Plan for state's gray wolves
Posted by Letters editor
K.C. Mehaffey’s story on the gray wolf plan [“State release revised gray-wolf plan,” NWFriday, June 3] missed the fact that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife disregarded changes recommended by a scientific review.
The department has released a revised plan that does not increase the population goal of 15 breeding pairs. According to scientific reviewers, the population recommendations in this plan are not biologically defensible and will not ensure the “re-establishment of a self-sustaining population of gray wolves in Washington” as required by law.
The National Parks Conservation Association wants to make sure this plan will create a viable wolf population in Olympic and North Cascades National Parks. Research indicates that healthy wolf populations can benefit local communities; the University of Montana recently estimated that Yellowstone National Park wolves generate $35 million in economic benefits every year. This money comes from tourist spending directly related to wolves, including wolf tours and related services, such as lodging and meals.
Without the changes recommended by the scientific peer review, this plan is unlikely to reach the stated goals of the department of producing a sustainable wolf population and withstanding possible legal challenges.
— David G. Graves, Northwest program manager, National Parks Conservation Association, Seattle
Thank you, Mr. Graves!