Stop The Senseless Killing Of Kettle River Range Wolves in Washington State
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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site
A single rancher is responsible for the complete elimination of an entire pack of wolves. Now, he's aiming to kill another pack.
Cattle rancher Len McIrvin and the Diamond M Ranch are out for blood. McIrvin is grazing cattle on public state land in wolf territory, on purpose - and the wolves that live there are getting a taste for his cattle. This leads to livestock deaths on both state and private lands, which he then demands the wolves be killed for. McIrvin is responsible for the complete culling of two wolf packs in Eastern Washington State1.
Twenty-nine of the 34 wolves the state killed in 2020 were exterminated because they had attacked livestock owned by the Diamond M Ranch, which owns a herd of about 1,600 cattle. The McIrvin family pays a fee to the U.S. Forest Service to graze their cattle in the 810,000 acres designated for that purpose by the federal governments management plan for Colville National Forest2.
There are programs in place to prevent livestock depredation and to compensate ranchers for all cattle killed by wolves. The state Department of Agriculture compensates ranchers in full for missing livestock if, after wolves appeared in their area, their losses climbed above their documented historical average3.
McIrvin should not be allowed to refuse this compensation, while taking his own brand of revenge on the wolves..
Chris Bachman, the wildlife program director of the Lands Council, said in a news release, "It is evident at this point, grazing in an area of prime wolf habitat is folly. This is an area where livestock will continue to fall prey to wolves. We need to find effective sustainable solutions. Each time wolves have been removed due to conflicts with Diamond M cattle, more wolves move in to occupy the area. It's time to try moving the cattle instead4."
Non-lethal methods are a well-studied and effective way to deter wolf attacks5,6. These types of methods need to be followed by all ranchers. Culling entire packs in wolf territory on state land is obviously not a viable or effective long-term solution.
Help put an end to the senseless and vengeful killing of wolves in Washington. Sign today and tell the Washington State Governor and the director of Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife that Washington State must stop killing wolves to appease a single rancher.!
- Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press (1 August 2019), "Washington to kill more wolves to protect cattle."
- Josh Adler, National Geographic (17 August 2020), "Controversial killing of wolves continues in Washington State."
- Gloria Dickie, High Country News (23 July 2018), "When cattle go missing in wolf territory, who should pay the price?."
- Eli Francovich, The Spokesman-Review (31 July 2019), "OPT wolf pack to be targeted; Ferry County rancher shoots wolf."
- Greg Moore, Idaho Mountain Express (3 March 2017), "Study shows effectiveness of nonlethal wolf deterrents."
- Suzanne A. Stone et. al., Journal of Mammalogy (8 February 2017), "Adaptive use of nonlethal strategies for minimizing wolf-sheep conflict in Idaho."
To the Washington State Governor and WDFW Director,
Wolves are vital for a healthy and balanced ecosystem in Washington and elsewhere. Despite their very recent and controversial de-listing in the eastern portion of the state, they still need government protection, and should not be killed to appease a single rancher.
Cattle rancher Len McIrvin and the Diamond M Ranch are out for blood. McIrvin is grazing cattle on public state land in wolf territory, on purpose, without adequate oversight or protection. This leads to wolf depredations on his cattle on both state and private lands, which he then demands the wolves be killed for. McIrvin alone is responsible for the complete culling of two wolf packs in Eastern Washington State!
There are programs in place to prevent depredation and to compensate ranchers for all cattle killed by wolves. If McIrvin refuses compensation, he does not get to state his own terms of revenge on the wolves. There are more than 1 million cattle in Washington state, and fewer than 150 wolves. It's the wolves that need your protection.
Research shows that non-lethal methods successfully deter wolf attacks. These methods need to be followed by all ranchers. As we've seen before, simply killing off wolf packs is not an effective solution to the problems these ranchers are experiencing. Please stop these senseless hunts on this already dwindling wolf pack; there are better options that don't involve killing.
Your swift action is appreciated.