Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rogue Washington Rancher Wiped Out 15% of State’s Wolves in Violation of Federal Rules

Washington’s largest cattle rancher has been wreaking havoc on gray wolves in violation of his U.S. Forest Service grazing permit and agency wildlife protection policies, according to a complaint filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The group is pressing to rescind or restrict grazing permits on public land within Colville National Forest to reduce wildlife losses. The complaint targets the Diamond M Ranch for its actions on two Forest Service grazing allotments that have resulted in the eradication of nearly 15% of all gray wolves within Washington. This ranch single-handedly accounts for two-thirds of all state-sponsored lethal control events since the return of gray wolves to the state in 2008. The McIrvin family, which operates the ranch, has refused to participate in a state-funded program that has shown consistent success in avoiding livestock-wolf conflicts. Instead, the McIrvins have undertaken actions, such as grazing cattle and placing salt block attractants near a known wolf den, that have provoked predation and triggered “lethal removal” by the state of two separate wolf packs in eastern Washington, including the Profanity Peak pack last summer...more

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