It has been less than six years since the first wild wolf pack was confirmed in Washington, and since then that number has increased to 10 confirmed and two suspected packs, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Most of those packs exist in Eastern Washington with three confirmed packs in the Northern Cascades.
The resurgence of wolves has been a controversial issue in areas affected — conservation groups are concerned about anti-wolf propaganda leading to further reduction in the fragile population, while farmers and residents are concerned for the safety of livestock and citizens.
The killing of a Washington pack in 2012 was criticized by Sen. Kevin Ranker, chair of the Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee, who called the act “inexcusable” when interviewed by NBC News last year. Ranchers in Eastern Washington have repeatedly requested that the state control the gray wolf population in the area, citing wolf attacks as being responsible for lost revenue, due to death of livestock.
The decision to delist the gray wolf has been extended to Oct. 28, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Defenders of Wildlife is hosting a seminar on bridging the gap between the two sides with a free presentation on wolf conservation, wildlife conflict management, compensation programs, co-existence and non-lethal techniques for reducing wolf and livestock conflicts. Coexisting with Wolves in Washington — Lessons Learned is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 28, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the University Friends Meeting hall located at 4001 9th Ave NE in Seattle.