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Online Comments on DEIS: Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington

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Comments on Alternative 2 (Preferred Alternative)(Section 3.2.2):


Jim Steveson,  Vader WA

Can wolves be relocated (without harm) by individuals, say to Olympic National Forest, or to Mt. Raineer western side foothills? This would speed up having breeding pairs in your Southern Cascades/Northwest Coast region that don't have wolves now(?). Eastern Washington wants to share all of our wolves with the west side.

John P Nordheim,  Waitsburg WA

Not enough priority for education and outreach

Lisa Dabek,  Seattle WA


Dave Welch,  White Salmon WA

The Section 'Lethal control by livestock owners (including family members and authorized employees) of wolves involved in repeated livestock depredations' is unacceptable in ANY alternative, especially on public lands. Private citizens are not in a position to determine the origin of livestock deaths. You can't just guess or assert that a wolf is responsible and then kill a wolf, or a pack. Alternative 2 is not a good choice. It is too oppressive.


too many wolves for recovery


We both strongly support this Alternative Plan for wolves.

William Miller,  Port Townsend WA

We both strongly support this Alternative Plan for wolves.

Maria Miller,  Port Townsend WA

Objective goals for delisting in a recovery plan are critical, and the delisting goals in alternative (2)seem reasonable. I predict however, it will take many years before the Northwest Region (especially Olympic National Park) within the Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast Region will be repopulated without active translocation. Biological control of elk populations by wolf packs has proven to be an essential element in control of the elk population in the city of Banff, Alberta, Canada, and in Banff National Park, and I strongly recommend you consult with that wildlife department to avoid as much as possible "re-inventing the wheel". If this has been done, kudos, if not, WDFW has a fiduciary responsibility to do so. I have great concern with the lack of objective criteria under the Wolf-Lifestock Conflicts section of Alternative (2). Actually the conflict is between ranchers (livestock producers) and WDFW, and that is/will be financial. Bullet 1, who will pay for the listed proactive measures to protect livestock? Currently, WDFW has problems paying for crop damage by elk herds, and lifestock protection will be much more expensive, and the funding sources for measures to protect livestock from wolves should be outlined now, before any other decision is made. Bullets 4 and 6: It will be costly to issue WDFW kill permits for wolves allegedly involved in repeated killing of livestock, especially when there is an economic incentive to pay "twice the full value" of wolf killed livestock on sites of 100 acres or more. There must be a full investigation, following an alledged incident based on criteria/protocals listed in the recovery plan, and criteria must be met before any WDFW wolf kill permit is issued. There must also be measurable criteria to establish "value of the livestock" including all potential types, e.g., pregnant, new-born, ready for market, aged and beyond breeding age, etc.. Thank you for this opportunity to comment. I am strongly in favor of your stated purpose, to re-establish a population of gray wolves in the state, but think you should be clear that the wolf population did not just "disappear from the state decades ago". Wolves were systematically extripated from the state, and that should be stated, as that is what is being mitigated. I have not seen a section on unintended consequences, such as; wolves feeding on the recently introduced Fisher population in ONP. That sort of contingency should receive attention now rather than later. J. Pete Schroeder, DVM

J Pete Schroeder,  Sequim WA

Translocation should not be an option. Logically if it is acceptable for wolves to enter the state by crossing the state border by their own will and natural process, it is the way that they reach other parts of the state. Introduction to other parts of the state using translocation is more costly, potentially ineffective, and inspired by artificial political objectives including but not limited to achieving certain populations within an unnatural political boundary.

David Willson,  North Bend WA

This is acceptable but Alternative 3 would be better.

Joseph Pullara,  Port Angeles WA

I am in favor of this plan, except that I would prefer to see wolves on both the southern cascades and the olympics before downgrading status (as in alternative 3). I haven't erad the detailed section, but do think that it's important to have wolves throughout their natural range.



Sue Nattinger,  Port Angeles WA

who's going to keep track of all these wolves and whos going to pay for the tracking of them??? Let me guess Washington Hunters......Kind of Ironic beings that most hunters don't care to have wolves introduced at all.

Johnny Rebel,  East Wenatchee WA

This option allows too many wolves in the SW and/or NW. Target for each region should be the same.

Dan Howell,  Kelso WA

Does not include any plan for the Olympic peninsula. Poor choice.

Hollie Kaufman,  Sequim WA

This alternative is more than just a compromise, it is a confessed attempt to appear as if you are doing the right thing without having the courage to prioritize an honest chance for wolf population sustainability.

Sean V Owen,  Seattle WA

This alternative alows to many breeding pairs combined with the three years.


Best choice of the four

Art Swannack,  Lamont 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

See my earlier comment on the critical omission in this Preferred Alternative of the Olympic Peninsula with its large preybase and particularly its sizable Roosevelt elk population.

Bruce Moorhead,  Port Angeles WA

Combining the Southern Cascades with the Northwest Coastal areas is misleading for an accurate presentation of distribution. Same for Alternative 1.

Pat Ness,  Joyce WA

I support this Alt plan. I feel this would be the best plan to manage wolves and protect our wilflife and livestock.

Dave Harder,  Buckley WA

no good

dale denney,  colville WA

Looks reasonable to me

James Maves,  Pomeroy WA

Never pay a "probable" depredation, animal might be killed to use for bait to shoot wolves.

Ginny Clerget,  Lacey WA

See pages 40-50 of Draft Wolf Conservation Plan, "Preferred Alternative." Alternative 2 only has 3 recovery areas, not 4 as in Alternative 3. These pages cited above make it clear that 15 breeding pairs is "minimal or barely adequate for population viability and achieving recovery." Clearly, a more aggressive distribution plan is needed in order to ensure that the goal of viable populations throughout the state be achieved. A 4th recovery area is needed in order to ensure that the wolf will be in Olympic National Park (see my comments below). Lines 27 & 28 on page 45 (of the Draft Wolf Conservation Plan) make it clear that Interstate 5 will be a barrier for wolves to migrate into the western part of the state, thereby making it very difficult, if not impossible for wolves on the east side of I-5 to migrate west or northwest into Olympic National Park. Page 79 of the Draft Wolf Conservation Plan discusses the areas of the state where ungulates live. Certainly, elk will be the major prey animal for wolves. So, it makes sense to relocate wolves into areas where the elk are. According to line 7 on page 79, "62% [of elk] occur west of the Cascade crest." Therefore, it would make sense, would it not, to place wolves primarily where the elk are -- west of the Cascade crest. I believe that Olympic National Park would fit this criteria quite well [Olympic Herd #9 listed on page 79].

Ron Good,  Port Townsend WA

I understand this makes political concessions in order to limit resistance from stockmen and hunters. I can accept that.

Matt Dahlgreen,  Wenatchee WA

just leave it alone wolves do more damage than good

gary Ryan,  sekiu WA

I believe this a conservative yet reasonable approach to advance the recovery of the gray wolf in Washington

John Garner,  Tacoma WA

It apears to be the middle of the road approch.The Southwest & Pacific Coast section is such a large area it should have more pairs to start with.The Mt Rainier area , the Mt St Helens area, the Olympic NP area, and somewhere in SW WA.Your approach is overly cautious I would certian would like to see them comback that I could hear them near Eatonville.

Pat Van Eaton,  Eatonville WA

This alternative will work only if changes are made to address the issues in Appendix D, Minority Report!

Wayne Vinyard,  Glenwood WA

It would be nice for WDFW to at least once consider what might be the preferences of their constituancy. You have advocated bringing wolves to the Olympic Pensinsula once before. At least at that time we had elected representatives who listened to the electorate and blocked re-introduction. You now state that this is not "reintroduction" and instead use alternative language to facilitate your pre-ordained preferences. Wolves are not needed nor wanted on the Olympic Peninsula. All the reasons stated over 20 years ago, still apply today. Would you as commissioners just for once, please put aside your personal agendas and listen to the citizens of the area you are impacting. It would indeed be refreshing to have someone just listen with an open mind. We do not have the wildlife in this area to adequetely sustain wolf populations without severly impacting our deer and elk populations. Any hunter can attest to the huge decline in their numbers. I personally believe the greatest impact on deer and elk numbers has been due to the large increase in cougar and bear populations. You see, your actions really do impact more than the specific wolf species you advocate for. There is so much wrong with this proposal, from start to finish, that it just drives me crazy. DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!


This alternative is much too aggressive in promoting reintroduction

Nathan Putnam,  Glenwood WA

The fewer number of wolves in the state the better Absolutely do not plant wolves in new locations. There is a reason why they were eliminated originally. No one in their right mind would want wolves in this state.

James Schleusner,  Glenwood WA


Chris Herres,  Pomeroy WA



What is "generous compensation" for loss of livestock or family pet, etc in the government's eyes? Who exactly determines "full value" or what it is? Where would this money come from? Ultimately who would be paying the bill to compensate a livestock owner? This is another phrase that is thrown out with no specifics or substance. My fear is that sportsmen through license fees, permits, etc will fund this compensation process and/or non lethal and lethal management of wolves... thereby reducing funding which is all ready apparently not enough to sustain existing game population management, maintenance of WDFW properties, etc. I support having 3 recovery zones for wolves versus the 4 under consideration in Alternative 3. Other concerns I have about Alternative 2 is the protection of disturbance at den sites. This I fear translates into additional denied access areas to the public during certain times of the year. Since the gestation period is approx. 64 days and typical birthing occurs in May is WDFW proposing to reduce, restrict or eliminate access to certain areas during the peak spring hiking/fishing seasons? Washington State currently has a reduced harvest opportunity for hunters compared to neighboring states and provinces, to allow a sustainable prey base for wolves while maintaining current harvest levels/opportunities for hunters without increasing the ungulate population is impossible... yet WDFW has found it increasingly difficult to improve declining mule deer and elk populations as it is, not even considering adding another predator to the mix... how do they propose to maintain a sustainable prey base and maintain existing harvest opportunites for hunters? In Worley, ID there is a tribal member on the reservation who is raising and releasing wolves on his tribal land... to date the IDFG has no clue how many wolves he has released locally in that area, has WDFW considered how they will prevent a similar occurrence on existing tribal land within WA? Regarding "translocation" of wolves, it has been my experience that once a canine acquires a taste for a certain specie that it will remember it as a food source wherever it is moved to... how does moving a cattle killing, dog killing, sheep killing, etc wolf from one part of the state to another solve the problem? Realistically isn't it an expensive method of shuffling a problem from one region to another? Regarding "Landscape Connectivity" this has all ready been achieved in the Selkirks and Blue Mtns. If you don't know this to be true you need to put boots on the ground and spend time in the E. Fork LeClerc Crk area of the Selkirks or Devils Tailbone area and south in the Blue Mtns. Re: "Wolf-Ungulate Conflict Management" who are you talking to when you qoute "information obtained from these states"... everyone I have talked to in these states (specifically Montana and Idaho because I no longer bother hunting in Washington unless I draw a permit because the quality of the game and season restrictions aren't worth my time otherwise).. has stated otherwise, to include game officials in the field from both states.

Al Schultz,  Port Orchard WA

Ungulate populations should not be used to benefit wolf populations. Manage the game to benefit hunters not wolves.


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

Your answer to socially acceptable is to pay ranchers who are impacted? What about people who hike with pets who could not legally shoot them if they attacked their dog (until the population reaches recovery). Absolutely foolish. How much is this private organization going to kick in for the payment to ranchers? Lets see that in writing or remove it.

Corey Watson,  Auburn WA

Too many wolves and to complicated.

Al Sherman,  Wenatchee WA

This alternative lumps together the Pacific Coast with the South Cascades; this is a huge area with widely varying habitat. Alternative 3 gives a better overview of actual recovery throughout the state. Allowing lethal take of wolves on public grazing allotments when wolves reach sensitive status puts cows above ecosystem recovery, and holds recovery hostage to individual leaseholders.

Jana Hobbs,  Kirkland WA

This sounds preferable.

David Moen,  Oregon City OR

I think this is a very workable alternative, but I believe that the Eastern Region could tolerate more then two successful breeding pairs. If I understand the alternative correctly there could be as many as six which I stiil think is low. However, I suspect I know why you have designed this with such a relatively low population tolerance. It strikes me from what I have heard and read that most people fear wolves because of their potential economic impact on livestock which you have adequately addressed. However, I think it would be wise to spell out in each alternative how attacks on humans, no matter how rare and unlikely, would be handled. Even though SHB 1778 goes into effect several months from now it seems very relevant to the wolf/human interaction and the success of this plan. Addressing this now would be wise because sooner or later there will be an incident.

Steve Fowler,  Colville WA

Alternative 2 is a thinly veiled attempt to buy off the only organized, motivated and well funded interest group, cattlemen. This "preferred" alternative is a FAKE compromise between alternative 1 and 3. Its fake because we should be de-lisiting them now so that we can keep Wolves in the state, but not let them take it over. 6BPs is all we need because we Wouldn't be able to kill enough through hunting as a big game animal, or through the defense of people and property. (pets and livestock)

jason bolser,  

helps the wolf popultaion get to big. to restrictive to livestock owners

Hans Hurlbutt,  Sedro Woolley WA



I support this alternative. Based on wolf recovery efforts in other regions of North America, education and outreach and strong partnerships between WDFW and locals in the areas where wolves live will be essential to successful wolf management. One overall concern - is the stated number breeding pairs in each area actually sufficient to maintain genetic diversity and therefore stable populations?

Karen Goodrowe Beck,  Gig Harbor WA

Alternative two while not preferential in its deference to livestock interests in terms of what constitutes a suitable numbers of breeding pairs to advocate downgrading protected status, is still preferential to the other options available.

Ryan Alexander Sparks,  Pullman WA

I support this alternative

Christopher Ensor,  Kent WA

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


Rancher and Farmers must have the right to shoot on sight any wolf on their property. Or may defer to use a non lethal method if they choose to engage the Washington Department of Fish and Game.

Jim Rubert,  Puyallup WA

i generally would accept Alternative 2 as written.

Steve Solberg,  Spokane Valley WA

This seems to be a very balanced approach, but there are certain elements from #3 that will do more to guarantee a successful recovery.

Marcia avajas,  Bainbridge Island WA

This alternative is wrong to be preferred. First, it leaves out a definite portion that should have the wolves reintroduced to it. Second, it penalizes smaller landowners. Only paying full value for stock if you own less than 100 acres is discriminatory towards smaller landowners. You should not be punishing the smaller business owners in favor of larger enterprises.

Karl Schulke,  Republic WA

Against it

Lee Davis,  Ellensburg WA

needs more flexibility

Rick Turvey,  Yakima WA

Alternative 2 does not provide the best change "to ensure the reestablisment of a self-sustaining population of gray wolves in Washington.

Ed Wilson,  Enumclaw WA

This is the most sensible approach and the one I would like to support.

Yvette Goot,  Chewelah WA

A good plan except I think you need to double the number of successful breeding pairs, from 15 to 30.

Lois Neuman,  Vancouver WA

Would want #3, but this would be the only acceptable fall-back.

Richard Hernandez,  Kirkland 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

Am against lethal control of wolves - why do preferred alternatives always include lethal control???

Gayle Janzen,   WA

It's time Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainier National Park had wolves restored.

Barbara Keevil Parker,  Everett WA

I am very disturbed that a managed public hunting season is not an explicit part of this alternative. If wolves are going to return to this state, AND if they are to do so in a way that will not cause conflicts with hunters and livestock owners, their numbers will have to be kept low enough such that impacts on ungulate populations are minimal. Significant depredation by wolves on deer and elk populations in the state will breed animosity among hunters and ultimately decrease WDFW funding as hunters turn their attention to other states and other areas where deer/elk populations are higher and less flighty. A carefully managed, (lottery-based?) hunting season for the animals is clearly the best way to manage predator populations. Indeed, most if not all organisms for which managed hunting seasons are established ultimately see increases in their population and distribution. While this may not occur in the case of wolves in WA due to their naturally low population density, arguments that controlled hunting for wolves would lead to their extinction are clearly specious (witness also Alaska's wolf population and the role of hunting there). With a hunting season eventually implemented (at some goal population of wolves in the state), the state could make money from license sales, obtain valuable data on populations, and demonstrate goodwill to the thousands of hunters who provide huge amounts of yearly revenue to the WDFW. A hunting season should be an explicit part of this alternative. Indeed, it should be a goal of management.

Nathaniel Paull,   WA

Do not continue to conservation activities. The wolves are a well established species. Future population expansion should not be considered. Don't make the taxpayer responsible for the farmers loss of livestock. Place the responsibility on the groups and organizations that brought the wolf back in the first place.

Teresa Selby,  Bonney Lake WA

I support this, though I would prefer more pro-active course as in Alternative 3.

Joyce L Francis,  Port Townsend WA

Translocation was not vetted through anyone in the area where the wolves would be moved to. Eastern Wa livestock growers would be for this, of course, as would environmental, but what about w. Wa livestock producers. Were they even asked. No translocation. Against Alt. 2, favor Alt . 1. The untimate goal of wolves as big game needs to be made clear.

Darcy Mitchem,  Toutle Wa WA