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WA Win! "Seattle Times" ad campaign and public outcry stop wolf killing, spark policy reform. But work remains...

Photo of director Brooks Fahy holding Seattle Times ad

October 2020 - We have long been fed up with wolf policy in Washington State and exposed it as a setup in our 2017 film, The Profanity Peak Pack: Set Up & Sold Out. The intervening years have amply shown that killing wolves to "protect" cows hasn't stopped attacks on cattle. It simply appeases ranchers and protects their private profits, while penalizing wolves for being wolves and giving them no place to live in peace. When the wolf-killing kicked into high gear this summer we mounted an ad campaign in Washington's largest newspaper, "The Seattle Times," telling the public 34 wolves had been killed to date and graphically portraying why it's an outrage. We urged public outcry and people came through. Within a week Gov. Jay Inslee directed wildlife commissioners to develop new policies prioritizing nonlethal control. A few weeks later the kill orders on the Leadpoint and Togo packs were called off. But there are roadblocks ahead, as new commissioners are needed. Help us turn this win into a real success.

Why Valuing Cows over Wolves Is Wrong

Washington State has over 1,000,000 cows and around 145 wolves. Yet wolves increasingly appear to have no place to live in peace, not even on pristine, forested public land.

Wolves are vital apex predators who prefer to live in remote areas, preying on their ecosystem-balancing diet of deer and elk. Cows are not their natural prey, and cows do not belong in prime wolf habitat.

Wolves cause less than 1% of livestock deaths, so their impact is negligible. Yet Washington continued killing them, even though it didn't stop attacks on cattle. Science shows that killing wolves is counter-productive. To date, the killings have all been for ranchers who either refuse to adequately protect their livestock or who insist on grazing them in unsuitable, indefensible locations. 

The state started killing wolves in 2012 with the Wedge Pack, then kicked into higher wolf-killing gear in 2016, all under the guise of protecting cattle. This has continued into the summer of 2020, putting Washington on a path to earn a reputation like its neighboring states, which have killed thousands of wolves since federal protections were removed in 2011.

Killing wolves causes social disruption of the pack, often leads to more attacks on cattle, and gives wolves no way to perform their vital role as apex predators in our ecosystems. Science shows that coexistence is far more advisable.

And so, we continue to ask: Is there no place wolves can live in peace? 

A List in Honor of All Wolves Killed in Washington to Date

As of Aug. 30, 2020, the following wolves have been unjustly and unnecessarily killed in Washington State to protect cows. Eighty five percent of the killings have been for the benefit of one rancher, who openly expresses a desire to see wolves eliminated.

2012 7 Wedge Pack wolves

2014 1 Huckleberry Pack wolf

2016 7 Profanity Peak Pack wolves (end of pack)

2017 1 Sherman Pack wolf & 2 Smackout Pack wolves

2018 2 Old Profanity Territory Pack wolves, 1 Smackout Pack wolf & 1 Togo Pack wolf

2019 8 Old Profanity Territory Pack wolves (end of pack) & 1 Grouse Flat Pack wolf

2020 - 3 Wedge Pack wolves (end of pack)

The hunt continued for members of the Leadpoint and Togo Packs until September 2020, when it was finally called off after increasing pressure from an outraged public.

Photo of wolf family with call to speak out for wolves

Take Action for WA Wolves Today!

If enough of us speak out, putting even further pressure on Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), we can put an end to the insane, wrongful and counter-productive war waged on wolves in Washington State. 

As of Sept. 4, 2020, less than a week since we began a Seattle Times ad campaign that appeared to unleash a torrent of calls and emails, Gov. Inslee has asked WDFW to prioritize nonlethal management of wolves. However, the situation is a little complex.

Inslee directed the WDFW Commission Chair to initiate a new rule-making process to achieve nonlethal management outcomes. We applaud the letter Inslee sent, but must emphasize it is ultimately only an ASK. He cannot legally MANDATE that WDFW adopt specific policies. A majority of the Commisioners must vote to do so and intense public pressure will be imperative.

What Inslee asked for is also in the future--policy changes before the next grazing season in 2021. Read Inslee's letter We must ramp up the pressure to get WDFW to fully adopt the nonlethal policies the governor is recommending. (See contact info and sample letter below) Let's do this in honor of all Washington wolves killed to date!

Help Protect Wolves: Thank Gov. Inslee & Put Pressure on WDFW

Make your voice heard by calling and writing as suggested below. If you call and no one answers or their voicemail is full, please send an electronic message as indicated. 

NOTE: You don't have to be a Washington resident to comment, as most of the killings happen on federal lands, our lands. You can also mention you like to see wolves in the wild when visiting Washington State.

  • Thank Governor Jay Inslee via e-message or call him at 360-902-4111. Using your own words makes the biggest impact, but you could say or write something like the following (copy/paste as desired):

    Dear Governor Inslee,

    I applaud your letter of Sept. 4, 2020 to the WDFW Commission Chair, directing WDFW to initate a new rulemaking that prioritizes nonlethal management of endangered wolves prior to next year's grazing season. Your use of your authority and influence to stop Washington's unjustified slaughter of wolves is greatly appreciated.

    As you know, 34 wolves have been killed to date in Washington for ranchers who refuse to adequately protect their livestock and/or who insist on grazing them in unsuitable, indefensible locations. WDFW has repeatedly shown their wolf-killing is unjustified and counter-productive. It ignores the best available science, wolves' basic nature, and their invaluable role in our ecosystems. It also ignores that killing wolves ultimately only increases attacks on livestock.

    Wolves cause less than one percent of cattle deaths and should not be killed to "protect" cows and private profits, especially on our pristine public lands, which are damaged by livestock grazing.

    Please appoint new WDFW Commissioners who represent the more than 95% of Washingtonians who do NOT hunt or ranch and do everything you can to ensure that wolves can live in peace on our landscape. They are essential to restoring and maintaining nature's balance.

    Thank you very much.

  • Rain fire on WDFW to reform their wolf policies! Tell them their wolf-killing is unjustified and counter-productive, as it ignores the best available science, wolves' basic nature, their invaluable role in our ecosystems, and the fact that killing wolves ultimately only increases attacks on livestock. Urge them to adopt Gov. Inslee's recommendations for nonlethal wolf management ASAP. Contact:  Kelly Susewind, Director, director@dfw.wa.gov, 360-902-2200. Please also submit a public comment to the WDFW wolf program via wildthing@dfw.wa.gov or 360-902-2515.
  • Help us end Washington's wrongful war on wolves by sharing this webpage with everyone you know who cares about wolves, wildlife and public lands.
  • Support our work for Washington's wolves and all America's vital native predators. Your tax-deductible contribution will boost our work to change America's hearts and minds and create a better world for wildlife.

Science Shows Killing Wolves Is Counter-Productive

Decades of scientific research show that killing wolves is counter-productive and that co-existence would be a much more beneficial approach. Here are a few research papers and associated news articles for starters:

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