Will either side win the hearing?

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will discuss the proposed state wolf plan and hold a public hearing. The state plan calls for 15 breeding pairs of wolves in the state for 3 years running before a state delisting can happen. About 2/3 of the land area in Washington protects the wolf by the federal ESA. All are protected by the state law.

The Washington plan calls for more than 15 breeding pairs of wolves anywhere in the state. The wolves are not to be bunched into some particular region of the state such as in Wyoming. Instead there is a wolf distribution requirement. Five breeding pairs would be required in Eastern Washington, four in the North Cascades and six in the South Cascades or Northwest Coast. This is innovative and should reduce the claim by some that “our area has to bear the entire burden of having the wolves.”  If history is a guide, however, the plan details will make little difference to the anti-wolf groups.

There won’t be many people in the middle, so the hearing, held to accommodate Eastern Washington where most of the wolves where 60% of the wolves live, will probably be strident, but then wolf supporters can hardly afford to lose. Despite public confusion, some of it deliberately propagated, all Washington state wolves migrated into the state on their own from Idaho or British Columbia. No wolves were ever introduced by a government agency.

Here is an AP story on the origin of the meeting and the status of the wolf in the state.

The meeting begins Thursday morning at 9 a.m. in the Ramada Spokane Airport, 8909 W. Airport Dr.  Map to the meeting place.

– – – –Update

The Washington state media seem to have barely covered the hearing. The only comment that made its way into the MSM was that a spokesperson for the Colville Indian tribe said the tribe was opposed to wolves because the Indians depended on the big game for subsistence hunting.  Plans, however, are for only 5 breeding pairs of wolves in all of NW Washington state, so it is unlikely there will be any perceptible impact (a pack maybe) on the reservation. With 60% unemployment on the reservation, the obvious threat to deer, elk, and moose are poor Native Americans trying to get food to stay alive.

 

 

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

12 Responses to Big hearing on Washington State wolf plan Nov. 3 in Spokane (update)

  1. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    I’d bet we will hear some people testify that giant wolves from far off Canada were introduced by the government. Spokane is about 40 miles south of the Canadian border.

    • avatar Connie says:

      Isn’t natural migration possible so close to Canada?

      • Connie,

        Yes. That’s the point.

        I heard anti-wolfer Ron Gillet of Stanley, Idaho get interviewed by a woman from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) once. He went on and on about the giant Canadian wolves. Finally, he rhetorically asked her “do you have any idea what it’s like up there in Canada?” She simply said, “oh yes.”

        He sounded like such an ignorant fool.

    • avatar Bob says:

      Ralph
      Spokane is how far south of the Canadian border? Might want to check on that, it might be closer to 110 miles.

  2. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    I wish I could be there for that hearing. There were a number of anti-wolf individuals at the last one in Olympia, but it will be worse in Spokane. There are some pro-wolf groups trying to get as many folks out there as they can, but we’ll see…..

    Anyone who is pro-wolf around Spokane should go if they can make it work with their schedule. It actually feels great to be in a room full of real human beings who are passionate about this issue rather than just witnessing it in the press and over the internet. You’ll definitely get a healthy dose of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  3. Wish I could be there too. Meanwhile wolves are quietly going where ever they want in Washington and hopefully most of them remain undetected.

  4. avatar Ann Sydow says:

    I heard from someone from Conservation Northwest that the pro wolfers outnumbered the anti wolfers by more than 2-1 ! Over 40 pro wolf statements were made 😀 Unfortunatley, at the last minute, i couldn’t make it, but submitted a comment online, coming from NIWA. (Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance) Spokane is maybe 45 minutes from the Idaho border, but it seems a world away, when it comes to attitudes.

    • avatar jon says:

      Thank you for all the hard work you do speaking up for wolves Ann. It’s very much appreciated by wolf advocates all over the world.

    • avatar Cobra says:

      Ann,
      Spokane is only 10 or 15 minutes from the Idaho border on I-90.It mainly depends on which part of Spokane you are going to.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        Yeah, it only seems like a hop, skip, and a jump to the Idaho border from downtown Spokanistan.

        It might take 45 minutes on a bicycle.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      45 minutes is not accurate on how long it takes to get from the Idaho border to Spokane..

  5. avatar Ann Sydow says:

    Tomorrow (Wednesday, the 9th) IDFG meets in Coeur d’ Alene for a public comment night. It starts at 7 pm at the Coeur d’ Alene Inn/Best Western on West Appleway, behind the Mobil station and next to the I-90 freeway. We need all the wolf advocates we can get to speak up for wolves there. It won’t stop the hunt, but its time more people stood up publicly, instead of just saying how much they love wolves and how great they are, among friends.

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