Although the natural prey base for wolves includes ungulates (deer, elk and moose), over-saturations of wolf populations regularly result in livestock being killed,maimed and injured by wolves. The answer is not to remove livestock from private and public lands, but to make sure that wolf management is keeping pack sizes within their natural prey base. If wolves are not properly managed and numbers regularly reduced, particularly in a state like Washington where there is an absence of contiguous habitat, conflict will occur.

Wolves were created to do a specific job: reduce the size of ungulate populations so they did not strip their own habitat and eventually die out as a species. But in Eastern Washington, there are already a number of predators that accomplish this task including coyotes, bears and cougars. In addition, hunters legally and selectively remove certain parts of the deer, elk and moose populations in order to manage those herds and increase their vitality.

Putting the wolf in a situation where there is not a suitable amount of prey, very limited habitat and other competitors for food demotes the wolf from a necessary control to a dangerous element that can easy grow out of control.

To be fair to wolves, we need to manage their numbers to make sure they are living within the prey base and habitat available. Anything else is irresponsible and results in the kinds of incidents listed below:

December 2014: Wolves make another kill on ranch in Whitman County: http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2014/dec/17/wolves-kill-more-sheep-whitman-county/

December 2014: Wolves kill a ewe near the Spokane County border: http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2014/dec/08/wolf-kills-sheep-near-whitman-spokane-county-line/

September 2014: Wolves attack, kill dogs in Northeastern Oregon. http://union-bulletin.com/news/2014/sep/29/wolf-attacks-kill-sheep-dogs-northeastern-oregon/

September 2014: Wolves kill two dozen sheep in Northeast WA: http://q13fox.com/2014/09/04/ranchers-cautioned-as-nearly-2-dozen-sheep-killed-by-wolves-in-stevens-county/

August 2013: Wolves kill 176 sheep in one night in Idaho: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/07/02/11975053/

July 2012: Wolf attacks dont just happen in rural areas. Three sheep were attacked in the Nine Mile Falls area in Spokane: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/jul/15/wolf-attack-surprised-even-officials/

September 2012: Wolves kill 17 cows in Eastern Washington. Its not the wolves we are fighting. Wolves do what wolves dothey are killers.  (We are fighting) the bureaucracy, the regulations and the restrictions, rancher Len McIrvin of the Diamond M Ranch said.

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