Critics of Washington plan want number of wolves capped

Jun 9, 2011

Cattlemen and hunting groups contend a proposed plan for managing and restoring gray wolves in Washington state allows for too many wolves.

A 17-member citizen advisory group has been meeting for nearly five years about how best to recover wolves in their historic territory while reducing and managing wolf-livestock conflicts.

Jack Field of the Washington Cattlemen Association says the number of wolves overall should be capped.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife released a revised plan last month. It calls for a minimum of 15 breeding pairs to delist the animals from endangered species protections.

Meanwhile, conservation groups disagree with a provision that allows landowners to kill wolves caught in the act of killing domestic dogs.

The state estimates there are about 25 wolves in Washington.