if there are not too many for the land and habitat.

Lynn White,  Seatac WA

As a citizen of Washington for 60 years I do not want to see the introduction of wolfs in washington. I have already seen them following the elk and they will destroy the elk and deer population.

Steve J Martin,  Auburn WA

you need to admit there are wolves in eastern washington. there have been sightings, along with footprints and hearing wolves howl in Walla Walla and Columbia Counties. They will adversly effect outdoor recreation, and livestock production on both public and private land in Washington State. If you spent half as much out in the field as you do studies, plans adn justifying your own jobs, Washington could be a sortsman's paradise.

Anonymous

To Whom it may concern, i am writting just a few of my thoughts on the wolf project, in considering the restoration of the ancent wolf population, i like the thought of an act to restore the land to what was in the past, this area was a stunning place prior to the over-running capitalism took so much of the beauty away, i do truely enjoy living and recreating in this wonderful part of the world, yet find real concern in any artifical reintroduction of any species, if we truely conciter the "WHY" the animals of issue have not made thier why back into the traditional grounds we will find that they have not naturally been able, the wolf population that has been introduced and now has grown to move westward will soon become the problem that exsists in the introduction areas, area wildlife populations will slowly be exterminated and so the need to move to other food sorces, i have personally spoke to many hunters that have been hunting and/or guiding in the introduction areas that state that they are no longer able to find quality ground to hunt due to massive reduction in animal populations, agian let us look at the question as to why there has not been a natural progression of these animals back into the ancient grounds, i believe a monster has been created which will end up badly for the wolf populations in the end. The true life circle will never be what it once was as long as man exsists on the land in its current form. Thank you for this access, thank you for considering so much, I am not a rookie outdoorsman, nor am I a tree hugger, I do love this region and do wish it has not been so mismanaged, yet hear we are and to see an unnatural act of allowing top preditors to take advantage of prey that has not been used to the presence to this type of threat will soon create problems many speciesall the why to the coast. I also consider the safety of why family and friends hiking in areas shared with such agressive preditors, i have seen how packs have even taken bear so i say again, so much to consider. Thank you, Doug

Douglas Hannafious,  Seattle WA

Mankind has been around longer than many species and therefore introducing wolves just because they were here doesn't mean it should be done. Man is a better predator to keep existing wildlife in balance . Man is part of the natural balance. I also believe that introducing wolves is an anti hunter ploy . When wolves thin out large animals like deer and elk there will be more restrictions placed on the hunting public. Introducing wolves will impact many things from public safety to livestock damage.

Anonymous

I am opposed to the reintroduction of wolves in this state. They have been devastating the Elk populations in Idaho. Hunters pay good money to hunt Elk in this state and wolves can only hurt the hunting for Deer and Elk.

Lyman Moss,  Lake Stevens WA

Glad to see this come to this point.

Charles Oueis,  Spokane WA

I've reviewed the proposed plan and see very little mention of establishing wolves as a game animal. A quote from the plan "In the future, there could be revenue generated for WDFW if wolves recover to the point that they are delisted and eventually become a hunted species." This language is far too open for interpretation. Any plan adopted by the state should have clearly established and objective measurements for designating wolves as a game species that is huntable.

Chris Wilson,  Spokane WA

On a hunt this year in Idaho I noticed less Deer, Elk and Moose. I spoke with several guides who all said it is due to the increase in wolf population. Wolves were a problem for farmers in our states history which played a large part in why there is very few here now. I feel we will have problems again as the wolves numbers increase. The problems will be felt in less game, livestock numbers and public safety. The out of state and resident hunters will get discouraged and stop buying licenses. The hunters who do purchase licenses will start to hunt in non wolf areas making those areas more crowded and dangerous. This will cost the state money from fees and lack of commerce. This problem will grow as the wolf population grows and as the word about the wolves get out to non resident hunters. Our economy and our hunting heritage can not sustain that. I would like to see no wolves and a license available (for a fee) to hunt the ones that are here.

John Dunn,  Olympia WA

My apology for not reviewing the plan minutia. I simply want to offer on the ground observations. The Elk popoulations in the Olympic National Park, while a wonderful resource, are perhaps too successful. There seem to be no more young Maple trees to replace the georgous moss bound old growth Maple in the park. I have assumed the reason to be the unchecked Elk populations and wonder if there may be similiar impacts.

Garry Blankenship,  Monroe WA

After reading the plans, it appears Alternative 2 is the most feasible. However while livestock predation is taken into account, one must realize that the game populations are going to be severely impacted. i.e the Lolo Unit and Panhandle units in ID One must realize the economic impact of reduced game populations which in my opinion is not addressed. Hunters and their families spend an exorbinate amount of monies pursuing big game. These monies include state licenses, sales tax revenue, monies spent in destination economies, firearms,ammunition,hotels, restaraunt, fuel ,recreation vehicles etc Without a significant game populations hunters and their families go outside the state. Idaho,Montana, and Wyoming have been severely impacted and I strongley urged WDFW to consider the option that allows management goals to be implemented as soon as they are needed rather than after the fact and the big game herds are put in a position of a long and difficult recovery. A good example is the Lolo Unit in Idaho. The goal of that unit is to have a herd of 6500-9,000 elk. The Actual number that is currently 3,000! It is obvious that it is going to take a long time for the herd to recover. Montana and Wyoming are experiencing similar circumstances in various units. Please develope a plan that will allow the MANAGEMENT of these highly efficient predators when it is needed. If left unchecked or mismanaged the economic impact is much more severe than what is taken in account in this draft. Thank you. Steve Prentice

Steve Prentice,  Kennewick WA

I would support any plan for wolf management that allows a common sense approach. Ranchers must be allowed to protect their property. The reimbursement for loss seems too complicated and they need to be able to be pro-active. I also feel that wolves should be de-listed and managed by WDFW now before any certain number is reached. WDFW can manage these animals just fine without the intrusion of federal agencies.

Mark Lowe,  Cashmere WA

This plan will result in too many wolfs in washington state.

Anonymous

We oppose introducing any predators to our state or allow the population of any to increase, that will decrease the number of game animals we now have.

Mike Trout,  White Salmon WA

We oppose introducing any predators to our state or allow the population of any to increase, that will decrease the number of game animals we now have.

Laura Trout,  White Salmon WA

I believe that the Environmental Impact Statement regarding a Wolf Conservation Management Plan is adequate in that it considers the potential impacts both probable and improbable that may result from such a choice of action.

Ryan Alexander Sparks,  Pullman WA

I wish to support Alterntive 2, the draft wolf conservation and management plan developed by the Washington Wolf Working Group. Thank you! Christopher Ensor

Christopher Ensor,  Kent WA

I think introducing wolves in the state of Washington is a huge mistake! They have been proven to depleete other natural animals such as elk,deer, and are a born killer.They often hunt only for sport and not only kill,but waste our precious game .In other states,such as Idaho,where wolves were introduced,a large reduction of elk herds have been recorded.This introduction in our state,makes no sense to me whatso ever! This Plan will only cost taxpayers money and will acomplish absolutely nothing positive!

dave parkin,  lake tapps WA

Wolves need our greates protection now more than ever. These majestic and beautiful animals are a part of American lore and history, if we do not safeguard them and look out for their well-being by protecting their habitat then we have lost our souls.

Amin Arikat,  Discovery Bay CA

kill every damn wolf in washington idaho and montana. its devastating the elk and deer populations already in tremendous amounts. hunters keep the populations of elk and deer at a good rate anyhow theres no need in destroy all of the deer and elk. soon there wont be any. i hate this state and its government. i hate washington state

Anonymous

Do not introduce wolves.

Anonymous

Absolutely no wolves on the Olympic Penninsula

Wessley Stover,  Lacey WA

I am in support of the no action proposal. After seeing what the effect wolves have had on the Montana wildlife population and livestock I do not want to see this happen in Washington State. Thanks for allowing me an input. Keith

keith peter,  Monroe WA

I recommend that no wolves be introduced into Western Washington. Have you lost your minds. Do not release any more wolves for gods sake.

Kevin Wolf,  Lacey WA

This is the biggest mistake we can make for the future of our stated greatest asset, it's wildlife.

Anonymous

I am totally in opposition to a formal wolf re-introduction plan for the State of Washington. I have first hand experience with the devastation that similar plans have had in the neighboring states of Idaho and Wyoming.

L. Don Rose Jr,  Enumclaw WA

I recently read an article in the North West Sportsman magazine , Here is how I feel from my prespective: Wolf makes less elk and deer for sportsman. They multiply like a dog and have no preditors. There is no true way to tell how many there are. They kill cattle and livestock. Who will pay for this? Wolves go where the game are. Alot of game are rural, this means school bus stops not just the mountains. Speaking of hearing the wolves in the tent, how will you feel for the young boy or girl is off alone and encounters a pack of wolves. I have been hunting in Idaho for about 6 years and the Elk are greatly diminished. The outfitters get less tages and the farmers have watched ther livestock diminish. The state has put out alot of money to compensate for this. It has put alot of outfitters out of business. I talked to several hunters that paid for hunts and all they saw were wolves. I have gone on the early bugle hunt and the elk wont hardly answer any more. As soon as you shoot an Elk you hear the wolves. The state of Idaho has been overwelmed with the cost. I dont want my money spent on wolves. Once you get them they are hard to get rid of.They are hard to hunt, in November where their were elk tracks there were wolf tracks- the Elk dont get a break ever. They have killed alot of expierenced hunting dogs and thats very costly. I probably will not go to Idaho because of the wolves. They were allowed to harvest over 200 and I dont believe that amount has been reached yet. The state has so few hunters to fund the programs these days that tag buying sportsman pick up the large, if not most, of the bills. By bringing wolves in alot of hunters will say the heck with it. There will be fewer game to hunt.Take a look at the problems Idaho if facing. A smart state should learn from this so as not to step in the same trap. Because of a few people that live in downtown Bellevue or Seattle that would like to see a pretty wolf. I have talked to several people in Idaho that have been on a hunt in the tents and listen to calfs and cows crying as they are being eaten alive. I suppose you know a wolf doesnt kill its prey before they eat it. They eat them alive while they suffer. Our program cant afford the hit. If people want to see wolves they wont see them in the wild. The Majority of people dont go in the woods or to the rural areas. you people make the stupid decisions and us hunters and livestock owners have to live with it. Why is it that people that make these decisions just go home and dont give it another thought, It's not real to them.Well I live in the country and I hunt, Im not alone is saying that this is bullshit.

Chase,  maple Valley WA

Wolves are bad. Please do not introduce them anywhere west of the Cascades. They will decimate the elk and deer herds

Bill Wyman,  Yelm WA

I am very much interested in wolves & felt connected to them in a more spirited way.. I love everything about them & wish to do whatever in order to continuing to protect them.

Jennifer Simonds,  Spokane WA

Wolves that are coming into the state are not the same wolves that were here before. They must be treated as an invasive species and managed accordingly. All management decisions should be made on a regional basis independent of decisions in other regions. Because of the rapid population growth capabilities of wolves, management actions meed to be started when the triggering event occurs not after a long waiting period.

Everett Burts,  Wenatchee WA

I welcome wolves back to Washington State, where they are a native species vital to a healthy ecosystem. They are important for biodiversity and a fully functioning ecosystems. They bring countless benefits to our state. Wolves discourage over grazing by elk and other wildlife. We need strict enforcement with real penalties for illegal killing of wolves. Protection of this species is most important. Protecting them for illegal killing and harrassment will be an important job for your agency. I am NOT in favor of the lethal option being part of any plan for wolve recovery and protection. At least 50 breeding pairs per isolated region are needed to establish wolves in our state. 15 breeding pairs is seriously too low to have a viable pack with sufficient genetic diversity. I am in favor of adding the fourth recovery region on the coast. It is historically a region where wolves prospered, so they should be returned to that ecosystem. I fear that the plans are merely a rush to de-list the species so that people can start killing wolves legally. That would be a grave mistake to repeat our prior misguided history. Your agency among other groups must accept responsibility for re-establishing our human connection with wolves and overall appreciation for wildlife and nature. It will be the duty of your agency and other groups to educate cattle ranchers, farmers, and people with pets living near wildlife areas about wolves and how to legally protect themselves without harming wolves. Education to overcome the negative legacy the wolves carry will also be important and a job that I hope your agency will welcome and take seriously. It is time to right the wrong of erradication. Our state's priority needs to be wolf recovery above all. Hunting of wolves should be banned forever. I do not want to see Washington State follow in the sad footsteps of Montana and Alaska, with their horrific arial hunts of wolves. I do not eat beef and feel that Americans eat too much meat. I wish there was less land devoted to domestic grazing and more land available for wildlife. Your plan needs to provide motivation for cattle ranchers to aid wolves and severe penalties for harming wolves. It is the right thing to do to err on the side of wolf recovery. Washington has an opportunity to be a leader in smart plans to protect and aid the recovery of these magnificent creatures.

Kristi Hendrickson,  Seattle WA

Do NOT put wolves any part of Washington. I know you have but these wolves kill way tooo much game for people who hunt.

Jim Rubert,  Puyallup WA

I would like to see no wolves in Washington, but if they are to be here I would like to see no more than eight breeding pairs at any one time. The wilderness areas make Washington a small state (vs. the populated areas) and the impact that wolves would have on our wild game could be devastating especially animals with small populations such as moose and woodland caribou. Wolves should not be used as a game management or conservation tool, but they themselves need to be thoroughly managed by the sportsmen and women of Washington state. Wolves should only be allowed in areas where they will not have any effect on the general population; i.e. interactions with peoples pets, livestock, or livlihoods. Again NO wolves would be the best option, but at most only eight breeding pairs who are thoroughly managed at all times.

Christopher M Williams,  Graham WA

I do not support translocation of wolves within the state. Wolves should be managed just like other predators and they will have a negative impact on all other species which they share habitat with. In short the wolf plan should have a clear expectation on when they will be lifted from endangered. That way there is no debacle like other states have. Many reports of wolves in multiple locations in the state. The game department fails to confirm them but they are known to exist. Not good management signs already. The trust is low among the public.

Raymond Borbon,  Kirkland WA

The predator control program in Alaska is bad enough. Many of us are fighting to change it. It benefits no species to manipulate the balance between predator and prey; it has worked well for longer than humans have walked the earth.

Tina Brown,  Juneau AK

Introduction of more wolves to Washington is a reckless and LUDICROUS idea.

Jay Arment,  Spokane WA

Please make wolf conservation and habitat preservation the highest prioritities.

Kevin O'Halloran,  Seattle WA

If you let wolves in, you won't have other game or non-game. When they move through an area, nothing is left living. The only real hunting left in Idaho is wolves. Here in Idaho, there has just been a coincidental crash in elk and deer numbers according to USFWS and our own F&G, but it is remarkably attributed to environmental changes. If your Dept of Fish and Wildlife wants to lose money on tag revenue, reduce wildlife (game and non-game) numbers, and increase livestock predation, then, by all means, let the wolves have free reign. Oh, and by the way, I had planned on hunting in Washington next year!

Gary Skeen,  Eagle ID

I can't believe you would even consider this. Instead of killing off our big game why not try to develop the herds to bring in out of state hunters to our state to hunt. The monies generated from big game hunters would be tremendous, look at other states like montana, idaho. Are you just trying to piss-off the hunter here in washington so we will stop buying our hunting tags, because it's working. Your fishing program rocks in this state but your hunting program reaelly sucks I personnally believe Washington state is the worst one in the United States. We have no pheasents, we have no deer in the cascades, blue mountains and trying to see an Elk is truly an scarce event anymore. Your game bioligist are a joke when it come to the truth an how many animals are out there. Your numbers/figures at the end-of the year are lies. Hunters know this because we don't see the game any more, you let the cougar population get out of controland you have no idea an how many are out there. Your lice story is just that I see more hair in scat then I see animals. I have been hunting here in this state for the last 41 years and supporting your wages, this is going to change do to your lack of care and interest to the hunters which support you.

Joe Headley,  Yakima WA

You need to talk to the rancher in Idaho,about what effect the Wolf's are having on them. I have hunter both ELK and Deer for the last twelve in Idaho. Hunting has gone from very good, to worest than Washington. Their was a reason that are for Fathers got rid of them. If you and the envirmentalest, want them back so bad. Then raise them on your property, and leave public land alone. If you bring them back, which you already have. Hunting will be nonexisent, in five years. Your's truly Richard D. Heckard

Richard D Heckard,  Olympia WA

I out of State hunt in Wyoming frequently and have run across wolves in the wild several times. I have also come across both cattle and sheep carcasses that appeared to have been killed by wolves. The wolves that have seen me do move off in the other direction, but are definetly not afraid of "man" like other predators. I think that wolves should only be introduce to an area like Washington State only if farmers and ranchers are totally compensated for any of their stock killed by wolves. Since there never seems to be enough money in the government funds to take care of this issue, I am against reintroducing breeding wolves to Washington State. If there has to be breeding pairs, then stick to the minimum number needed to sustain a population.

Larry Helm,  Bellingham WA

Please consider bringing wolves back to the Olympic Peninsula.

Linda Lou Marshall,  Chimacum WA

Not enough emphasis is placed upon the continuation of hunting opportunity for ungulate prey populations. The idea that illegal harvest of game animals will be accomplished has been unsuccessful due to lack of funding for enforcement. I do not see the dfw increasing the level of enforcement in the future. In addition there is no attempt to set a goal of wolf abundance which will allow the management of wolf populations by the issuance of permits, or open seasons for wolf harvest by sportsmen. If you are doing a plan for wolf recovery it should include provisions for management once recovery has been achieved. Of your options I prefer option 2, but it is not complete as it stops too soon. There should also be provision for management by zones to allow harvest to begin when regional recovery has been met.

William Faubion,  cathlamet WA

Here in Idaho the Idaho Fish & Game Dept. is hell bent on extirpating ALL wolves from the state. As a retired Forest Service wildlife biologist I know that health wild ungulate populations are dependent on major predators. Please don't allow people to kill wolves just for the sake of killing as they are now doing in Idaho and Montana.

Dick Artley,  Grangeville ID

On Alternative #2, I recommend doubling the numbers (2 to 4, 12 to 24) for all aspects of mating pair etc...

Julian Russell,  BRISTOW VA

I agree with wolf management being a state responsibility. However I see no need to manage wolves as a listed species by the state. Introduction of wolves should not be pursued by the state. While wolves were native at one time this does not mean that washington should become a wolf habitat now. Conditions have changed since 1850, attempts of environmental groups to turn back the hands of time to 1850 are unacceptable. Personnally I see wolf reintroductions as a means of PETA, humane society and other groups to eliminate hunting and gun ownership. Adding wolves to the state will only reduce limtied state wildlife populations and thus public hunting opportunity. If the state guarenteed wolves would be treated the same as bear and cougar, I might change my mind (unlimited tag sales). If you reintroduce wolves and have wolf management why not buffalo, antelope, sharp tails, sage grouse, grizzle bears. Camels and elephants once roamed washington why not reintroduce them. If the state pursues wolf reintroduction I will do anything I can politically to stop it even if it means cutting all funds to the department of fish and game.

thomas Linde,  Carson WA

Look at how wolves have affected other states that have protected the wolves, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado

Anonymous

Please establish a Pacific Coast Wolf Recovery Area that includes the Olympics. Relocate the wolves as soon as possible. I welcome the Wolf back! Thank-you for your time and efforts to save this magnificent creature. MJ Anthony

Marti Anthony,  Port Ludlow WA

I think the commission needs to think hard about these wolves. I have seen first hand what the wolves did to the population of elk and deer in Idaho. I have hunted in Idaho for eight years and in the last three till know the population of elk and deer has dropped considerably. The wolves are killing machines, I have found wolf kills where they killed the animal and just left it. They just kill to kill! You should talk to other states like Idaho and ask them what they think about having a bunch of wolves. Please stop the wolves from being introduced in washington

Anonymous

I am fearful of attacks on hikers, particularly children, should the wolves come into Olympic National Park. I am unclear why we want or need wolves at all. Please list me as a ' "no" vote for any additional wolves.

William Wolf Hoke,  Bremerton WA

I would welcome the gray wolves back to their former territories on the Olympic Peninsula.

Phyllis Mee,  Port Townsend WA

Well thought out. You tried to balance all stakeholder needs.

Marcia avajas,  Bainbridge Island WA

I understand that this comment period is just a facade. You're going to do what is politically correct anyway.

Rodney Fosback,  Colville WA

I am a Washington resident currently living in Vancouver, WA and with property in Port Townsend. I expect PT, and the Olympic Peninsula, to be my permanent home within the next year. My academic background is biology and I have spent many hours involved in field data collection, research and analysis. I am encouraging the WDFW to include in its Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan restoration of a self-sustaining wolf population on the Olympic Peninsula. Because of human impediments, natural migration back into this former wolf habitat is unlikely. The Olympic Peninsula is sparsely populated with people, but well populated with prey species, including elk and deer in abundance. The limited number and size of livestock operations on the peninsula also favors restoration of active wolf packs here. Wolves belong on the Olympic Peninsula and I think their return would be a source of local pride.

Markus Stein,  Vancouver WA

I am certain that the general public will have no say so in this matter, What I would like to know is where will the funding come from for this new project? It is troubling for me to see how our money is being spent, need you be reminded that the majority of your revinue comes from taxes collected from the purchase of sporting goods by our general public. It seems to me that our general public might be more interested in having our state do a better job of managing or better yet trying to inhance our deer populations along with buck to doe ratio's throughout the state instead of trying to cram another pet project down our throat by tell the general public that this new species will help us manage the deer and elk populations. I am still curious how this will benafit the "General Population".

John Geelan,  Montesano WA

There should be open hunting season year round on Wolves and Cougars as they are both placing our deer and elk heards in grave danger of vanishing. Wolves tend to kill for fun and not just for food just like dogs will do if not controled. Use common sense, not tainted studies performed be ecofreaks that have no clue of how the real world works. When a wolf or cougar drags one of your children or Grandchildren of maybe you will understand.

Larry Henke,  Moses Lake WA

ONP is perfect habitat for wolves, would improve balance in the ecosystem and is less affected by big ranching than many places in the country - yes to wolves ASAP please.

Tom Beno,  Kent WA

The downlisting and delisting numbers are too high. OUr avcailable habitat will not support it without huge declines in already fragile deer & elk populations.

Lee Davis,  Ellensburg WA

I would like to preface my comments with the following statement, why is it necessary to have wolves? Because they were here before. Well polio was a fact of life too, should we reintroduce it as well? I have been an avid hunter in both Washington and Montana. I personally have witnessed the negative impacts of the introduction of Wolves and Grizzly Bears to the populations of deer and elk in western Montana. Hunters provide large financial income to many depressed areas and if you want real life experiences you should go sit in a cafe in Troy Montana and ask the locals how they feel about the introduction of the Bears and wolves. A few are positive but I guarantee that a vast majority are dead set against it. Most of the locals recomment the following action if you see a wolf while hunting: Shoot the damn thing, kick it under a tree and don't tell anyone. Several of the meat processors have gone out of business and all of them have seen huge reductions in their income due to decreased hunter harvests. One of our friends raises bird dogs and has had several of his dogs killed in his yard over the past three years. He also has two small children that played in that same yard but no longer. Once again I really do not understand why we need to spend over a half million dollars (Your own estimate) to insure a population of wolves will be established in Washington. I do not think they have been missed and I sure do not think we need to spend that kind of money given our current financial situation

Michael LaChance,  Renton WA

I oppose the plan as a whole. 15 Breeding pairs, way too many, this will devestate our deer, elk, moose, goat ans sheep population. No wolves please.

Kenneth Nilson,  Silverdale WA

I am for the no action alternative. There are already wolves in Eastern Wash. The expense of this program would escalate as wolf packs got larger. By its very nature it will cut down our hunting time for game animals.

Anonymous

1. I am not in favor of delisting or downlisting wolves at the state level; 2. 15 breeding pairs is way too few; need at least 50-100 pairs; 3. Wolves should never be a game species.

Steve Eichelberger,  Tacoma WA

I am completely in favor of reintroducing wolves.

Anonymous

I am happy that you have a plan to allow wolves to return. I was not able to attend the meeting in Aberdeen, which was reported in our paper with the headline, "Hunters tell state wolves not welcome here," with wild statements from the attendees, such as this one by Bill Pickell: "These creatures are killing machines - most wolf kills are thrills." I do not agree with that point of view. I doubt that wolves are killing for pleasure. I believe we need to accept the balance of nature. From my understanding, the predator is good for the prey - culling weak individuals and thus strengthening the herd. Why should hunters fear that? My town now has an overabundance of stupid deer - I think they need another predator besides human hunters to make them act more like wild deer & less like pets. I was excited when I first read about wolf sightings in eastern Washington. They are survivors, and if we give them this chance to return, we may be able to redeem the mistakes of those who exterminated them, as well as enjoy the thrill of a little bit wilder woods. I believe we can learn from them, and I hope your plan will succeed.

Anonymous

I find it difficult to understand how cattlemen can expect protection for their cattle on public land(my land). Ranching is a business. Why as a taxpayer am I expected to aid his business. The risk of allowing cattle on public graze should fall fully on the cattleman that can't produce his product on his own property.

thomas reese,  burlington WA

Support increasing the Wa wolf population to bring the elk and deer population into balance. All plans initially bring in too few packs compared to a state like Minnesota with over 1000 wolves. Also, the breeding population is probably too small and not genetically diverse enough.

Jack Hirsch,  bellevue WA

I encourage WDFW to institute a Wolf Conservation and Management Plan that will assure recovery of the gray wolf in Washington to sustainable population levels at which the wolf can function as a top predator in the ecosystem. Great potential also exists for wolf-based tourism with strong economic impact for rural communities.

Robert Stagman,  Mercer Island WA

I have lived in Okanogan County my entire life, along with my parents, Grandparents, and Great Grandparents... MY Great Grandparents homesteaded in the Twisp Area starting in 1888, they over 1000 acres. My Grand Father took over the ranch in 1934. My Father was eleven years old at the time.... My Father packe in the Pasayten Wilderness in the 40's and worked for the Forest Service building a bridge in 1972. For the last 121 years he or any of our family has never seen or heard a Wolf here in Okanogan County. We would like the Washington Departmentof Fish and Wildlife to stop the Wolf plan, we do not want to see any wolf in the this County....

Laurie Morgan,  Okanogan WA

I am a Washington state resident, have reviewed in detail the draft plan and have attended (though did not comment at) the recent public meeting held in Seattle. I have been keenly interested in the wolf reintroduction efforts in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and commend the state of Washington for being proactive on developing a wolf conservation and management program. I am a strong advocate of wolf conservation and reintroduction and believe whole heartedly in the science indicating that wolves are an extremely important part of health western ecosytem. I would like to go on record as being strongly in support of alternative 3 of the draft plan. Though not included in any of the alternatives, I also strongly support the idea of wolf reintroduction to the state of Washington. Regarding public funding of the plan I have the following two comments: 1) I do not support publically-financed compensation to livestock owners in the instance of confirmed livestock kills by wolves. For decades, livestock owners have enjoyed an economic benefit as a direct result of the extirpation of wolves in the United States. Being compensated for a "natural" risk is illogical. 2) I fully support public funding of outreach and communication efforts aimed at livestock and companion animal owners on how best to minimize unwanted predation incidents. Thank you for allowing me to comment.

Mark Reblitz,  Woodinville WA

I do not support Wolves on the Olympic Peninsula not because I dislike Wolves but mostly it is a confined area as a Wolf habitat goes. It is obvious that the Deer and Elk populations here are down because of the way the hunting regs are set up. Bull only on all hunting methods and limited special hunt opportunities. I have no problem with this I know it is part of management. We also have preditors already controling the populations Cougar and bear have increased. Another preditor especially like the Wolf which increases faster than either cougar or bear. Where will the over populated wolves go when they reach capacity forn their habitat. We know how hard it is to try to get population control methods this day in age law suits courts ect. Needless to say that other species will also suffer Grouse rabbits ect. I didn't mention coyotes & bobcats as preditors. Also the costs associated with rembursing pople for animals money which could be better spent on other game management. You said that the wolf would not be able to find it's way to the peninsula so if they are introduced here and overpopulate the then they probably can't find their way off. I hope that you use good science and information on your decison not because you are pressured by special interests to do this. Thank you Richard Aksamit

Richard A Aksamit,  Sequim WA

November 11, 2009 WDFW: Following are my comments on the draft EIS. I support Alternative Three with the following amendments/comments: 1. It would be close to impossible for the animals to naturally re-inhabit the north Olympic Peninsula. They need to be re-introduced on the Peninsula as soon as practical. In a 1980’s National Park Service study, the Olympic National Park was identified as the Number Two park for wolf reintroduction, after Yellowstone. The Olympic National Park’s ecosystem has not been whole for more than 70 years because of the loss of wolves and other extirpated wildlife. 2. 2:1 repayment for killed domestic animals seems too high – perhaps adding the words “up to” 2:1 could work better. 3. The number of breeding pairs recommended (15) for the state prior to de-listing status is too risky. I’d recommend using numbers that are the WDFW’s scientifically-based estimated numbers needed for transitioning from threatened to sensitive, which is 15; not complete de-listing at 15. There are too many variables, such as climate change, to be selecting the lowest number of pairs thought possible. You should double the number of pairs for de-listing to 30. 4. Economic reasons also support reintroduction/recovery. Fully 3-1/2% to 4% of the people who come to Yellowstone come just to see the wolves there. That represents more than 100,000 added visitors to the Olympic National Park and added revenue to the local economies, since approximately the same number of people visit ONP as Yellowstone. Please accept my comments as part of the public record. Please also confirm that you have received my letter.

Bob Lynette,  Sequim WA

the cattleman are worried that the wolves will kill there cattle?they should be more worried about the cougar that is out of control!!Iwant to know why are these morons even being aloud to free range cattle on public lands and high country?Its not a wolf problem its a cattleman problem!!The cows are the ones eating all the deers food in the hills,in turn causing mass starvation when the snows hit!Wolves eat dead or sick to keep bad things from spreading to others,But you will not convince the farmer of that.Its the same bullshit that is going on in montana area and yellowstone park!I say F--k the cattle and sheep we need to keep what animals like wolves and buffalo or this eco system is going to bite us in the ASS!!!I say no more free range cattle.What about there so called bad things they carry??MAD COW,ANTHRAX??Maybe we should just destroy the cattle & sheep too!I ask you the million dollar question when will the goverment stand up tp all these bullies?and stand up for what animals we still have? thank-you.

vince mellon,  leavenworth WA

I attended the meeting in Wenatchee last night and I was very disappointed in the presentation of Fish and Wildlife. You said that that wolves and livestock got very well in Wisconsin and Michigan and therefore they would get along well together in the State of Washington. My husband was born and raised on a diary farm in Wisconsin---perhaps you need to correct your information rather than present misleading ideas. Dairy cows spend 3/4 of each and every day in the barn either being milked or eating grain. Wisconsin does not have any high hills (rolling or level land) so the cows are never out of sight of the farmer. In Washington state beef cattle do not ever spend their time inside the barn must be out on the hillside grazing and eating grass. Oftentimes this a considerable distance out of sight of the farmer and potentially near a wolf pack if one is nearby. When you quote facts to support your viewpoint--perhaps you need to get your facts and analogies correct before you present them as the TRUTH. I get the impression that the state fish and wildlife department is using the "wolf" senerio, to eliminate the cattle rancher, just as your department used the Spotted Owl to eliminate logging in the state of Washington. I once thought that the Constitution guaranteed me "life, liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness" I think that Fish and Wildlife needs to back off and allow people to be able to live again in this society.

Lorraine Kile,  Wenatchee WA

I attended the meeting in Wenatchee last night and I was very disappointed in the presentation of Fish and Wildlife. You said that that wolves and livestock got very well in Wisconsin and Michigan and therefore they would get along well together in the State of Washington. My husband was born and raised on a diary farm in Wisconsin---perhaps you need to correct your information rather than present misleading ideas. Dairy cows spend 3/4 of each and every day in the barn either being milked or eating grain. Wisconsin does not have any high hills (rolling or level land) so the cows are never out of sight of the farmer. In Washington state beef cattle do not ever spend their time inside the barn must be out on the hillside grazing and eating grass. Oftentimes this a considerable distance out of sight of the farmer and potentially near a wolf pack if one is nearby. When you quote facts to support your viewpoint--perhaps you need to get your facts and analogies correct before you present them as the TRUTH. I get the impression that the state fish and wildlife department is using the "wolf" senerio, to eliminate the cattle rancher, just as your department used the Spotted Owl to eliminate logging in the state of Washington. I once thought that the Constitution guaranteed me "life, liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness" I think that Fish and Wildlife needs to back off and allow people to be able to live again in this society.

Lorraine Kile,  Wenatchee WA

I lived in Alaska for 25 years, trapping was a life style for me. I trapped wolves as well as other animals. wolves are by far the smartest, and they work as a team better than coyotes etc. Ive seen them hunt snowshoe hares just like people might by spreading out 20 yards apart, and were very sucessfull. on the other hand I had a pack kill a calf moose on my trapline and ham string the cow. Basiclly putting her in the freezer till they needed her. by the way all that was left of the calf in 12 hours was bones... In my opinion lets start with option 1 and have 4 regions due to habitat, and human population differences. I don't see fladry working for the most part as I have seen kill and eat dogs while still tied to the house. I had some fish in the back of my pickup using it foe marten bait, and a wolf took it out of my pickup... If they get established too well it will be just as hard to control them as it is the gangs and drugs we have today, exept wolves are so much smarter than people, and less predictable...

Rick Turvey,  Yakima WA

Good plan! Approve it.

Roger Wallace,  Leavenworth WA

With gray wolves reentroducing themselves back into the State of Washington a State plan to manage them is a responsible action.

Ed Wilson,  Enumclaw WA

I do not support wolf introduction back into the state of washington. There is already huge issues with the cougar population in washington with the outlawing of cougar hounding and the state is not healthy enough for another alpha predator. I am also extremely concerned of the public safety issue this represents.

Michael Korenko,  Carson WA

Comments on DEIS Wolf Management Plan Warren Gimlin 2010 Alice Lane East Wenatchee, WA 98802 Phone- 509-393-9208 Member of the board, Wenatchee Sportsmen's Association Member WDFW's Game management Advisory Council Lifetime Washington resident and sportsman First off, the Canadian Grey wolf is not native to the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. In it's native habitat it is not endangered in any way. If we are going to recover wolves in Washington they should be the same ones that were here originally. Second, The WDFW's preferred option does not take into consideration the mandate set forth in (RCW77.04.012) which states “..the department shall preserve, protect, perpetuate, and manage the wildlife...”, and “The commission shall attempt to maximize the public recreation...hunting opportunities of all citizens, including juvinile, disabled, and senior citizens...” The overall goals are to protect, suatain, manage hunted wildlife,provide stable recreational hunting opportunitiesto all citizens, protect and enhance wildlife habitat, minimize adverse impacts to residents, other wildlife, and the environment. The preferred option of the WDFW calls for to many breeding pairs for our states land area, human population and ungulate population (the wolfs preferred food). Compared to Idaho and Montana, we have less area available and a higher population of people (Washington's Population is 6.4 million people, Idaho's population is 1.8 million people, and Montana's population is 980,000 people). Yet the preferred Plan calls for 15 breeding pairs to delist in our state and only 10 breeding pairs in Idaho and Montana. Considering the available land, human population, and ungulate population this makes no sense. Plan Alt 1A (The Minority Responsible Approach) which calls for 8 breeding pairs to delist makes much more sense. Alt 1A (The ResponsibleApproach) also allows for hunting wolves as a means of population control which does make sense as the wolf has no other natural predators and this would enhance hunting opportunities for the people of the state. The more wolves that you have the more conflicts there will be with people and livestock in our state, and this means that people will be less accepting of the wolves for a much longer period of time. The state should have as wide a range as possible to resolve wolf-human-livestock-wildlife problems. If wolves populate this state in large enough numbers then hunting of deer and elk and moose will have to be curtailed. Since the WDFW's funding partly comes from license and tag sales Who is going to fund the department when no one buys license and tags because ther are no longer any decent hunting opportunities in the state. If the WDFW insists on 15 Breeding pairs to delist these non-native wolves then at least half of that number should be translocatated along th I-5 corridor so that the people that think we need this many wolves can find out first hand what the wolves will be like in their own back yards. Respectfully, Warren D. Gimlin

Warren D Gimlin,  East Wenatchee WA

WDFW staff: Thank you for your work on this project. Good stuff: 1) That a plan is being put together 2) That "wolf specialists" will be part of outreach, education, working with livestock operators 3) That there are compensation options for "probable" depredation since one of the main complaints from livestock operators is that it is practically impossible to "prove" wolf depredation. thanks, Susan Crampton Methow Valley, WA

Anonymous

I oppose the introduction of wolves to the North Olympic Peninsula. I have lived in the area my entire life and am very concerned of the consequences of adding another predator to the area. Since hound hunting of cougars has been banned, the cougar population has gone up and the deer and elk have suffered. I feel that with deer and elk population cannot afford any other predators. With the increased cougar population, current hunting rules and tribal hunting from September to February in some areas, the animals are under attach most of the year. I fear that elk and deer population would decline to the point that hunters will not be able to purchase over the counter tags in the future if wolves come into the area. It would be nice if we found that moose were indiginous to the area and reintroduce them. Please help protect our game animals. Thank you

Mike Hill,  Port Angeles WA

As a citizen of Washington, I value wolves and their positive effect on ecosystems. My family and I wish to see their recovery to our state's wildlife and habitat. The draft wolf conservation and management plan now before you needs to be strengthened to ensure that wolves are given the chance to recover to a point that their numbers are stable and the populations are healthy enough to effectively play their role as top predators in Washington's ecosystems. To ensure recovery of wolves, I urge you to further strengthen the working group's plan: * Increase the number of established breeding pairs before a delisting is proposed. A significant number of scientific reviewers believe that the department's numbers for delisting were low. * Provide a stronger evaluation of the state's habitat connectivity to other regions and details on how connectivity will be improved over time, especially since the plan relies on natural migration from areas outside the state for recovery. * Provide separate population recovery objectives for the Pacific Coast where high quality wolf habitat and increased public support justify it having its own recovery objectives. * Eliminate the "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners at the endangered and threatened phases of recovery. Given the history of poaching in this state and the high potential for misuse, this provision could seriously hamper recovery efforts. Investing in non-lethal deterrent methods and providing livestock owners with a fair compensation package are more effective approaches at the early stages of wolf recovery. * Support the translocation of wolves as a strategy to speeding recovery by establishing implementation mechanisms and providing a funding schedule in the plan. Thank you making sure Washington state's plan is visionary, pragmatic, and strong enough to conserve and manage wolves in a balanced way that will ease the transition for everyone, including the wolves.

Barbara Rosenkotter,  Deer Harbor WA

wolves on the olympic peninsula just doesn't fit.i grew up in idaho & hunted there all my life before moving to port angeles 20 yrs ago.these are two very different areas.wolves in idaho have destroyed the balance between good management of our deer & elk & almost everyone that hunts there has seen the difference in the quality of our herds.here on the peninsula we only have limited hunting because of the size of the park.there just isn't they amount of deer & elk here to support wolves.we as sportsman know what will happen when all the deer & elk are gone.cats, dogs & garbage cans will be the food source.we just can't go backwards in our thinking about how it used to be.I have watched F&G manage our wildlife right out of existance with respect to pheasant,sagehens,deer,elk, in my home state of idaho.I hope someone will just take the time to see what surrounding states are going through with the wolf introduction---sincerely, john qualls

john qualls,  port angeles WA

Wolves are endangered; PLEASE ensure they have appropriate freedom and a strong management plan to ensure they full recover to NONendangered status. We MUST protect our environment and our wild animals; otherwise this earth and all future generations of HUMANS will ALSO lose a vital item from their lives. They are the top predator in our state's ecosystem, and SO important in order to not upset the natural balance of NATURE. Whatever you do, Please Do Not EVER Allow Them To Be Hunted By Humans. Thank You!

Janet Waite,  Lynnwood WA

I strongly object to the introduction of wolves in Western Washington especially on the Olympic Peninsula. In the early 1990's, the elk herds dipped below 60% of the carring capacity on the western Olympic Peninsula and it has taken us till now to bring our herd back to a little over 80% of carring capacity.

Anonymous

Idea of introducing wolves is STUPID. Use some common sense. We have enough predators in our wilderness.. More will not help and will cause human systems tragedy.

Gerald Hauxwell,  Port Angeles WA

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this plan. I am a lifelong resident of the Olympic Peninsula and was raised in Forks, where my entire family still resides, though I have lived in Port Townsend for the past few years. I have done extensive research on the ecosystem of the Olympic Peninsula, as I am the author of two children's books dealing with nature and the environment, the second book being specifically about the rainforest of the area, best exemplified by the Hoh River Valley, and along with book research I contacted scientists and also have of course spent much time actually in the area, hiking and camping. My father drove a log truck for many years around the Forks area and tells a story of seeing, on a logging road in the mid 1950's, what he felt sure was a wolf. That was the last sighting anyone he knows remembers and he was greatly moved by the sight of this magnificent animal. I have been following the situation of the wolves in the northern Rockies and have been dismayed by the wolf hunts, as the genetic pool of the wolves is much smaller than in the past, and its status as an endangered species and its value in the ecosystem should earn it full protection. I am hoping that wolves will be safely brought back to the Olympic Peninsula where large tracts of federal land exist to support them. Not only are the wolves native to the area, they have centuries helped maintain nature's balance and the area is clearly suffering negative changes without their presence. I have read about the studies which show changes in the riverbanks of the Hoh and changes in the natural evolution of the forest, as without their historic predators, elk and deer are overgrazing and their habits of eating are changing; they are less restive and instead of nibbling and moving on they are eating new cottonwoods and other vegetation down all the way to the ground, vegetation vital to the continuation of the rainforest and river as we know it, and the banks are collapsing without the new cottonwood roots, and reforestation is no longer proceeding as it was for many centuries. In other areas where wolves have re-colonized it is shown that species diversity increases and in general the ecosystem is healthier. Farmers who fear for their livestock have help in the shape of large herding dogs who have been bred for centuries to deal with this very problem. And we must remember humans are not the only species worthy of consideration; for too long we have dominated and destroyed and we must recognize the rights of other life forms to co-exist. Thank you for this opportunity to comment, and I am hoping that someday relatively soon we will hear and maybe even see these magnificent animals in their ancient homelands again.

Jennifer Blomgren,  Port Townsend WA

Very simple comment (with a side note at the end): I think that waiting until Wolves establish in all geographic/climatic zones in Washington before proceeding with the delisting and local management is ill advised. You know as well as I do that Washington State is one of the most geographically diverse areas in North America. I think it would be wise to consider... If they establish in the Blues, manage the Blues. If they establish in the Okanogan, manage the Okanogan. If they establish in NE, manage NE. Basin....Basin. SW...SW. Peninsula...Peninsula. Etc. I think the rush to spread them throughout THIS State so that they can be managed locally is a bad idea, and should be revisited. (Side Note: Olympic National Park is another issue, and the Dept of the Interior should take their ques from Yellowstone and the NF and private lands around Yellowstone to evaluate how that will go. It's in OUR intrest to make sure they're prepared for that. Damage to NF wildlife populations, and Livestock predation around the Park- -due to overpopulation inside the Park- -could be a real headache without cooperation far in advance.)

Steve Tormala,  Sequim WA

I support the general plan of wolf translocation in Washington State. In particular I think that Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest are excellent sites for direct reintroduction. There is plenty of public land and abundant habitat and prey to support wolves. There are few livestock operations or large population centers in the surrounding areas. Over-browsing by elk are damaging riparian areas in the Olympics and wolf reintroductions elsewhere have shown ecological improvements in such areas. Finally, the Olympics are separated from the Cascades by the I-5 corridor and should be treated as a separate management unit and not combined with the S Cascades.

Mike Dawson,  Port Townsend WA

I don't like that the meeting are being held during hunting seasons (oct.20 thru nov 10). This seems a little biased to me! Darryl

darryl pope,  bellingham WA

I was at the public meeting in Colville and wanted to thank you for your time in arranging the meetings, it was very organized and civil. I support alternative 2. I am a resident of Stevens county and I am not the only one in support of the wolves and a sustainable approach to living near nature. Thank you for your time.

Yvette Goot,  Chewelah WA

I don't understand why we create problems and impacts on wildlife and live stock and them go back in and shoot the wolves after they over populate. This process is sickening to me. I would consider myself a conservationist but seeing these wonderful animals shot is not the answer. This kind of restorating and then destroying what we have restored doesn't make any sense. The public that views this process has to wonder. We should have left their populations alone in Washington State and else where. I guess its like cougars and coyotes, we control them by hunting because we control nature. I just don't feel like we need to add populations and then destroy them. I look forward to your response.

Gary L Johnson,  Raymond WA

Our Family of 6 is for Relocation of the Gray wolf into the Olympic Mountains. They belong back in this wilderness!

William Carpenter,  Port Angeles WA

The only problem I have with plan is one what data isused to decide the number of breeding pairs is satisfactory. If that number is to high is there a process to change it. Two Since the sportsman are footing the major part of the money hunting excess wolves should be part of the plan. We know that elk a and deer numbers have declined in wolf areas and hunting needs to be a option in maintaining healthy herds for all.

Robert ,  Edwall WA

This is absolute INSANITY!! The LAST thing we need is another predator to manage. This is the year 2009, NOT 1856!!! Wolves do not need to be on the Olympic Peninsula. Period. We have enough problems with animal/human contact right now - without adding wolves to the mix. It's all we can do to keep the Indians from destroying what's left of our wildlife, without adding an even MORE voracious predator. Neither me, my wife, family, or friends want wolves in our communities. Please DO NOT allow wolves to invade our state. There should actually be a BOUNTY on wolves. Do not cave in to the "wolf huggers" from back east. Why not send wolves to downtown New York or Washington DC instead?

Ken Henshaw,  Sequim WA

The preferred plan #2, although providing some protection to existing breeding populations, allows for excessive use of legal force without confirmation of "wolf misbehavior" by private citizens; is overly generous in compensation to livestock owners, many of whom are already benefiting from the use of public lands; and should clearly state that none of the lethal measures may be used until a clear plan has been developed for downlisting and delisting the endangered status of gray wolves in Washington; and is overly protective of sport hunting. The re-establishment of a natural balance of predator/prey should be the primary importance so that the "lone wolf" juveniles have adequate access to a food source within an appropriately protected (through habitat restoration) area. At least some of the current conflicts may be attributed to the illegal hunting of male pack leaders leaving juveniles without adequate skill development to hunt their natural prey.

Suzanne H McCallum,  Seattle WA

I represent the Quinault Indian Nation and the Quinaults are against the Translocation of any Wolfs into the South Cascades and the Olypimcs because we feel that we have to many predorters and to few Deer and Elk. Even though we have Cultural ties to the Wolf we feel that we don't need them in the area.

LeRoy Black,  Hoquiam WA

Thank you for thoughtfully considering the plight of the Grey Wolf in Washington State. Because we have led the country in so many "humane" areas, and are on-board for a "Greener" Washington, I would hope you take your leadership position carefully, and allow the Grey Wolf to not only survive, but thrive in Washington State as an example of what a more evolved citizenry can do on behalf of animals who have been so closely tied to our own advancement as a country. Please make their survival of paramount importance in your decision-making. Dr. Glenda Beg

Glenda Berg,  Des Moines WA

In these times of State Budget defecits and falterng state income, for WDFW to consider adding more costs to support bigger government in the managment of a predator (the gray wolf) is not in line with the fiscal conservative posture that they should adhere to. Additionally, allowing the grey wolf population to grow as is proposed will have a devistating consequence on elk and deer populatons as well as the likely and unnecessary loss of of cattle and other domestic livestock. The "do nothing" alternative toward management of the grey wolf is by far the best solution today and in the forseeable future.

Earle Marvin,  Dayton WA

I am completely in favor of this plan and hope to be a very active part of it.

Faith Morgan,  Vancouver WA

The plan should be based on comprehensive scientific research. The goal of 15 breeding pairs is clearly inadequate.

Bruce Turcott,  Olympia WA

As it appears that the science is not conclusive regarding the number of breeding pairs necessary for sucessful wolf populations I feel that we should be erring on the side of the wolves as opposed to what has historically happened. Should it turn out years from now that we have too many wolves it would be far easier, cheaper and expeditious to deal with an overpopulation problem than to try and reintroduce a population that was not allowed a viable number from this point forward.

Al Werner,  Seattle WA

I've been hunting the Northeast Cascades, Twisp, Winthrop & Loomis, for Mule deer for 15 years now and have seen the quality of hunting deteriorate to a level that is causing me to consider giving up the whole thing altogether. I spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars annually to hunt in this state and for what? A rifle season that happens when Mule deer are perfectly content living in their summer/fall habitat which happens to be miles and miles into the back country in a National Park that prohibits hunting. Now the Dept of Fish & Wildlife is bowing down to the special interest groups who are armed with boatloads of money to introduce a ruthless predator that will further erode the hunting opportunities and odds for success that this and many other outdoorsmen already see as dismal. Wolves in Washington may be a romantic idea in some radical animal rights groups world view but wildlife in this state already suffers from low numbers, high winter kills, habitat encroachment and in my view mismanagement, not to mention the ridiculous notion that wildlife management should be performed through the ballot box and initiative process by overly emotional, uneducated morons living in Wallingford and Capital Hill who don't have a lick of Wildlife Biology education. For a state that is billions and billions in debt due to incompetency and fiscal mismanagement of public funds on ideological programs, the last thing we need is to further cut into the positive (but dwindling) revenue stream that hunting provides to the state. Wolf reintroduction will cost millions to administer, eliminate money to the economy in the form of gas, food, lodging, clothing, accessories and the list goes on and on ,and will provide only a hand full of people (in the grand scheme of things) a warm fuzzy feeling that somehow we have done something good for the environment, wildlife and society as a whole. Before we reintroduce wolves to everyplace they ever roamed just shy of the Seattle, Chicago, New York and Denver city limits, why doesn't the WDFW and our state government watch the fallout of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park and how those animals have proliferated areas outside the park into Montana, Idaho, Northeast Washington etc. In closing I think it's a bad idea and to say that these wolves are somehow "endangered" is laughable. There are thousands & thousands in Canada, Alaska & Minnesota among other places. Sincerely, a very concerned hunter, Jeff Butterworth Maple Valley, WA

Jeff Butterworth,  Maple Valley WA

The state of Washington has a great opportunity to reestablish a native population of gray wolves. I am strongly in favor of doing so. This benefits the ecology of the state as well as financially. It is likely that a vast majority of the population are in favor of establishing a sustaining population. I urge the WDFW to do it right the first time and establish a sufficient population that will survive the test of time. It is really amazing to live in a state that has all / nearly all of its top predators. We are very fortunate! Let's carry on this resource for future generations.

Brent Carlson,  renton WA

The Dept of Fish and Wildlife has the duty to maintain a balance of habitat of both human and animal species. While it can't do much for human populations, it does have the training and resources to hopefully manage our natural resources in the best way possible. I am concerned of the high estimated costs for these wolves. There has been very little money spent and they are here. We can't exactly pat ourselves on the back for their current progress. The dollars needed to "properly" manage these animals WILL take dollars away from other endangered species and I find that unacceptable. I think you do the best you can with what you have. I realize this is a sensitive subject, but I find it irresponsible for all the hype because it is a hot issue. Fish and Game are the pros, they need to be the ones to use their expertise and not make the mistakes of other states. I would like to see proof that the gray wolf is a native species. I realize there is proof there were wolves here, but are we certain they were THE grey wolf, not another species of wolf? The wolves are here to stay, I realize that, but support for F&G will diminish quickly if the hunters in this state feel that their dollars are removing the things they love to do. I know some of your own strongly disagree with what these plans are for. In short, I feel that Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife should be pushing for an amendment in the law to leave the words Grey Wolf off of the State Endangered Species list. Make the exception that for the grey wolf, we will bow out and follow the Federal listing, not our states. Please, make the right decision for our future. This decision will impact our heritage and our children's future. I don't know of any old people that feel cheated that the wolves have been removed. Again, they are here to stay anyway. The tactics used to remove them 70 years ago will not be allowed ever again. So lets just keep doing what we were doing with the exception of NOT spending money we don't have to decrease population levels of our deer, elk, moose, etc.......WHILE increasing conflict with the ranchers and their livestock.

Harold Juergens,  Paterson WA

The one thing that I found very lacking and not addressed in the plan was the conflict with the current wildlife damage strategy. The plan addresses livestock depredation but is lacking in addressing the possible damage to agriculture crops. It is well know that Elk are not wanted in many parts of eastern Washington because of the conflicts with agriculture. Currently the WDFW has the opportunity to issue kill permits, offer special hunts, and has any elk general hunts within the wolf recovery areas of Okanogan, Chelan and Ferry Counties for example. There is no herd plan for the elk in these areas as they are undesirable in their current locations. Much of the information on wolves shows that elk is preferred over deer in areas with elk. It also shows that wolf recovery was much slower in areas where the prey base was mostly deer. The current policy for damage control in much of eastern Washington is in direct conflict with the wolf recovery plan and is not address in either a herd management plan nor the DEIS. Elk are not desired in these locations but play an important part in wolf recovery. The DEIS gives little or no focus to this huge issue of crop damage or the conflict of no elk in areas for lower agriculture damage or more elk for faster wolf recovery. Do we start managing the elk population in undesirable area to increase heard sizes to speed up wolf recovery and improve the odds of success or do we continue to hold these populations in check or eliminate them because of the cost of agriculture damage.

Rick Lind,  Tonasket WA

I strongly support the reestablishment of wolves on the Olympic Peninsula

Andrew Reding,  Port Townsend WA

The following changes need to be made to the EIS: 1. Increase the number of established breeding pairs before a delisting is proposed. The goal of 15 breeding pairs is not based on any scientific studies. A significant number of scientific reviewers believe that WDFW's numbers for delisting are too low. 2. Provide separate poluation recovery obectives for the Pacific Coast. High quality wolf habitat and increased public support justify it having its own recovery objectives. 3. Eliminate the "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners during the endangered and threatened phase of recovery. Given the history of poaching in Washington and the high potential for misuse, this provision could seriously hamper recovery efforts. Investing in non-lethal deterrent methods and providing livestock owners with a fair compensation package are more effective approaches at the early stages of wolf recovery. 4. Support the translocation of wolves as a strategy to speed recovery. Establish implementation mechanisms and provide a funding schedule in the plan for translocation.

Cheryl Vallone,  Ashland WA

I DEFINITELY support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems.

Judith Smith,   CA

I support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure that wolves fully recover to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems. I do NOT support wolf slaughter of any sort. Thank you.

Anonymous

I support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems. The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) is currently listed as endangered and protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the western two-thirds of our state. They also remain protected as an endangered animal throughout Washington under state law (RCW77.15.120). There are currently no federal or state plans to reintroduce wolves into our state. Washington's first breeding Gray Wolf pack in at least 70 years was confirmed in western Okanogan County in July 2008, and a second was confirmed in Pend Oreille County in July 2009. The small breeding population of wolves currently in Washington is expected to expand as a result of wolves naturally dispersing from packs in Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. We must effectively balance managing the needs of our communities, the needs of the ecologically important Gray Wolf, and the future our wild lands.

elizabeth archambault,  Seattle WA

Please keep the status of wolves as endangered. Do all you can to protect them.

Elizabeth Enger,  Greenwater WA

I want to learn more about wolves and volunteering to viisit Washington to be involved with this critical Wildlife issue. Thank you for the opportunity. Yours truly, Ms. Velez

Melquiades Velez,  chicago IL

I support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems

Anonymous

Please gives wolves a chance to thrive as major predators as this will improve the entire ecological system, as well as respect these intelligent animals

jeanne barrett,  Seattle WA

Keep wolves out of Washington!

Florence Wheeler,  Vancouver WA

My comments regarding Washington wolves reintroduction plan. As a long time conservationist, zookeeper, and citizen, I strongly support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems. This insures a natural balance in our fragile and damaged ecosystem. There are quite a few non lethal and extremely affective options that would deter wolves from livestock. These options would require cooperation from the local ranchers and in this way that helps them to be aware and involved in wildlife management. As we all should be. Thank you so much, Stacey Cooper

stacey cooper,  seattle WA

The plan is well thought out and it is important that you included a diverse group of people in the planning. A huge piece is the inclusion of SCIENTIFIC data into the plan. Well done, so far.

Lois Neuman,  Vancouver WA

I prefer Alternative 3, but would like more emphasis on restoring a more natural prey base, ie. Elk.

Eric Burr,  Mazama WA

Please support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in your state's ecosystems

Rob Foley Jr,  S.Attleboro MA

I support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems.

Anonymous

I support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover in Washington to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems. Alternative 3 gets my vote.

Richard Hernandez,  Kirkland WA

Hello - I support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems. Thank you, P. Scearce Seattle

P Scearce,  seattle WA

I urge you to support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems.

Diane Shaughnessy,  Auburn WA

As a member online of the League of Women Voters and also having a sister who is a chairperson of the League of Women Voters in Virginia who works parttime for a Senator who support the conservation of God's breathing creations, not for man's purpose, but for His.

MB ,   FL

Just simply - Please save the wolves and preserve and respect wildlife and this majestic creatures. Humans can klive in harmony with our national animal treasures. Sarah Brodderick Anacortes, WA

Anonymous

Thank you for allowing me to comment on the proposed wolf plan. I believe wolves play a vital role in the ecosystem and think the state should do everything it can to ensure they area allowed to establish viable populations. I get so sick and tired of hunters and ranchers always so worried that the wolves will kill too many the elk and deer or take a few cattle. Give me a break! There simply aren't enough wolves to threaten the deer and elk populations - there is enough to go around! The prey populations may distribute themselves differently because of the wolves being nearby, but I have no tears for the hunters when they whine that they don't see as many deer and elk as they used to. I think the presence of the wolves puts the hunt back into it - they have to work a little harder and/or longer to find the deer and elk. That's the way it's supposed to be! Hunting isn't supposed to be like shooting fish in a barrel - fair chase is what hunting is all about. And I also have no tears for the poor ranchers whose worries and fears cause the mismanagement and slaughtering of wildlife all over the country. When will they ever learn that there are humane and effective ways to live with wolves - it's not that difficult!!! I hope that WA state will come up with a plan that gives the wolves a fair shake instead of always favoring the hunters and ranchers. It's precisely because of them that the wolves were exterminated in the lower 48 states. People need to be educated on how to live with wolves and understand that they are intelligent, family-oriented beings and have a right to be here and actually help prey populations. I hope your plan will include humane tools/methods for the ranchers to encourage them to see wolves in a more realistic light, otherwise, they will continue to make sure that the only good wolf is a dead wolf. It's really sad that ranchers and hunters still hate the wolves. Please find a way to educate them!!! I hope your generous reimbursement to the ranchers will be able to be funded, because without that, they'll just take it upon themselves to kill any wolf they happen to see. Educating these people to alleviate their fears would be cost effective and a necessary building block to allow these wonderful animals back into our state without being unnecessarily exterminated again. Your plan is really lengthy and very complicated. The more complicated something is, the harder it is to implement. I have read parts of the plan and still come back to education being very, very important. Could you include literature with hunting licenses, explaining to hunters just how intelligent and family-orient wolves are and how they grieve when one of their family members dies. Explain to them that it is a myth that the wolves will kill all deer and elk. They aren't going from 12 wolves one day, and a million the next. You must address these ridiculous fears. And could you send out information packets to ranchers also explaining the psychology of wolves to help them understand they aren't the big bad scary wolves that are out to get their cattle. Maybe if you offered up some monetary help upfront to help them with humane ways of living with wolves, that would be money well spent. Unless you can get past the hunters/ranchers' unfounded fears, your plan will never work. Humans are living in the wolves territory, so we should be treating them with respect and understanding.

Gayle Janzen,   WA

I am writing to you to say that I support a strong wild life managment program that will ensure the full recovery of wolves to Washington State. Wolves are the top of the wild ecosystem and have a key contribution to healing our remaining wild areas. Please do not start killing these animals again! We are all interconnected and need them! Thank you

Patricia Murphy,  Seattle WA

I support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover—to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems.

Pamela King,  Shoreline WA

I support a wolf management plan that is strong enough to ensure wolves fully recover to a population healthy enough to effectively resume their role as top predators in our state's ecosystems. Thank you, Frank Deering

Frank Deering,  Seattle WA

Washington’s proposed plan is to have 15 breeding pairs of wolves for three years before a management program (hunting) is started. Given the legal issues after that three year period it would be more like five years before management would begin. Too many people that don’t understand the impact are in favor of this. Who pays most, not counting the deer and elk herds, is the hunter. According to USGS the average kill rate per wolf per month = 3.05 elk or 36 elk per year/wolf. To me, that equates to less tags issued and less time in the field for hunters. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has reduced antlerless permits by 51 % (200-’04) and 96% (1995-2005). Wolves were killed off with a bounty on their heads for good reason! We now have three breeding pairs documented in WA – I would bet we have more than that. What makes the State believe there are not any more than that? Because they are not documented? The wolves are already here – coming from Canada, Montana and Idaho. Ask a rancher how they feel. There is a plan to compensate ranchers for their losses but the problem as I see it is two fold: how do you determine value (developed genetics, future value of loss,…) and where does that money come from? I don’t believe this State has that kind of funding. And by the way – where is the funding coming from with this development plan? I'm not an expert but here are some facts that I believe to be true. Myth: Wolves are good for elk populations Fact: US Fish and Wildlife Service Study •Elk are the primary prey for wolves, comprising 92 % of kills during the winter. •Elk decreased significantly from 16,791 in winter 1995 to 8,335 in winter 2004 as the number of wolves increased. •Kill rates by wolves in winter are 22 Elk per wolf per year –DOUBLE the rate predicted in the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Fact: Montana State University Study of Yellowstone’s Northern Range •Elk numbers 1993 –1995 averaged between 17,000 and 19,000 •Wolves Introduced in 1995 •Elk numbers 2005 –2007 Averaged between 6,700 and 6,300 A 67% DECREASE IN ELK POPULATIONS Myth: Wolves only kill what they eat Fact: Wolves are actually the most wasteful predator in the US and kill for sport. Get this: Montana’s plan as I understand it was 10 breeding pairs before management! Compare the square miles and people population with the two states and try to figure out where our group came up with 15 breeding pairs. I would venture to say the number of wolves in WA State would exceed 500 before management would be allowed. Wolves have impacted the elk and deer in other states – not even considering the danger posed to humans and pets. There is documentation where wolves have stalked people and even followed children from school. We don’t need this kind of impact and those kinds of numbers in our State!!!! The hunter is the one who supports wildlife conservation and has more respect for that wildlife than any other group I know of. The majority of the State money for conservation comes from the hunter and it irks me that we have so many people being a part of the decision making process and doesn’t contribute a dime to the preservation of wildlife. The negative impact of wolves based on this plan is too great! If you have different data then I would like to know about it! Respectively submitted, Verne Bakker Yakima, WA

Verne Bakker,  Yakima WA

Strongly opposed to the introduction of wolves in any manner in Washington State. I feel this runs counter to current WDFW efforts to strengthen elk numbers in various parts of the state, given the conceivable range of wolves.

Thomas G Gray,  Raymond WA

i have been donating $ to the protection of wolves for many years and will contiue to do so. i do not want to see the wolves removed from the endangered list and firmly believe that killers of these animals should be federally punished.

stacy harris,  ellensburg WA

this great lets get a plan before its to late.

donovan biegler,  spokane WA

Wolves do not have a place in our ecology. They are dangerous predators, like weeds in a pasture. We do not have a responsibility to maintain or support them. I vote to abandon the project.

Ed Vivian,  Clarkston WA

I value wolves and their possitive effect on ecosystems and wish to see their recovery to our state's wildlife and habitat. Ii'd like to see an increase in numbers of established breeding paairs before delisting. I'd like to see "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners be eliminated during endangered and threatened phases of recovery because of the high potential of misuse which could hamper recovery efforts. Non lethal deterrant methods and fair compensation packages could prove more effective. Thankyou, Daya Goldschlag

Daya Goldschlag,  Spokane WA

To ensure the reestablishment of a self-sustaining population of wolves in the Methow Valley and to reduce depredation of livestock, WDFW needs to stop erradicating elk in the valley and encourage the reintroduction of elk in the Methow Valley. Elk are a traditional source of food for the wolves in the Methow Valley that has been eliminated based on past and current state policies and procedures.

Anonymous

We have enough predators, bear, cougar, coyotes in Ocean Shores a/c of the large deer population. We don't need any wolves.

ron fenton,  ocean shores WA

The only comment I have hasn't the State of Washington seen what has happened where wolfs live in other states. This will be the beginning of the end for the mule deer heard in the Methow vally.

Dan Stanley,  Twisp WA

sounds good to me

Gary Hemenway,  Hoquiam WA

The Wolf should stay on the endangered species list. To take them off the list is giving humanity too much credit. Also, removing them from our State would have a negative impact on our environment. As to them being a treat to livestock, there are organizations dedicated to preserving this animal by educating farmers on cost affective tricks to keeping wolves off their property. See “Defenders of Wildlife “. As far as the being a threat to people… they avoid people.

christine ahlm,  cheney Wa WA

Please forgive me that I have lumped all my comments together but I think it makes more sense this way. I have read the plan through and support this draft on Wolf Managment and strongly supporting State Protection if Federal Protection is withdrawn. I am not a hunter and am not thrilled with the hunting aspect, however if its done right it may improve the Wolves chances of success in Washington by being an economic benefit. If managed appropriately with stiff penalties for deterrance outside of approved hunting dates and methods wolves could maintain a healthy population once the breeding population is at a healthy sustainable level. Education and advertisement is the key to public support. Public support means financial support. Just their presence here is a draw for tourism, look at the Yellowstone Wolves. Many people are thrilled just to hear them or get a glimpse of them. You may have already been aware of this article but it is a good example of Wolves benefit; bymnews.com :: USA. Wolves help economy and environment, benefiting elks, otters, beavers, fish and other wildlife Environmental news: Recent reports of one or more wolves potentially sighted in eastern Oregon are promising signs both for the wolf's continued recovery and for Oregon's future as a home for wolves. It's been six years since the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed a wolf sighting in our state. The first was in 1999 and there were two others in 2000. None of those wolves lasted long enough here to provide a hint of the ecological and economic benefits wolves provide to the states in which they live. But with the recent new sighting of a live wolf at Zumwalt Prairie, near the town of Enterprise, our state may yet have the chance to play a role in the continued recovery of this beautiful creature and sample all that wolves have to offer. Wolves provide tremendous ecological benefits. They are the top predator in most environments in which they live and the trickle down effect of their presence is astounding. In Yellowstone, prior to the wolves' reintroduction in 1995, elk basically roamed wherever they chose and tended to spend most of their time in the river valleys. This excessive streamside grazing prevented willow and cottonwood tree growth along the river banks. But when the wolf returned, the elk quickly learned they couldn't set up permanent housekeeping in the valleys and they moved on to make a living in other areas. This, in turn, allowed young trees to grow along the riverbeds. The new trees shaded the river water, creating improved habitat for trout, which thrive in cooler, darker waters. The new willows and cottonwoods attract additional migratory birds and provided new food sources and building materials for beavers. The beavers then built dams which created new marshes and wetlands that in turn attracted otters, ducks and other species. Wolf kills also provided an abundant and reliable source of food for scavengers. And to be sure, wolf predations on old and sick elk have had a positive effect on the viability of the elk population itself. Multi-year research conducted by two Oregon State University department of forestry professors in Yellowstone National Park and by local park biologists has sparked widespread agreement that returning the top dog to its native habitat yields far-ranging positive consequences. Wolves provide tremendous economic benefits. Ecotourism is quickly moving to the forefront of family recreational activities. The longing to see animals in their natural habitat has created an economic boom throughout the United States. In Yellowstone, fishing has always been a big industry and the improved environment along the river caused by the wolf's presence has improved fishing opportunities. The wolves themselves are also a huge tourist draw, with many people making Yellowstone their vacation destination expressly for the purpose of seeing wolves. Indeed, most sunrises in Yellowstone are accompanied by rows and rows of nature lovers with spotting scopes, all straining for a glimpse of the elusive wolf. A two-year study conducted by a Montana economist and presented at a conference in April 2006 reports that each year tourists visiting Yellowstone hoping to see a wolf spend around $35 million in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, and that these dollars then turn over in local communities, boosting the regional economic impact to about $70 million a year. On the other side of the country, a recent study, commissioned by Defenders of Wildlife and funded by the Alex C. Walker Educational and Charitable Foundation, investigated the potential contribution of red wolf-based ecotourism to local economic development in North Carolina and found that 89 percent of tourists showed an interest in visiting a proposed Red Wolf Center, an educational facility housing live red wolves. If only 10 percent of those Outer Banks tourists who say they will visit the Center and pay a $5 admission fee actually made the journey, then it would be possible to generate more than $1 million in gate receipts and food/gift purchases over a single summer season. A similar interest in eastern Oregon wolves could also attract tourism to this region. Wolves pose little threat to livestock and humans. In fact, their prey of choice has been wild game like deer and elk for centuries. Although wolf predation on livestock is often highly touted in the media, it accounts for less than point two percent (0.2%) of cattle and calf losses, and less than two and a half percent (2.5%) of sheep and lamb losses in areas where wolves live. According to figures from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and from the individual state agricultural statistics services in states with wolves, respiratory and digestive problems, weather, and other natural events account for the vast majority of livestock losses. In fact, in all areas where wolves live in the United States, far more livestock are lost to domestic dogs than to wolves. The notion that ranchers are suddenly going to start losing massive amounts of livestock because of the arrival of wolves is simply not backed up by the statistics. The same is true for human/wolf interactions. Despite claims by wolf opponents, the fact remains that aggression by wolves against humans is a very rare event. A study published in 2002 found that in 80 cases of reported wolf-human encounters occurring from 1900-2000 in Alaska and Canada (and also including two in Minnesota), sixty-nine percent of the incidents involved wolves that either had or were suspected of having rabies, were acting in self-defense, or showed interest but no aggression. Many of the instances involved wolves that had become habituated to humans by being fed or having access to human food sources, such as garbage dumps, which is a recipe for disaster with any wildlife. And several of the cases involved altercations between wolves and dogs (which wolves view as territorial competitors) in which humans intervened or got in the way and were bitten in the process. By way of comparison, each year in the United States an average of 17-20 people are killed by domestic dogs, and more than 1.2 million dog bites are reported. In British Columbia, which has a wolf population numbering in the tens of thousands, the most dangerous animal humans encounter is the horse, followed by the moose, each of which is responsible for multiple fatalities each year. Overall, the return of wolves to Oregon offers a unique opportunity to welcome back a returning native species. Folks in Oregon need accurate information about wolves, long saddled with the baggage of myth, speculation and fear-mongering. I urge you to inform your readers about the true nature of wolves and the benefits they provide to the regions they inhabit. For more information contact Amaroq Weiss of Defenders of Wildlife at 541-552-9653 or aweiss@defenders.org. Thank you for taking the time to read my comments Debbie Carriere

Debbie Carriere,  Tonasket WA

can I get a report that shows how many deer were killed in each area last year? Also, is there any thoughts about changing the Eastern Washington 3-point or better on black tail deer to possibly 2 point or better; I find it nearly impossible to count how many points if the deer is running

Gary Guernsey,  Edgewood WA

Any plan on the Grey Wolf, should be thrown out, the grey wolf was never a native here. The wolf that was here was hunted and trapped and had bounties on them to get rid of them. The pioners and homesteades here and the federal government found out and learned from heavy losses of game, stock, dogs and cats ,chickens , pigs and sheep could not be raised where there were wolves. A wolf is not like other preditors that kill only to eat amd live wolves when they get near other animals kill all they can possibly kill not just what the need to survive. Now some people seem to think we need them again, and places where thry have reintrodced them have had heavy losses of all animals in the territory. Many hunters will decide that its just not worth it to hunt any more, so it looks as if the game management departments do get them back we will not need near the people they have now. nor will they be able to afford the people on thier payrolls that tey now have be cause of the loss of discouredged hunters. Most of these people that are for more wolves are not people that go out to camp, fish and hunt and enjoy our public lands, most in favor are people that never leave civilization, towns and cities.

Michael R Zeimantz Sr,  Clarkston WA

I am very excited to hear that wolves are returning to Washington state! Please do all that you can to educate people about them and their place in the ecosystem. Many people fear wolves because of misinformation they have heard and believed. They are wonderful animals and I would like to provide a place for them in our world.

Anonymous

Increase the number of established breeding pairs before a delisting is proposed or provide a stronger evaluation of the state's habitat connectivity to other regions and details on how connectivity will be improved over time. A significant number of scientific reviewers believe that the department's numbers for delisting were low, especially since the plan relies on natural migration from areas outside the state for recovery. Provide separate population recovery objectives for the Pacific Coast where high quality wolf habitat and increased public support justify it having its own recovery objectives. Eliminate the "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners at the endangered and threatened phases of recovery. Given the history of poaching in this state and the high potential for misuse, this provision could seriously hamper recovery efforts. Investing in non-lethal deterrent methods and providing livestock owners with a fair compensation package are more effective approaches at the early stages of wolf recovery. Support the translocation of wolves as a strategy to speeding recovery by establishing implementation mechanisms and providing a funding schedule in the plan.

Nicole Powell,  Spokane WA

This plan is unacceptable. The number of breeding pairs required for delisting is WAY too HIGH. The paln itself is O.K. Some areas need further consideration. Like: What are you going to do at Elk Winter feeding sites? The comment of dealing with it on a case by case basais is an outrage. There are 9 Elk feeding locations. Do you think Wolves are stupid?

Anonymous

The wolf was once part of the Cascades and the Olympics until we practicaly eradicated them. They are just as much a part of wildlife as anything else like the coyote and the Bobcat. Man has chased everythng out of its own habitat and now its time we give something back letting them roam free in the two Mountain ranges and the wilderness areas throughout the state.

Rick Felty,  Lakewood WA

Your proposal of compensation to ranchers is ridiculous. To begin with the predators should not have been brought back to Yellowstone or anywhere else! You can see how they have multiplied and spread all over the western states! Nobody had missed them! I don't believe their absense created a detrament to the environment! Now because of their preditoral nature, you want to pay for their kills to ranchers who I feel deserve more! 4000 in 2010 is a very low estimate! One brood stock could be worth that, rising six times as much in five years. Would that equate to 12 or more times as much in 10 years? I hunt and fish and I think sportsmen deserve more attention to your taking better care of deer and elk in our state! Feeding them to wolves is not how I want my licence and tax money spent! I want the plan that allows many more wolves to be shot! Thank you for allowing me to Vent! Reginald D. James

Anonymous

Washington State needs to learn from the mistakes of other states. I support Lethal control (Alternative 1.). Allowing these predatory animals to continue to multiply and spread is a huge mistake. Who will protect the hiker in the National Parks or the skier on the slopes? Not to mention the elk, moose,deer and bear. Let the groups like Ted Turner, (Endangered Species Fund) pay the compensation to the farmers of the loss of livestock. Don't expect the taxpayer to carry that cost. These wolves were NOT natives species to the lower 48, they were originally from Canada, thus the original name the Canadian Gray Wolf. And Canada has tried lethal control and even sterilization to control the wolf populations, without success. Washington State should definitely not transport nor transplant wolves to areas within our state that currently have low populations. They already multiply at an alarming rate and we don't need to assist in that. Lethal force is the only alternative. If these wolves are allowed in Eastern or Western Washington I assure you the loss of life will be far greater than just livestock.

Teresa Selby,  Bonney Lake WA

The current draft plan is on the right track, but key improvements will ensure that wolves are given the chance to recover to a point that their numbers are stable and the populations are healthy enough to play to effectively play their role as top predators in Washington's ecosystems. Specifically, some scientists have indicated that the number of breeding pairs in the plan to trigger a delisting might be too low to sustain a population of wolves in Washington. At the same time, your Department has included new liberal, lethal take provisions during the endangered and threatened phases of recovery, allowing livestock producers to kill endangered wolves. I do not trust livestock producers to kill wolves honestly.

Paul Lindholdt,  Spokane WA

These dangerous animals should be kept in primative areas. There are thousands of acrea of land we are not allowed to play in. They should be kept there.

Anonymous

I have not seen a good reason stated by wdfw to bring back the wolf in this state. There were many good reasons to not do so. The people and wild life have done quit well in this state, for the last 80 years, with out a wolf population. I see no good reason to do so now. It would only bring on higher taxes, more conflicts and shorter hunting seasons which are already too short.

dan Tate,  goldendale WA

as a elk and deer hunter in washington state. i have concerns requarding wolves. i have spent time in the clear water region of idaho and have heard many accounts of wolves destroying elk populations in that area. in the last three years, during the early archery seasons, here in washington i have noticed an increased amount of bears and cougers. these animals seem to be affecting the elk heards in the areas in witch i hunt, along with some negitive management in my opinion. Exp (special bull permits for rifle during the rut. the best breading bulls are being killed, leaving lesser bulls to bread) im concerned about the deer and elk having to deal with yet another animal that will most certainly take its toll on them. if as a state we are going to have populations of wolves we need to expand the prey populations, witch we can do, with proper management, at least here on the west side of the state.

dallas logan,  tacoma WA

Although I would like Alternative Three, I agree Alternative Two is a fair compromise. I support Alternative Two.

Anonymous

I support without reservation all steps to restore wolf habitat on the Olympic Peninsula and Pacific Northwest region. Thank you.

Robyn Johnson,  Quilcene WA

this can work as proven in minnasota........

tobin Maxwell Cox,  florence OR

In the newspaper acticle, it stated that in 1999 Slade Gordon used a 65% disapproval option by the public as a reason to stop the re-interduction of wolves. Public option may be interesting, useful, and in some cases required, but I feel it should not be a deciding factor in whether or not wolves should be interduced. If an endangered species is found in an area of potential development, the public is not asked their opinion when the development is not allowed. The decision should be based on science and conservation. Wolved were here before us, they should be here now. By the way, the public doesn't care if you call it reinterduction or translocation. Changing the symantics doesn't make it any easier to sell. The results are identical.

Jerry Schlie,  Beaver WA

only the wa st game dept would plan their meetings about thiswolf conservation during the general hunting sea so any one against the plan would be gone hunting,and the peta people would be there to show support!! I cant wait to retire and move out of this state and its screwed up game dept!

Louis A Michelson,  eatonville WA

Support efforts to allow wolf populations to exist in Washington State. Favor translocation. But also favor reintroduction as needed to get the population going now. I dont see it as a problem,as wolves once lived here. Since we are going to have a population of wolves lets do it now instead of a even slower process. Favor having wolve populations on the Olympic Peninsula. Studies show that they are a very important part of the ecosystem and they helped to better control the elk population which in turn did less riparian damage to rivers which in turn led to healthier salmon and trout populations. Ignore the ridiculous comments that wolves will attack our children - give me a break, how many times has that happened anywhere in history worldwide. Ignore to some degree the comments that wolves will eat every livestock critter on earth - its known that there are some losses but not that great elsewhere. Yes compensate them fior their loss to reduce their crying although it should be a part of their business costs but go ahead and compensate them to keep them happy. Ignore to some degree the comments from the hunters that they will eat all the big game when reality is they mainly eat the old, injured etc ones and keep the population healthier. Wolves are part of the ecosystem and should be allowed to exist here. They arent the big bad wolf!

Michael Barry,  Sequim WA

NO, NO, NO! Please do not do the wolf thing. My partners and I have been elk hunting in Idaho for the past several years because we can purchase an over the counter branch bull tag. (Can't do that in WA or OR). The last two years have been terrible...guess why? Wolves. The area we hunted this year has a pack of 15 working the area. We heard wolves...we heard no elk. They are killing an average of 3 elk per week. That's nearly 160 per year. They kill cougars and bears also. When a cougar makes a kill they typically feed on it for three days. But the wolves find it the second day and the cat has to go kill again. If you allow wolves, I guarantee it will upset the deer and elk world. Hunters all over the area we hunted were extremely upset. Some people fight allowing hunters to kill wolves, but remember they have no natural predator. Man is the only way to control these things. I cannot tell you how adamantly against this I am. Please do not do this!

Mark D Smith,  Battle Ground WA

Sirs: Have we not learned from proir wolf restoration, ie mountana ,idaha ect. that the introduction of wolfs is a very bad dicision. They kill for fun!!! These people that think they are doing good are foolish. Look at the herads of yellowstone and the many other areas in mountana and Idaho. What a dravisty these wolfs are causing. Why can,t we let the game department manage the game and the do gooders mind their own bussiness. These peole are feel do gooders . They are not thinking of managing game at all. We Have wolves in washingtopn already and I believe they are causing problems enougdht without endtroducing more. What a same it is to introduce a specys of animal that has not natural preditor. Much like th mountain lions, and look at the damage they have caused in the Mountain goat population. It is not manage ment at all if wolves and lions are not hunted openly .

john casebeer,  mount vernon WA

I think the only way to keep wolf and human confrontation low is to allow people to shoot and kill wolves year round. This will teach the wolves to stay away from humans. Also, the very recent recovery of the eastern Washington elk herds will be lost. Their numbers are not yet sustainable to endure the wolves return. Hopefully we have learned that the wolves will recover naturally, look at how many conformed packs there are in Idaho in just the last 5 years. Please don’t let the return of the wolf become a problem to our livestock, big game, and us as hunters and rural residents.

Kurtis Vaagen,  

Select the no action alternative. Leave the wolves listed until they are thoroughly re-established throughout the whole state.

Teresa Fox,  Bremerton WA

We do not need wolfs in the Methow Valley or anywhere else in Washington State.

Ed McConnell,  Spokane Valley WA

wolves in washington is a terrible idea our deer and elk herds will suffer I guess I'll have to take my money and hunt elsewhere because I am sure you liberal coasties will be scattered in the hills trying to watch a wolf

Anonymous

The wolf is a "keystone" species and are vital to ecosystem health. We need top predators, wolves, in all their native range. Cattle should not graze on public land, not at the expense of stewarding our wildlife. Wildlife on public land should be protected first. If wildlife are abundant, safe, and in balance, then and only then should human encroachment, including farm animals, be allowed. Wolves should exceed the hundreds. For any species to flourish, many are needed, to encourage genetic health. Sciece, not politics, should prevail in the management plan, in every way. Cynthia Simon 85 Barstow Road Gorham, ME 04038

Anonymous

The "lawsuit" factor needs to be addressed. No matter what the WDFW decides as an adequate number of wolves to downlist or delist, the environmental community will sue. This process will take at least 5 years, all the while the wolves expand. Keep recovery numbers low, and by the time the lawsuits are over there will be hundreds more wolves than required anyway.

Darcy Mitchem,  Toutle Wa WA

Seems none of you know how to protect these wolves except to bar all of us from the Nations forests.That is what you really want.Kick us off all public land.I know wolves as I lived in Ontario,Canada for 6 yrs.Wolves will eat anything that has four legs and sometimes two will do in times of starvation.You should adapt the Canadian system.If the wolf come on your property,shoot him.If they prey on you livestock,hunt them down.Don't go out of your way to eradicate them but the majority don't prey on people or livestock because the wolf is smart and learns fast not to go near people.The problem here is that we have 400 to 500% more people than up there and the habitate isn't going to sustain our population and big preditors.You like grizzly bears and cougers and wolves then you should have to be prepaired to guard everyone of them, but don't fault the father of the child in the jaws of such nightmares for shooting the critter full of holes. Paul Callicoat

Anonymous

Increase the number of established breeding pairs before a delisting is proposed or provide a stronger evaluation of the state's habitat connectivity to other regions and details on how connectivity will be improved over time. A significant number of scientific reviewers believe that the department’s numbers for delisting were low, especially since the plan relies on natural migration from areas outside the state for recovery. Provide separate population recovery objectives for the Pacific Coast where high quality wolf habitat and increased public support justify it having its own recovery objectives. Eliminate the "caught in the act" killing provision for livestock owners at the endangered and threatened phases of recovery. Given the history of poaching in this state and the high potential for misuse, this provision could seriously hamper recovery efforts. Investing in non-lethal deterrent methods and providing livestock owners with a fair compensation package are more effective approaches at the early stages of wolf recovery. Support the translocation of wolves as a strategy to speeding recovery by establishing implementation mechanisms and providing a funding schedule in the plan.

Steve Anthes,  Malo WA

I have experienced the wolf introduction first-hand as I have hunted and backpacked the Lolo area of Idaho extensively since before the introduction. Wolves will eliminate the deer and elk populations in the Blue Mountains unless there is a control. They are 24/7 eaters. If you want to sell a Governor's tag for $65,000++ you better think twice about wolves. This is a no win situation: eliminate the wolves or give up the big bucks that you get for the quality elk tags. There is no middle ground.

Larry Zalaznik,  Walla Walla WA

It makes good management sense in my view.

Thomas F McLaughlin,  Spokane WA

Overall I approve of the alternative 2 because I believe it will be supported by the greatest number of interest groups. I do, however, truly believe that alternative 3 is the best plan for the wolves themselves.

Colleen Miko,  Port Orchard WA

A limited controlled hunting opportunity similar to Montana and Idaho is probably the best way to keep this burgeoning wolf population in check. Both wild and domestic ungulate populations will be severely reduced unless some sort of management plan is adopted soon. Allowing hunters to participate in this plan is the most cost effective and reasonable way to protect our game and livestock much the same way that we control cougers.

Scott S Merrell,  Olympia WA