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  • PUBLIC WWG REVIEW DRAFT October 5, 2009May 25, 2011

    1 2

    Public Wolf Working Group 3 Review Draft 4

    5 Alternative 2. Revised Preferred Alternative 6

    7 8 9 10

    DRAFT WOLF CONSERVATION 11 AND MANAGEMENT PLAN 12

    FOR WASHINGTON 13 14 15 16

    17 18 19

    Prepared by 20 21

    Gary Wiles 22 Harriet Allen 23 Gerald Hayes 24

    25 26

    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 27 Wildlife Program 28

    600 Capitol Way N 29 Olympia, Washington 30

    31 32 33

    October 2009May 2011 34

  • PUBLIC WWG REVIEW DRAFT October 5, 2009May 25, 2011

    WDFW cover letter 1 Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife DRAFT

    In 1990, the Washington Wildlife Commission adopted procedures for listing and de-listing species 1 as endangered, threatened, or sensitive and for writing recovery and management plans for listed 2 species (WAC 232-12-297). The procedures, developed by a group of citizens, interest groups, and 3 state and federal agencies, require preparation of recovery plans for species listed as threatened or 4 endangered. This Final EIS/Recommended Wolf Conservation and Management Plan summarizes 5 the historic and current distribution and abundance of wolves in Washington and describes factors 6 that affect wolf recovery. It provides recovery goals for down-listing and delisting the species and 7 prescribes strategies to achieve these goals, including management of conflicts with livestock and 8 ungulates. As such, it serves as the recovery plan for wolves in Washington, per WAC 232-12-297. 9

    The Public Review Draft EIS/Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington was 10 developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) during 2007-2009; and the 11 Final EIS/Recommended Plan was completed in 2011 following public review. over the last two 12 and a half years. Initially, tThe Department received extensive input from the advisory Wolf 13 Working Group, which is was comprised of 17 citizens from a broad range of perspectives and 14 values. The group met eight times over a 15-month period in 2007 and 2008 to develop a draft 15 recommended plan that balanced wolf conservation and management. Following peer review by 43 16 reviewers, the WDFW addressed their comments and met again with the Wolf Working Group in 17 2009 to review the rchanges. The Working Group provided additional comments on the revised 18 draft, which were then incorporated in the WDFW Public Review Draft EIS/plan. The draft 19 EIS/plan underwent a 90-day public review and blind peer review by 3 anonymous reviewers. 20 Nearly 65,000 people provided comments on the draft documents. Comments are posted at: 21 http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/comments.html. WDFW addressed the public input 22 and met with the Wolf Working Group in June 2011 for review and comment on the proposed 23 changes, and then produced the Final EIS/Recommended Plan. 24 25 For additional information about wolf recovery or other state listed species, see: 26 http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/, or contact: 27 Endangered Species Section Manager 28 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 29 600 Capitol Way North 30 Olympia, WA 98501-1091 31 32 This plan should be cited as: 33 Wiles, G, H. Allen, and G. Hayes. 2011. Wolf Working Group review draft. Alternative 2. Revised 34

    preferred alternative. Final EIS/DRecommended wolf conservation and management plan 35 for Washington. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington. 36 29446 pp. 37

    38 . The Working Group developed a letter at the conclusion of the eighth meeting (see Appendix B, 39 June 30, 2008 letter from the Group) to accompany the peer review draft. The letter describes the 40 many considerations that went into their negotiations to craft a balanced package of conservation 41 and management recommendations that WDFW could use in the preparation of the peer review 42 draft. While the letter represented the Working Group’s thoughts at that stage of the plan’s 43 development, it still offers insights into the complex and diverse issues that must be addressed in 44 crafting a balanced, fair, and cost effective plan that has a high probability of success. 45 46

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    http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/comments.html http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/

  • PUBLIC WWG REVIEW DRAFT October 5, 2009May 25, 2011

    WDFW cover letter 2 Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife DRAFT

    The August 2008 version of the draft plan, which included the Working Group’s recommendations, 1 was sent out for peer review by WDFW. Forty-three reviewers with expertise on wolves, genetics, 2 economics, state and federal wolf management, and other topics responded with critical reviews, 3 comments, corrections, and suggestions. The results of the peer review and internal WDFW review 4 were then incorporated into a new version. The Working Group met September 1-2, 2009 to review 5 the revised version and offer more comments which were then incorporated in the WDFW Public 6 Review Draft. being distributed now. 7 8 draft plan includes consideration of the public scoping comments received in 2007, Wolf Working 9 Group recommendations from meetings 1 through 8WDFW review comments, and Working 10 Group suggestions from meeting 9draft plan and draft available for a three-month public review 11 period. We welcome your comments. 12 13

  • PUBLIC WWG REVIEW DRAFT October 5, 2009May 25, 2011

    Table of Contents 3 Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife DRAFT

    1

    TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............................................................................................................................. 8 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY............................................................................................................................ 10 5 1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................... 14 6 2. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................. 18 7

    A. History of Wolves in Washington and Surrounding Areas .......................................................... 18 8 B. Current Status of Wolves .................................................................................................................. 23 9 C. Biology ................................................................................................................................................. 29 10 D. Legal Status ......................................................................................................................................... 41 11 E. Social, Cultural, and Economic Values ........................................................................................... 45 12

    3. WOLF CONSERVATION ................................................................................................................. 49 13 A. Scientific Basis for Conservation Planning ..................................................................................... 49 14 B. Recovery Objectives for Washington .............................................................................................. 63 15 C. Management after Delisting .............................................................................................................. 77 16

    4. WOLF-LIVESTOCK CONFLICTS ................................................................................................. 79 17 A. Wolf Depredation on Livestock ..................................................................................................... 79 18 B. Management Tools for Reducing Wolf Depredation ................................................................... 86 19 C. Compensation Programs for Wolf-Related Losses and Deterrence in Other States ............... 92 20 D. Predicting Losses of Ranch Animals in Washington Due to Wolves ........................................ 95 21 E. Management of Wolf-Livestock Conflicts in Washington ........................................................... 96 22 F. Proactive Measures to Reduce Wolf-Livestock Conflicts in Washington .............................. 102 23 G. Compensation for Wolf-Caused Livestock Depredation in Washington ............................... 103 24

    5. WOLF-UNGULATE INTERACTIONS ..................................................................................... 109 25 A. Wolf Predation of Ungulates ......................................................................................................... 109 26 B. Recent Impacts of Wolves on Ungulates in Other States ......................................................... 113 27 C. Ungulate Status in Washington ..................................................................................................... 117 28 D. Wolf-Ungulate Interactions on Wintering Grounds .................................................................. 129 29 E. Predicted Levels of Wolf Pre

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