Rare Washington wolf pack behaving itself

According the human perceptions, wolves near Twisp, WA are not causing trouble-

Rare Washington wolf pack behaving itself. By K.C. Mehaffey, The Wenatchee World.

I haven’t heard any news about the prosecution of the local family that poached a couple of these wolves.

Most of the comments in story are quite positive.






  1. Brian Ertz Avatar

    boy, it’s a good thing those wolves are “behaving” themselves – even as the Forest, & seemingly everyone else, is not (i.e. turnout of livestock on top of rendezvous site).

    what a sick thing to place the onus of conflict on a wild creature.

  2. kt Avatar

    I do keep wondering what is going on with enforcement of ESA laws. Attempting to ship a bloody package with the hide of an ESA-protected gray wolf should land the wolf killer and the woman who tried to ship it off to Canada in serious trouble. From reading the transcript that was briefly on-line it sure sounded too like the wolf killer may have had a long history of wildlife killing perhaps on the shady side of the law. WHEN is something going to happen? Rural WA is one of those areas where all kinds of illicit militia gun nut type threads may be running through the case too.

  3. Jon Way Avatar

    On a somewhat unrelated note,
    I just watched a nature PBS special on killer whales and early modern whalers in SE Australia cooperatively hunting baleen whales together. It was fascinating as the killer whales would go out of their way to alert their fellow humans to the hunt. They would then share the prize.
    I feel like many of us have lost the brotherhood that fellow side-by-side hunters (ie, wolves, humans) used to have. All state wildlife agencies seem to view wildlife (even our fellow predators like lions, wolves) is from a maximal utilitarian viewpoint. I think that is 1 factor in creating the divide in modern wolf management – many, even hunters, don’t view predators like wolves like they do our prey (elk, deer…) and don’t think they should be treated as such.

  4. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Jon, animals are judged only by their “worth” that is, can we eat them and how much money do they bring in. Since we don’t eat wolves and they kill things we eat, they are something to be despised.

  5. Linda Hunter Avatar

    I talked to a lady yesterday who was complaining that she had more mosquitoes this year at her house. I asked her if they had coyotes in her neighborhood and she said they never hear them anymore. So I asked her if the raccoon population was higher and she said they seem to have a lot of raccoons. I told her that raccoons love to raid bird nests, hence birds move out of the neighborhood and don’t eat the bugs they should. I explained that was only one little part of the equations that make the habitat balanced and a sudden increase in mosquitoes is an out of balance indicator. She was shocked. She never thought about those things. If we all just try and get people to think about those things a little more it can’t hurt. Cause and effect should be common sense but like Jon pointed out we have bought into a completely economic way of thinking of life and as a result are much poorer.

  6. Linda Hunter Avatar

    PS: in my opinion, based on what I see in the Washington woods as a tracker, the reason the wolves are “behaving” is that they have been here a long time and have learned to be out of sight, hence out of mind. This unfortunate pack now has the press and all of Washington watching them and hopefully the other packs can stay out of the limelight.

  7. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Linda, out of sight out of mind is a good way for wolves to be. That is why I sometimes worry when people publish wolves’ whereabouts in the paper. And you are right, people don’t take into account things like the raccoon equation (which wouldn’t have occurred to me). Kind of like ranchers who complain about jackrabbits eating all of the grass but they have shot all of the coyotes on the land. The western US has some of the worst examples of economic values to wildlife but I think Alaska takes the cake on that one.

  8. Brian Ertz Avatar

    IMO, being careful about the where-abouts wolves is ok, O guess. Of course, people have an idea about where they are, especially ranchers, hunters, and others. With wolves delisted, ‘out of sight out of mind’ wolves means they’ll not be missed by so many who would otherwise feel invested in their fate if they got to know them a little better, more than in the abstract.

    IMO, we need to celebrate wolves (without the overtly apologetic/obfuscatory inferrence of a grant-fetching ranch-hand in the frame) – let their voices & behavior touch people. They are remarkable animals with dynamic & compelling lives – people need to know that – people want to know it. We need not be explicit about their whereabouts, but we also should not deprive people of that most potent aspect of wolf advocacy – the story of the wolves themselves – for fear people will do them harm. Like I said, some wolf advocates’ message is already so skewed by the cowboy mythology. I dunno, perhaps I am naive, but wolves ‘out of mind’ is the last thing I’d shoot for.

  9. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Out of mind probably isn’t good, but out of sight can be, especially if they are in places where they are likely to be shot (which is about 90% their range). To me it seems like there are just too many people who should not know where wolves are.

  10. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I agree with Brian. We need to make the wolves more visible to the public. There is a mountain goat viewing site above Ketchum, Idaho, why not a wolf viewing site? A wolf pack produces about six new pups a year and thus can and will sustain about six deaths per pack per year. I think we get too concerned about the ones that get killed by poachers and cars and not enough about recruiting more people who want to have wolves on our public lands. People who get to see and spend some time observing wolves, will generally help protect them.

  11. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Larry, people spent half as much time and money investing in things like wolf watching sites instead of pissing and moaning about them they might find something that could bring in some tourism.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan