Wolf Plan Development Process

In early 2007, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) initiated development of a wolf conservation and management plan for Washington. This was in response to several factors: (1) the state endangered status of the species, which requires the development of a state recovery plan (WAC 232-12-297), (2) the expectation that the wolf population in Washington would be increasing through natural dispersal of wolves from adjacent populations in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia, and (3) the eventual return of wolf management to the state after federal delisting. The purpose of the plan is to provide recovery objectives for downlisting and delisting the species under state law, and to identify strategies to address conflicts and achieve recovery.

Development of the plan began with the appointment of an advisory Wolf Working Group comprised of 17 citizens to give recommendations on the plan. WDFW conducted 7 public scoping meetings early in the process in 2007 to request comments from the public on the scope of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the plan.

The Wolf Working Group provided extensive input on early versions of chapters of the plan in 2007 and 2008. The first draft of the plan (August 2008) underwent scientific peer review by wolf experts, resource managers, wildlife biologists, and other specialists. This was followed by a second draft plan (August 2009) that received additional input from the Wolf Working Group in September 2009. 

In October 2009, WDFW published a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) titled: Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington. The DEIS contained 4 alternatives, including a “no action” alternative and a preferred alternative. These were based on recommendations from the Wolf Working Group, public scoping comments, peer review comments, and WDFW reviews. This document underwent a 3-month public review period from October 5, 2009 through January 8, 2010. Twelve public meetings were also held during the public comment period. In addition, WDFW contracted with the University of Washington to conduct a blind peer review of the draft plan from late 2009 through February 2010.

Comments from the public (nearly 65,000 respondents), blind peer review, and further WDFW review were analyzed and incorporated into a revision of the preferred alternative. These revisions were discussed with the Wolf Working Group in June 2011, which resulted in further edits to the plan.  A final EIS and recommended plan was presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on August 4, 2011, and was discussed at workshops on August 29, October 6, and November 3, 2011. The plan was adopted with some modifications at the Commission meeting on December 3, 2011.

Wolf Conservation and Management Plan
and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

 

Links are provided below to previous drafts of the wolf plan and comments received during public and peer reviews.

Archive of Working Drafts of the
Washington Wolf Conservation
and Management Plan

 and Comments Received during Public and Peer Review

Audio from Commission Meetings, 2011

Audio from Public Meetings during the Public Comment Period, 2009

Twelve public meetings on the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the wolf conservation and management plan were conducted across the state from October 20 to November 10, 2009. A total of 1,157 people attended, and 229 commented at the meetings (click here for details).

Comments were recorded successfully at ten of the meetings and are available for listening here. Unfortunately recordings made at the Yakima and Spokane meetings failed to produce usable audio files. All of the comments that were submitted at the meetings on required summary forms by the persons who spoke were entered into the official record for the DEIS.

Tue., Oct. 20 Clarkston Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [48.1MB]
Wed., Oct. 21 Richland Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [20.8MB]
Due to technical difficulties the Q&A session is unavailable
Thu., Oct. 22 Yakima No audio available
Mon., Oct. 26 Colville Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [25.8MB]
Due to technical difficulties the Q&A session is unavailable
Tue., Oct. 27 Spokane No audio available
Wed., Oct. 28 Vancouver Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [35.7MB]
Thu., Oct. 29 Aberdeen Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [49.7MB]
Mon., Nov. 2 Seattle Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [44.9MB]
Wed., Nov.4 Mount Vernon Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [42.9MB]
Thu., Nov. 5 Sequim Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [56.7MB]
Mon., Nov. 9 Omak Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [48.1MB]
Tue., Nov. 10 Wenatchee Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [47.5MB]

Wolf Working Group Information