June World of Wolves
Last May, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) doubled the membership of the Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) and began a process to bring WAG stakeholders and Department staff together to re-engage on key issues and to reach a sufficient consensus on recommendations to the Department on wolf management policies.
One year ago, the expanded WAG had its first meeting with Francine Madden, a consultant with Human Wildlife Conflict Collaboration, who was retained to help reduce the conflict that had surrounded wolf management in Washington state. Since then, the WAG members and a diversity of Department staff, from field biologists to managers, met six times, and along the way reconciled relationships, learned about each other's values and needs, and worked hard toward positive outcomes.
The first part of the year the WAG focused on implementing quality measures to prevent wolf-livestock conflict. The last meeting set the protocols for when preventative measures fail to prevent conflict and the conflict is expected to continue. Through that process, the WAG members and Department staff unanimously agreed to the attached protocol.
It required a year-long process that emphasized positive stakeholder relationships, a respectful approach to resolving differences, and a willingness to tackle serious, challenging issues. WDFW has accepted this approach and will operate under the protocol for the remainder of this year's grazing season.