Reps. Ross, Johnson pleased with emergency rule on wolves

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John Sattgast, Senior Information Officer – (360) 786-7257

Reps. Ross, Johnson pleased with emergency rule on wolves

  The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously adopted an emergency rule April 26 to allow property owners to kill a wolf that is in the act of attacking livestock or a pet. Reps. Charles Ross and Norm Johnson said they were pleased the Commission held a special meeting to adopt the rule, since legislation to address the threat of wolves did not move forward in the 2013 session.   The new rule 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.   “I'm pleased the Commission responded to a real threat to our communities and in some cases people's livelihoods with the threat to livestock,” said Ross, R-Naches. “I have heard repeatedly from my constituents about their concerns with a great expansion of wolves. People should have the right to protect their livestock and pets on their own property. I hope the public shares the importance of this rule with the Commission.”   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 did not move forward, which prompted a bipartisan group of legislators to send a letter requesting action from the Commission.   “Citizens should have every right to protect their families, their pets, their livestock and their livelihoods from harm,” said Johnson, R-Yakima. “I found it absurd when some sympathizers were suggesting when wolves are on the attack, property owners should look the other way or face prosecution. This emergency rule restores common sense to this threat and will give all parties time to find a solution that is agreeable for all.”   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 at or by phone at (360) 902-2267. A permanent rule will be considered later this year.


Washington State House Republican Communications