Wolf post-recovery plan development seeking public comment

  • Fri Aug 2nd, 2019 11:24am
  • News

OLYMPIA- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has opened a public comment period to gather input on how the department will manage wolves in Washington post-recovery.

Biologists are confident that Washington’s wolf population is on a path to successful recovery. Since 2008, the state’s wolf population has grown an average of 28% per year. WDFW documented a minimum of 126 individuals, 27 packs, and 15 successful breeding pairs during the last annual population survey.

“Long-term sustainability and persistence of Washington’s wolf population will always be a department priority,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “We know that Washington wolves are doing well, and it’s our responsibility to be prepared to help wolf and human populations coexist in the same landscape.”

Although it may be a few years before meeting wolf recovery goals, WDFW is preparing for when wolves are no longer designated as state or federally endangered by developing a post-recovery conservation and management plan. It will guide long-term wolf conservation and management.

As part of using the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process, WDFW will include an extensive public input and engagement process to develop the plan. This involves preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will evaluate actions, alternatives, and impacts related to long-term wolf conservation and management. The department will develop the draft EIS based on feedback, and the public can review and comment on the draft once it is complete.

“The department currently uses the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, adopted in 2011, to guide wolf management activities in Washington,” said Julia Smith, WDFW wolf coordinator. “However, the 2011 plan was developed specifically to inform and guide Washington wolf recovery while wolves are considered threatened or endangered. The new plan will focus on how the department will conserve and manage wolves after their recovery.”

Public input and feedback is vital to this effort. The public scoping comment period is open from Aug. 1, 2019 through Nov.1, 2019. You can share your thoughts by taking an online survey at https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/gray-wolf/post-recovery-planning, or by attending one of the following 14 public scoping open houses in your community:

Port Angeles

Oct. 29, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Peninsula College, House of Learning (Longhouse), 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles, WA 98362

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And elsewhere in the state:

Spokane

Sept. 3, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Spokane Community College (SCC), The Lair Student Center, Building #6, Sasquatch and Bigfoot Room 124 & 124C, 1810 Green St., Spokane, WA 99217

Colville

Sept. 4, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Agriculture & Trade Center, 215 S. Oak St., Colville, WA 99114

Clarkston

Sept. 5, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Quality Inn and Suites, Half Mahogany Room, 700 Port Drive, Clarkston, WA 99403

Chelan

Sept. 11, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Chelan Fire Station, 232 E. Wapato Ave, Chelan, WA 98816

Pasco

Sept. 25, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Franklin PUD auditorium, 1411 W. Clark St, Pasco, WA 99301

Selah

Sept. 26, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Selah Civic Center, 216 S. 1st St., Selah, WA 98942

Mt. Vernon

Oct. 7, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd., Mt. Vernon, WA 98273

Issaquah

Oct. 8, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Eagle Room, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, Issaquah, WA 98027

Kelso/Longview

Oct. 9, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center, 510 Kelso Drive, Kelso, WA 98626

Morton

Oct. 10, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Lyle Community Center, 700 Main Street, Morton, WA 98356

Olympia

Oct. 15, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Natural Resources Building (Room 172), 1111 Washington SE, Olympia, WA 98504

Goldendale

To be determined

Montesano

Oct. 30, 2019 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St., Montesano, WA 98563

A webinar will also be available for those who are interested. A date and time for it will be announced later.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.