Friday, September 02, 2016

Killing of wolf pack leads to death threats, protest

The killing of a pack of wolves in northeastern Washington to protect cattle is producing death threats and protests. Researcher Rob Wielgus of Washington State University this week declined further comment on the pending elimination of the Profanity Peak pack by hunters for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, citing the death threats. “My friends in WDFW have received death threats. It’s gone too far,” Wielgus wrote in an email to the newspaper. Last week, state Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, told the newspaper that cattle producers also were receiving death threats in the wake of the controversy. Wielgus said last week the conflict with wolves was inevitable because one of the ranchers involved had turned out his cattle on top of a known wolf den. Wielgus was challenged on that claim Monday afternoon by Conservation Northwest, a nonprofit environmental group, which said it heard the cattle were turned out five miles away from the den and that the den was not in use. Asked to respond Monday, Wielgus wrote in an email: “I can’t understand this. of course the den was in use and I have many photos of cattle on den. What gives?” In a later email, he wrote that Donny Martorello, the state’s wolf-policy lead, told him the cattle were turned out five miles away and moved to the den site later. Officials for Washington State University on Wednesday issued a statement disavowing Wielgus’ original comments regarding the wolf den. “Some of Dr. Wielgus’ statements in regard to this controversial issue have been both inaccurate and inappropriate,” Washington State University said in the press release...more

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