During proceeding that resulted in a preliminary injunction on killing more OPT wolves, attorneys for the state yesterday told a Superior Court judge that there was a lone surviving wolf
KING COUNTY — A judicial proceeding yesterday morning before a King County Superior Court Judge produced a temporary injunction to spare a single Old Profanity Territory wolf who’d survived state attacks against these wolves in the Colville National Forest, just hours after the state killed four of the reported five remaining pack members. The state is now reporting, however, that the entire pack has been eliminated, apparently revising its representation, repeated in numerous statements, about the size of the pack.
Since the conclusions of the court proceeding, many Washingtonians have expressed concerns about the state’s last-minute onslaught against the wolves and also about the fate of the surviving pack member, based on the representations in court by the state. There has not been any explanation about why the state has revised its assessment of the pack size, originally reported as nine wolves before the state killed the pack’s alpha male on July 13.
The Center for a Humane Economy has vocally supported and publicized the legal action, brought forth by three Washington residents deeply concerned about the fate of wolves.
“The Department of Fish and Wildlife has proved to be a most effective contract killer of endangered animals for a private ranching operation,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Center for a Humane Economy. “If there’s any ranching outfit that doesn’t deserve this kind of comprehensive wildlife removal service, it’s the Diamond M Ranch, which has baited wolves with live cattle in order to get rid of them in their core habitat in the state.”
The state has now killed 25 wolves in the Colville National Forest on behalf of Diamond M Ranch, since wolves began their slow return to northeast Washington. In the last month, the Department killed eight members of the OPT pack, including four pups. Complaints from Len and Bill McIrvin and other members of that family operating the Diamond M Ranch have triggered 87 percent of all state-conducted wolf removal actions. The family has declined government payments to compensate them for lost cattle and refuses to take commonsense measures to protect its cattle from predators. Instead, it has publicly demanded the eradication of wolves from the area.
The state is also targeting the Togo Pack for elimination, and wolf advocates are nervously awaiting word about more dead wolves produced by the state.
Until this latest spasm of kills by the state, wolves had been slowly reclaiming small portions of their original range in Washington. The state is on a pace this year to kill a fifth of Washington’s wolves, which the Department of Fish and Wildlife officials had previously estimated at 125 animals.