CAPR has submitted comments to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in response to solicited comments from WDFW for public input to Post Recovery Wolf Management. You may comment as well at this link: https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/gray-wolf/post-recovery-planning/public-input CAPR used Option 2 for commenting as it is the easiest way to submit a comment. The commenting period ends on November 1.
CAPR comments are reflective of the concerns we have heard from many in various areas regarding the management needs of Washington State.
Public comment to WDFW re Post Recovery Wolf Management
Submitted by Cindy Alia
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights
October 22, 2019
Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights is a Washington State organization advocating and working for the protection and restoration of property rights. CAPR's mission includes educating the public, elected officials, and bureaucrats about property rights and the impact of state law, plans, programs, and policies on property owners. CAPR members are located throughout the state of Washington.
The Washington State plan recovery goals are codified under state law and include strategies for regional recovery and conflict management with domestic animal husbandry and with managing the ungulate population.
The specific target numbers and population distribution goals are listed in state law:
To reclassify from State endangered to State threatened status: 6 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 2 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions.
To reclassify from State threatened to State sensitive status: 12 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions.
To delist from State sensitive status: 15 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions and 3 successful breeding pairs anywhere in the State.
In addition to the delisting objective of 15 successful breeding pairs distributed in the three geographic regions for 3 consecutive years, an alternative delisting objective is also established whereby the gray wolf will be considered for delisting when 18 successful breeding pairs are present, with 4 successful breeding pairs in the Eastern Washington region, 4 successful breeding pairs in the Northern Cascades region, 4 successful breeding pairs distributed in the Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast region, and 6 anywhere in the State.
Wolves in the state of Washington are at or near the goals written in state law. It is important to recognize the need to shift focus from recovery to management. Management must include analysis of economic impact of wolf management to all citizens of Washington State, and plan to minimize that impact in a neutral factual manner.
It is important to shift focus from recovery to management in terms of a more robust accounting of where wolves are actually located outside of the listed known packs in the state.
It is also important to recognize the dangers and costs associated with hybridization and consider capturing and neutering wolves throughout the state to prevent the widespread hybridization that has occurred in other states in the United States. The dangers and costs of unaccounted for wolves and hybrids are inclusive of but not limited to large packs of wild dogs existing near rural properties and in established wildlife corridors that extend into cities, creating a danger to people, pets, and livestock of all breeds.
The recognition of the disease vector capabilities of wolves and wolf hybrid wild animals is a serious consideration for all citizens who work and live in areas frequentd by these animals. Accounting for all these animals and testing for diseases such as rabies, and hytadid disease is of utmost importance to the health and safety of Washingtons citizens and visitors to the state as well.
It is not evident if WDFW has been carrying out such studies, but the WSU scat studies indicate there are more wolves in Washington than are formally recognized by WDFW. Post recovery planning must address these issues for public safety as a primary consideration, and should recognize the stated goal of "acceptance" would hinge on factual studies and publication of the results of such studies for public consumption.
Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights
October 22, 2019