Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese today dismissed the case filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands challenging WDFW’s 2017 lethal removal decision concerning wolves in the Sherman pack. The judge ruled that the case was moot because the lethal removal authorization was no longer in effect and, as such, the court could not provide effective relief.
Based on the Department’s most recent annual survey in December 2017, the Sherman pack no longer exists.
At the judge’s request, WDFW committed to providing one business day (8 court hours) advance public notice prior to initiating lethal action on wolves, so the public has the opportunity to seek relief from the court. The judge said this requirement will remain in place until the issues raised in the case are finally adjudicated. WDFW already gives advance notice to the public before taking lethal action on wolves.
Both wolf depredations on livestock and the lethal removal of wolves are serious matters that affect a diverse array of Washingtonians in different ways. The Department will continue working with a diversity of Washington’s citizens and communities on wolf conservation and management.
The Department will also continue to implement the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and wolf-livestock interactions protocol, which emphases the proactive use of non-lethal deterrent measures to reduce wolf-livestock conflict, and only consider lethal removal of wolves if those non-lethal tools fail.