Wolf Advisory Group

All wildlife species present management challenges, especially wolves and other large carnivores that sometimes prey on livestock, pets, and other animals. As the state's wolf population continues to grow, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is actively working with livestock producers, hunters and others to minimize conflicts that may occur, recognizing that public acceptance is essential for wolf recovery to succeed on a statewide basis.

In 2013, WDFW created the Wolf Advisory Group to provide a broad range of perspectives to help inform this ongoing management effort. This group is tasked with recommending strategies for reducing conflicts with wolves outlined in the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Specific issues include:

  • Encouraging livestock producers to take proactive, preventative measures to decrease the risk of loss.

  • Providing compensation for economic loss due to wolf predation.

  • Monitoring recovery of the wolf population and its effect on prey species.

  • Providing information to the public on wolf recovery in Washington.

In 2017, WDFW and the Wolf Advisory Group developed the Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol to guide efforts to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock. The protocol prescribes proactive measures livestock producers can take to reduce the probability of wolf-livestock conflicts, and it establishes a framework for the department's response when conflicts between wolves and livestock do occur. It also serves to increase the transparency and accountability of the department's activities and management actions related to wolves. The Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol was published in June 2017.

Mission statement

Mission of WAG

To promote equitable, inclusive, and respectful dialogue and decision-making among diverse people to foster durable peace by transforming the root causes of social conflict and providing high quality recommendations on wolf recovery, conservation, and management.

Vision

The Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) envisions a future for Washington whereby:

  • People have equal and balanced voices in decisions that impact their communities
  • Diverse perspectives are welcomed and heard
  • Mutual understanding of the needs of diverse communities and groups is achieved and respected
  • Wolves are an opportunity for shared, constructive problem-solving
  • The deeper roots of social conflict in Washington are continually transformed
  • Healthy, sustainable populations of wolves and wild ungulates are achieved and maintained in balance
  • Livestock and financial losses to livestock producers are minimized
  • Diverse communities, including rural communities, livestock producers, hunters, environmental communities, and the interested public, are kept whole (in terms of quality of life), vibrant, and resilient
  • The best available science is used for decision-making on group recommendations
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the Washington legislature are provided creative, inclusive recommendations for effective decision-making
  • Public dialogue and mutual learning around wolves, ungulates, and natural resource issues are significantly improved
  • There is continual fostering of high-quality dialogue and decision-making around wolves and related or emerging issues now and into the future

Decision-making (on advice/recommendations) among WAG

WAG chose to use a sufficient consensus model for decision-making (on recommendations to WDFW or problem-solving efforts among WAG), defined by WAG as:

  • Diverse views are fully and genuinely welcomed and considered
  • The issues are sufficiently discussed and understood from all angles
  • Absent members have an opportunity to provide input and be heard fully by all members
  • No more than three individuals disagree with the decision and all three cannot be from the same side (same side or in-group distinctions, for the purposes of WAG, are environmentalists, livestock producers, and hunters. Where there is overlap in in-group identities, the member may self-identify and align with the group they feel the strongest connection)
  • Once a decision is reached, it will be supported by the entire group, including those who opposed the decision
  • Dissenting voices recognize that maintaining the long-term integrity of the process and relationships is more important than the decision and therefore will work outside WAG and within their own group or community to 1) uphold support for the decision within their community or group and 2) ask for their organization or group to "stand aside" and not take action to oppose or overturn the decision, even if they themselves did not secure their preferred decision

Meeting calendar

Date Location Meeting materials
Aug. 27 - Aug. 28, 2019

Moses Lake

Jun. 27 - Jun. 28, 2019

Ellensburg

May. 24, 2019

Conference Call

Apr. 24 - Apr. 25, 2019

Olympia

Feb. 13, 2019
Conference Call
Feb. 12 - Feb. 13, 2019
Cancelled
Dec. 11 - Dec. 12, 2018
Spokane
Nov. 8, 2018
Conference Call
Jul. 31, 2018
Conference Call
Jul. 10 - Jul. 11, 2018
Ellensburg
May. 1 - May. 2, 2018
Spokane
Mar. 21 - Mar. 22, 2018
Ellensburg
Mar. 29 - Mar. 30, 2017
Olympia
Feb. 1 - Feb. 2, 2017
Olympia
Sep. 14 - Sep. 15, 2016
Issaquah
Jul. 6 - Jul. 7, 2016
Spokane Valley
May. 10 - May. 11, 2016
Ellensburg
Apr. 27, 2016
Conference Call
Mar. 14 - Mar. 15, 2016
Olympia
Feb. 29, 2016
Conference Call
Feb. 2, 2016
Conference Call
Feb. 1 - Feb. 2, 2016
Cancelled
Dec. 13 - Dec. 14, 2015
Spokane
Nov. 11, 2015
Tour
Nov. 6, 2015
Conference Call
Sep. 30 - Oct. 1, 2015
Ellensburg
Sep. 3, 2015
Olympia
May. 21 - May. 22, 2015
Spokane
Sep. 25, 2014
Olympia
Jul. 24, 2014
Ellensburg
May. 21, 2014
Spokane
Mar. 20, 2014
Olympia
Dec. 19, 2013
Ellensburg
Oct. 23, 2013
Ellensburg
Sep. 18, 2013
Olympia
Aug. 15, 2013
Spokane
Jul. 10, 2013
Ellensburg