Washington gives notice of intention to cull Togo wolfpack

A wolf in the Togo pack in Ferry County in northeast Washington is photographed by a trail camera. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said Monday it intends to cull the pack.

A northeast Washington wolfpack injured another calf Saturday, prompting state Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind to order the pack be culled to stop attacks on livestock.

The department gave notice early Monday, but can’t begin targeting the pack until 5 p.m.. The eight-hour delay complies with a pledge the department gave environmental groups last spring. The delay allows groups time to go to Thurston County Superior Court to seek an injunction stopping the lethal-removal operation.

There was no immediate word from the Center for Biological Diversity on whether it would go to court today.

The Togo pack in Ferry County has attacked six cattle since Nov. 2. Fish and Wildlife policy calls for the department to consider lethal removal when a pack attacks livestock four times in 10 months, or three times in 30 days. The depredation on Saturday was the third since Aug. 8.

The recent attacks on a cow and two calves have occurred on Forest Service grazing allotments. All three animals belonged to the same rancher. The department says the producer took measures to prevent the attacks.

Fish and Wildlife says the pack has at least two adults. Department policy calls for initially killing one or two wolves in a pack in an effort to stop depredations from escalating.

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