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Wolves kill at least 2 dozen sheep in Stevens County in recent weeks; ranchers cautioned

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Remote camera image of pups from another wolf pack, the Diamond Pack in Pend Oreille County, Wash., July 2009 (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources)

OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday it is cautioning other ranchers in Steven County to be vigilant as members of the Huckleberry wolf pack moves about their range.

Stevens County rancher  Dave Dashiell, with the help of WDFW, moved his sheep away from the site where wolves killed at least two dozen of the animals in recent weeks, it said.

Working through Labor Day weekend, Dashiell rounded up his flock of 1,800 sheep and herded them to temporary holding pens five miles away, and has begun trucking them to their winter pasture in the Columbia Basin.

“The threat to one rancher’s flock has passed, but there are other ranchers and other livestock in that area,” Nate Pamplin, director of WDFW’s wildlife program, said. “We need to make sure that the owners of those livestock operations – large and small – are aware of the pack’s presence and are taking necessary precautions.”

Pamplin said WDFW field staff will continue to monitor the movement of the Huckleberry pack and will contact other ranchers in the area to discuss appropriate protective measures, such as maintaining a human presence around their stock, using guard dogs, and removing animal carcasses whenever feasible.

On Aug. 22, at the height of the attacks on Dashiell’s sheep, WDFW authorized the removal of up to four members of the Huckleberry wolf pack, one of 13 documented packs in the state. One female wolf was killed the next day by an aerial marksman contracted by the department. The department’s wildlife veterinarian conducted a necropsy this week indicating the wolf was the pack’s breeding female.

While other lethal measures were authorized, no other wolves have been removed.

 “Lethal measures continue to be an option if the pack attacks other livestock, but we will consider that option only after reasonable preventive efforts have been made,” Pamplin said.

 

Earlier story from June 29, 2012:

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that it has confirmed another wolf pack in eastern Washington – the seventh confirmed gray wolf pack in the state.

Using remote video cameras, biologists documented at least five gray wolf pups this week in southern Stevens County, east of the town of Fruitland and north of the Spokane Indian Reservation.  In reference to nearby Huckleberry Mountain, the new pack has been named the Huckleberry pack.

The new pack is Washington’s seventh confirmed wolf pack, including the recently documented Nc’icn pack on the Colville Confederated Tribes reservation. An additional five packs are also suspected in the state.

At about the same time the new wolf pack was documented, WDFW investigated an attack on domestic sheep in northwestern Spokane County, near Nine Mile Falls. Based on evidence at the scene, including wolf tracks and the trauma to the carcass, state wildlife officials confirmed that the attack was from a wolf. WDFW officials are working with the livestock producer on compensation for the sheep.

Washington’s new wolf management plan, adopted last December, includes provisions to compensate ranchers who lose livestock to wolf predation, said Steve Pozzanghera, a regional WDFW director and wolf policy lead.

In confirmed wolf depredation cases, livestock owners can be compensated for the full market value of lost animals.

Wolves are currently listed by the state as endangered throughout Washington. The species remains federally listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of the state.

A map showing wolf packs – confirmed and suspected – in Washington is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/

 

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9 comments

  • Maggie

    Stop killing these beautiful and intelligent animals!!!!! Get out of their territory if you don’t want them to kill the livestock. They are not vengeful killers, they are just hungry!

  • United We Stand

    Good idea Maggie. Relocate the wolves so they can congregate around calving elk so they can decimate half the herd as it’s being born.

  • JustMe

    Not one member of the Dashiell sheep rape corporation is worth 1 wolf toenail!!!!!!!!!!!! The Dashiells are murderers and criminals, and must be put out of their fraudulent corporate rape of the land business!

  • bocacassidy

    Wolves are an endangered specie threatened by greed driven livestock operators .. The BLM leases should be terminated .. Ranchers caught killing wolves – jailed , and their land redefined as wildlife habitat There is already excessive food production other regions of the USA where there is no wildlife conflict .These selfish rednecks should seek legitimate employment elsewhere ..

  • Wolf Revenge

    The warning is out, Kill wolves, and we are hunting you! Ten cows and sheep for every wolf murdered! and the meat will NOT be useable to humans!