On July 27, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) lethally removed an adult, non-breeding female member of the Wedge wolf pack. This pack has repeatedly preyed on cattle on public and private grazing lands in Stevens County.
Following the lethal removal, WDFW staff have conducted many depredation investigations of livestock reported as injured by wolves in the Wedge pack territory. Of these investigations, nine livestock belonging to two different livestock producers were determined to have been injured or killed by wolves (one probable mortality and eight confirmed injuries). Based on the age of the documented injuries, two of these events are believed to have occurred after the July 27 lethal removal. As such, Director Susewind is considering reinitiating lethal removal actions in the Wedge pack.
The depredations documented since the lethal removal have affected two different livestock producers. One is Producer 2 noted in the July 23 update, and that livestock producer still has the nonlethal deterrents in place detailed in that update. Following the depredation confirmed on June 17, range riding and livestock monitoring efforts were intensified. Range riding has been occurring four days a week, with the largest gap in coverage being two days. In addition to this increase in range riding, the producer, family members, or ranch staff have checked the cattle on the grazing allotment near the Wedge territory on a daily basis since the depredation confirmed on June 17.
The other affected livestock producer had the following deterrent measures in place at the time of the depredations:
The producer removed or treated sick or injured livestock when discovered, used carcass sanitation, delayed turnout of livestock to forested/upland grazing pastures, and had daily human presence around livestock. Following depredations documented in August, this livestock producer deployed two Northeast Washington Wolf Cattle Collaborative (NEWWCC) range riders as well.
WDFW has documented 16 depredation incidents (twelve within the last 30 days) resulting in four dead livestock and nineteen injured livestock since May 11, 2020 attributed to the Wedge pack.
2020 Wedge pack updates
A summary of all documented depredation activity within the past 10 months is included in every monthly wolf update.