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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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August 21, 2018
Contact: Donny Martorello, 360-902-2521
Bruce Botka, 360-902-2262

Judge issues temporary restraining order
prohibiting Togo lethal removal

OLYMPIA – A Thurston County Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order Aug. 20 that prohibits the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) from lethally removing one or more wolves from the Togo pack in northern Ferry County.

Earlier in the day, WDFW Director Kelly Susewind had authorized the staff to take lethal action in response to multiple confirmed livestock depredations by the pack since last November, including three confirmed incidents in the last 30 days.

Judge Chris Lanese granted the restraining order sought by the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands, which filed the request for injunction following Susewind's authorization. The judge said the plaintiffs' complaint met the criteria for a temporary restraining order under the state Administrative Procedures Act.

Lanese told WDFW and the plaintiffs to return to court Aug. 31 for a hearing on a preliminary injunction to determine whether to replace the restraining order with a longer-lasting court order.

In announcing his decision, Lanese specified that the ruling applied only to the Togo lethal removal decision.

Donny Martorello, WDFW wolf policy lead, said WDFW staff would continue to work with livestock producers to deploy non-lethal deterrents to help protect their cattle.

Monday's ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the environmental groups within the terms of a court order earlier this year. The order requires WDFW to provide a minimum of eight business hours' notice from the time of the director's authorization to the start of a lethal removal action.

Detailed information about the Togo pack and its depredation history is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/updates.php.