August 5, 2016
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has begun efforts to remove wolves from the Profanity Peak wolf pack after a fourth calf was confirmed by the department as a wolf kill last week.
The Profanity Peak wolf pack, which numbers at least 11 total wolves including pups, has killed five calves and the pack was deemed a “probable” cause in the death of three more calves. In total, at least five cattle have been killed by the pack within the last 30 days. The dead cattle have been found northeast of Republic and belong to two different ranches.
Now that WDFW has committed to addressing the problem, Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association President Justin Hedrick said WDFW should commit to full removal.
“The Ferry County Commissioners have not only declared a state of emergency, but have demanded the department complete a full removal of the pack,” said Hedrick, whose ranch ,the Diamond M, lost four calves to the pack. “Considering the ongoing damage these wolves have caused over the last three years, we feel that request is reasonable and should be met.”
The Profanity Peak wolf pack has been killing cattle for the last three years. In 2014, the Ferry County Commissioners declared a state of emergency and called for pack removal by WDFW, but they were ignored. Since then, a Wolf Advisory Group formed by the department has developed specific protocols with WDFW on when wolves should be removed. Precursors to wolf removal, according to the WAG checklist, include four WDFW confirmed kills by wolves within a calendar year and an attempt to use non-lethal methods to stop the killing.
Although the Diamond M and another affected ranch tried additional non-lethal deterrents like range riders, removing carcasses of killed cattle and other methods, the Profanity Pack has not stopped preying on cattle.
Hedrick said SCCA expects WDFW to follow through on their commitment to remove wolves until the job is done.
“In the past, we have seen wolf removal crews pull out and leave because of a holiday weekend,” said Hedrick. “This problem does not take a holiday and we want WDFW to follow through with their commitment to address this situation.”