Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WSU professor backs curbing lethal wolf removal

Wolves shouldn’t be shot on public lands to protect the livestock of ranchers who refuse to sign government contracts to prevent depredations, according to Washington State University wolf scientist Robert Wielgus, who was publicly upbraided by the school in August for accusing a rancher of baiting wolves with cattle. Wielgus, director of the university’s Large Carnivore Conservation Lab, distributed the recommendation in an email Monday to the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wolf Advisory Group. Wielgus restated his position that a ranch put its cattle in harm’s way in the Colville National Forest, leading WDFW to shoot seven wolves in the Profanity Peak pack. WSU administrators last summer issued a statement calling Wielgus’ description of the events inaccurate. “He’s putting out inflammatory nonsense,” Cattle Producers of Washington President Scott Nielsen said Monday. “It’s the same nonsense that got Rob in trouble last summer.” Efforts to reach Wielgus were unsuccessful. Wielgus described his email as a press release from a private citizen, but based on his state-funded research...more

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