|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||November 3, 2009|
|Contact:||David G. Graves, National Parks Conservation Association, 206.910.1570
Lindsay Bartsh, National Parks Conservation Association, 650.269.2911
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Wolf Plan Sets Target Number of Wolves Too Low
Statement by NPCA Northwest Field Representative David G. Graves
“As the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife receives comments at a public hearing tonight in Seattle on the state’s wolf conservation and management plan, the National Parks Conservation Association urges the agency to consider aiming for more than 15 breeding pairs, which is currently favored in the plan, in order to ensure the viability and recovery of this state-endangered species.
“NPCA also recommends that the plan include translocation of wolves to the Olympic Peninsula, which offers superb habitat and the low possibility of wolf and human conflict. Scientists believe the return of the gray wolf to the peninsula will lead to cleaner water and healthier ungulate populations.
“Restoring critical predator-prey relationships will greatly enhance the state’s ecosystem and increase tourism dollars for local economies. A study from the University of Montana found that Yellowstone’s gateway communities have received more than $35 million a year from wolf-related tourism. Similar tourism related businesses might be possible in Washington State.
“NPCA looks forward to continuing our work with the state on the effort to bring a sustainable wolf population to Washington."