Chandler, Taylor pleased with emergency rule to address threat of wolves

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Chandler, Taylor pleased with emergency rule to address threat of wolves

Today the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously adopted an emergency rule to allow property owners to kill a wolf who is in the act of attacking livestock or a pet. Reps. Bruce Chandler and David Taylor said they were pleased the Commission responded to an April 23 letter from legislators requesting action in lieu of legislation not moving forward.   “It was critical for people whose livelihoods and pets are threatened by wolves to have the right to eradicate that threat and protect their property,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “I'm pleased the Commission took action and I look forward to further work on this issue which has quickly escalated. I encourage the Department to continue following the wolf management plan put in place after much public input.”   Senate Bill 5187 would have allowed property owners to kill wolves in the act of killing livestock or pets, as today's emergency rule accomplished. The bill received public hearings but is considered dead for the year, which is what prompted a bipartisan group of legislators to send a letter requesting action from the Commission.   “It's taken a lot of input from legislators, county officials, ranchers, farmers and concerned citizens, but in the end, the department had no other choice but to recognize the obvious need for folks to be able to protect their families and their livelihoods,” said Taylor, R-Moxee. “While this certainly isn't the end of the 'wolf issue' for Washington, it is a good start for those of us who have to live with wolves.”   The new WAC rule can be read here, on page 3. It requires a property owner who kills a wolf in the act of killing livestock or a domestic animal to:

  • report the incident within 24 hours;
  • surrender the wolf carcass to the Department of Fish and Wildlife; and,
  • provide access to the property where the wolf was killed so the case can be thoroughly investigated.

Any property owner who was found to have wrongly killed a wolf could be prosecuted for killing endangered wildlife.   The emergency rule, which was adopted in a special meeting via conference call, lasts 120 days. Afterward, the Director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife has discretion to extend the rule beyond that. Public comment can be provided now, and a permanent rule will be considered later this year.


Washington State House Republican Communications