Since 2008 the gray wolf population across Washington has grown nearly 28%, annually.  And despite that continual increase, the wolves remain on the endangered list.  State Representative Joel Kretz would like to give northeast Washington counties the ability to delist the wolf.  The Wauconda area rancher says it’s a constant battle with environmentalists from western Washington that want to keep wolves on the state endangered list, regardless of population increases.


“We're saving the last wolf in the world. Urban people that don't know any better send them money. For them, it's an emotional fundraising thing. It has nothing to do with facts or science."


attachment-Washington Wolf Map 2023


Kretz has introduced legislation, House Bill 1698, to direct the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to work with local officials to create wolf management plans in counties where wolf population goals have been met.


"What we're saying is if a single county has four breeding pairs, that county can apply to be taken out of the endangered species state list."


Kretz says more needs to be done for ranchers, cattlemen, and rural families who bear the brunt of predatory wolves. 


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