Statement on senate work session on Wolves in Washington

Statement on senate work session on Wolves in Washington

Conservation Northwest / Jan 22, 2019 / Restoring Wildlife, Wolves

The Washington State Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee held a work session today focusing on ‘Wolves in Washington’, including presentations by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and University of Washington researchers Sam Wasser and Aaron Wirsing.

A gray wolf in Eastern Washington. Photo: WDFW

Though confirmed data is not yet available showing 2018 counts, the topic of Washington’s actual wolf population and the animal’s range in our state was discussed.

Read more and watch clips from the work session in this coverage from KING 5 News. Video of the full work session is available through TVW (wolf section begins after approximately 55 minutes).

In response to research presented during this work session, Conservation Northwest issued the following statement: 

By all indications there are well over 150 wolves roaming Washington today.

We’re excited to see survey results from university researchers and state biologists contributing to an updated wolf count this winter, as well as new research on interactions between wolves and deer, elk and moose. We strongly support the stewardship of these species, and believe wolf conservation and management must find a balance that works in the long run—for wolves, people and all the Northwest’s wildlife.

Wolf recovery is progressing well in Washington. Despite a few high-profile events, the rate of wolf mortality is much lower here than in Rocky Mountain states. We hope to soon see wolves confirmed in Washington’s South Cascades as well as new areas of the North Cascades where reported sightings have become more common in recent years.

Today’s presentations are available at the links below: 

Links not working? Trying pulling documents from the 1/22 1:30 pm committee meeting here.
Suspected wolf scat samples gathered in the South Cascades as part of a state-funded study to document wolves conducted by the dogs in the University of Washington’s Conservation Canines program. Graphic: Samuel Wasser / UW


Learn more about our work for coexistence between wolves and people, our Range Rider Pilot Project, and other efforts supporting the recovery of wolves in Washington.