Hunting wolves
10:31 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Wolf kills create blowback for state, conservation group

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:38 pm

Washington wildlife officials killed three more grey wolves near the Canadian border Wednesday. That brings the total kill to five this week.

The state’s decision to take out an entire wolf pack is causing blowback for state wildlife managers –- and for one environmental organization that supported the action.

When you dial the main number for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the very first thing you hear might give you some indication of the level of public interest in the wolf issue.

A recording says, “If you’re calling regarding the Wedge Wolf Pack, please press # or the number sign now.”

Jasmine Minbashian has also been getting feedback. The organization she works for, Conservation Northwest, reluctantly gave the state its stamp of approval to remove the livestock-hungry wolf pack. That move puts Minbashian at odds with many wolf advocates.

“I understand," she says, "I understand the anger and the questions and how people are feeling.”

Minbashian says biologists they talked to find it’s hard to stop wolf predation once a pack becomes dependent on livestock. She hopes to establish a middle ground in the wolf debate that will lead to non-lethal measures in the future.

On the Web:

Locations of Washington’s wolf packs

Conservation Northwest - “Avoiding a Wedge Issue”

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