Smackout Pack: Washington state’s fifth confirmed wolf pack
By Brian Ertz On July 23, 2011 · 9 Comments · In Wolves
Another confirmed pack in Washington state.
Biologists confirm a fifth wolf pack in Washington – The Seattle Times
It’s not yet clear whether the Smackout Pack wolves made its way to Washington from Idaho and the Rocky Mountains or from British Columbia.
Tagged with: Washington • Washington State wolf plan
9 Responses to Smackout Pack: Washington state’s fifth confirmed wolf pack
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It is rumored (with verification) there are additional wolves on the Colville Indian Reservation, which is west of Spokane some distance.
It is also rumored, and more or less substantiated in a comment in the article linked below, that the Colville tribe simply does not want them. Almost anything can happen in Indian Country and most will never know about it. Some members of this tribe raise cattle, while others rely on subsistence hunting of deer and elk. It is an ecomically poor tribe, generally.
I know you have mentioned before the apprehension some Colville tribal members have over the return of wolves. Can you vouch for whether that apprehension is prevelant throughout the whole tribe?
Colville tribal wildlife management policy is stated by its managers (as in the article). Whether management takes direction from tribal leaders or the general population is anyone’s guess.
Where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, is whether it becomes more difficult for tribal subsistence hunters to get game in the presence of wolves. If that happens, or maybe even before, 3S might become policy (official or not).
My sense is (and you know my background) coloring outside the lines is as prevalent in Indian Country as off, and maybe a bit moreso. I have already made a prediction for the wolf’s future on the Yakama Reservation and, and absent seeing any views from the tribe to the contrary, I stand by it.
That is an interesting dichotomy, because the mascot for the local high school is the Wapato Wolves.
I should also have mentioned lack of Indian input into the WA Wolf Management Plan which is now in its final stages of review for Commission approval. The tribal folks (Yakima and Colville) I have spoken with have made it clear they are, as sovereign nations, not bound by the terms of the plan if it conflicts with tribal goals. Add that to my earlier comment and draw your own conclusion.
This, of course, is a very different approach than the Nez Perce in ID, who have actually been the guiding light for wolf management there. Another difference Nez Perce – small reservation with population of 2,700. Yakama – very large reservation with a population topping 10,000. Both tribes have off reservation historical treaty hunting rights that span large areas (Yakama for sure, and I think this is so for the Nez Perce – maybe someone can correct me if I have that wrong).
Thinking about the members on the Colville and Yakama reservations resisting wolves migrating to or through tribal lands has bothered me since you brought it up.
If I remember correctly, the land base of those two reservations equals greater than 2.5 million acres, most of it undeveloped and important for the success of any wolf management plan, IMO. I’ve been wondering how much effort was put into getting the tribes more involved with the development of the WMP.
As an aside, I drove over Satus Pass on Friday and I’ve always loved that stretch of Highway 97 coming towards it from Yakima. I want to inquire about a permit to hike on tribal land. I’ve heard it’s beautiful in the upper Klickitat area also.
Yakama Reservation access is fairly easy FOR SOME PARTS. Others, they don’t want any white man near. Start with the Yakama Nation website – Tourism telephone number and begin your query, and be respectful in all communications. Sometimes being direct is not the proper approach.
I have accessed the east side of Mt. Adams to do the Mazama Glacier route in past years (mostly south and west of the upper Klickitat – Bird Creek & Hellroaring areas). You always had to wonder whether the roads would be free of snow in early summer. Sometimes promises are not kept, and it was difficult to schedule a climb in the early season. Things are done on Indian time, if that means anything to you.
I really don’t think either tribe wants to particpate in any kind of cooperative wolf management program. They get greater flexibility from the sidelines. It is still unclear to me whether they were asked to participate and declined, or whether the plan drafters just ignored them. Either way they have alot of elk at stake, especially on the Yakama Res and historical off res. hunting grounds. So, only time will tell.
The Nez Perce have tribal hunting rights on unoccupied US goverment lands. Every year they hunt buffalo in the Gardiner and West Yellowstone area and could hunt any national forest according to what I have read and been told. Those hunting rights could effect local hunting opportunity.
Good news for the population in Washington. Hopefully there will be a calming nature between the hunters, conservationists, the tribes that WM speaks of and ranchers in the area. It would not seem like it, but anything is possible.