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WA: Wolf Controversy In Spokane

Anusha Roy | KXLY4 Reporter

SPOKANE, Wash. — Wolves are the subject of great debate across the Northwest, and people in Spokane had their chance to weigh in about the future of wolves in Washington.

75 people signed up to share their opinion about the state’s plan to manage the endangered species. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission could vote on the plan next month.

According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the proposal includes waiting until there are 15 successful breeding pairs in Washington for three years in a row. That’s what’s needed before the wolves can be de-listed as an endangered species.

“Wolves provide an important balance in the ecosystem because they control other predators that can cause problems,” Tim Coleman, who attended the meeting, said.

Other people question the funding. “My issue is financial. I do not think they can support the plan economically,” Hal Meenach said.

Some people are also concerned about livestock if the wolf population goes up.

In response to these concerns, the state says they will use lethal force if the situation warrants it.

As for funding, the Department of Fish and Wildlife said there are several avenues being pursued to help with funding. That includes approaching the state legislature and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.

There’s also a small fund already set aside to help with the plan.