I precede this post with the fact that the state has ONLY TWO confirmed breeding pairs. I bring this article as news because public comments are over but want to bring attention to the importance of how public comments and the concept of translocation affect wolves. Something during the first reintroduction I failed on.
"State wildlife officials say there is new evidence of more gray wolves in eastern and northern Washington state, a revelation that makes Rep. Brian Blake think that the state needs to just let the wolves emerge into the state from Idaho and British Columbia naturally.
The Democrat from Aberdeen says he's taking a hard line opposing part of the state's draft wolf management plan, which authorizes "translocating" wolves that end up thriving in Washington state to the coastal areas, specifically the Willapa Hills and Olympic National Park.
"There is absolutely no reason for the state to get involved and somehow force the wolves here," Blake said.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is reviewing nearly 65,000 public comments related to the controversial wolf management plan, which is going through an internal review at the state agency and isn't set for approval by the Fish and Wildlife Commission until December of 2011.
A 17-member citizen working group composed of ranchers, hunters, conservationists and others will take a crack at a second draft of the plan this spring.
Notably, the agency leader said, is out of the 65,000 public comments, "an awful lot of those comments came from out of state." Anderson said those out-of-area viewpoints need to be contrasted with the way Washington state residents really feel about the management plan.
Many of the public comments reviewed by The Daily World do show some contrasting viewpoints.
"I think it would be a great idea to consider translocation of wolves into the Olympic Peninsula, but you may want to list some of the negative sides of translocations," a different reviewer wrote. "Downside of translocations could include - less public support for wolf recovery when wolves are brought in, greater agency blame if introduced wolves cause problems, translocated wolves may suffer higher mortality, translocators sometime display erratic dispersal behavior causing wolves to move out of desired areas and into less desired areas and it will be costly to monitor translocated wolves."