The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will host three online forums on wolves to substitute for 14 open houses the department canceled because it feared they would be disrupted.

The presentations will begin what the department anticipates will be a years-long study on how to manage a robust and statewide population of wolves.

Wolves are currently managed under a plan finished in 2011 when Fish and Wildlife counted 27 wolves. The department tallied 127 at the end of 2018. The department says it anticipates the population will continue to grow and for wolves to spread across the state.

Fish and Wildlife officials had planned to tour the state in September and October to present information, answer questions and take comments. The department said it had received information that the meetings could be dangerous, a reflection of the intense emotions connected with wolves.

The department has not provided any specifics about the threats.

The public will be able to ask questions during the online forums, but the department won't take comments, a spokeswoman said. Instead, comments can be submitted online or by mail.

The deadline to comment is Nov. 1.

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