Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, issued the following statement regarding the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s announcement last week that a pair of wolves had been documented living in Skagit County. WDFW supports a Wolf Management and Conservation Plan that envisions eight breeding pairs in the Cascades in addition to seven breeding pairs in other areas of the state.
“Speaking to small numbers of ‘breeding pairs’ belies the actual large number of wolves inhabiting our state, which is well over 100 wolves. Wolves present a threat to farmers, livestock and pets; they don’t go hungry when they cannot find game. I disagree with the thought that these animals moving into Skagit County and breeding is good policy.
“We have already witnessed the havoc wrecked on wild game populations, domestic livestock and even family pets in eastern Washington and Montana. In addition to the fears for the well-being of our rural residents, I am concerned a further increase in wolves will exacerbate the existing elk problems as they would seek the safer areas on the agricultural valley floor. These are foreseeable outcomes and they do not benefit my constituents.”