Many of you have expressed concern over the situation with wolves in Eastern Washington. Now we have something you can do to aid ranchers and help create practical solutions to the problem. There are two things you can do to make your voice heard: send a letter or make a phone call.
MAKE A PHONE CALL:
To voice your opinion to a real person, you can call the following people and ask them to immediately delist the wolf in Eastern Washington as an endangered species. Reclassifying the wolf as a predator, not an endangered animal, will allow livestock owners to practically address with situation. When you call, you can also note:
*Eastern Washington has a disproportionate amount of wolves (nine packs of the state’s 12 packs). This, coupled with a limited prey base and a high human population, is sure to create conflict.
*Ranchers are able to responsibly deal with other predators like cougars and bears and can also bring balance to the situations where wolf-livestock conflicts occur without decimating the wolf population.
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire: 360-902-4111
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson: 360-902-2200
MAIL OR EMAIL:
Below is a form letter you can copy and paste into an email and send to the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission. Their email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also copy the letter and paste it into a word document, print it out and send it regular mail. You can spend a couple more cents for delivery confirmation, if you like, to ensure they receive it:
Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission
600 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
If you have trouble with the “cut and paste” part of these instructions, you can email us at: email@example.com and we will be happy to send you the letter in a Word document or send you print copies.
Here is the letter:
[Insert date here]
Dear Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, Chair Miranda Wecker and Vice Chair Gary Douvia,
I am writing to express my concern over the situation with Grey Wolves in Eastern Washington and the damage they are causing livestock producers. The continual reports of wolf depredations in Eastern Washington have been disturbing and suggest that a practical solution is not in place that can bring a balance to the situation. The frequency of the wolf attacks and the inability of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to address problem wolves in a reasonable amount of time indicates the current management plan is not suited to the situation.
Despite the provisions listed in the Wolf Conservation and Management plan for addressing wolf related conflicts, the wolves have expanded at a pace that WDFW is not able to keep up with. The establishment of eight wolf packs in the upper Eastern Washington region is a disproportionate concentration of wolves that is predictably causing conflicts between livestock owners and wolves. Despite measures taken by ranchers to deter the wolves, the attacks have persisted.
The problem occurring with wolves in Eastern Washington is neither the fault of the wolves nor the livestock producers who live there. It is an issue of state policy that is approaching the situation with a faulty strategy.
According to your own position statement released in April 2012, it is apparent the reestablishment of wolves in Washington is problematic. To reference your statement, Washington has the “smallest land base, the second highest human population among the Western states, large gaps between expanses of suitable habitat and a smaller prey base.” These factors mean wolves have neither the land mass nor the prey base to survive at the level proposed in the Wolf Conservation and Management plan. Constrained by a lack of suitable land and without a hearty ungulate population, wolves have already begun to concentrate in areas where a new prey base is available: cattle.
In light of this difficult situation, I am asking the Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider immediate delisting of the Grey Wolf as an endangered species in the Eastern Washington region. This surgical approach to the situation, which does not affect the other regions in the state, would bring immediate relief to the problem by allowing the animal to be managed like other predators.
Thank you for your consideration on this issue,
[insert Name, address, contact phone number]