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Articles written by Ann Mccreary

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  • Wolverines designated a threatened species by Fish and Wildlife Service

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated Jan 14, 2024

    High in the mountains above the Methow Valley lives a small population of rare wolverines, one of the most elusive mammals in North America. The North Cascades are one of the few areas in the United States where wolverines are still found. But their snowy alpine habitat in the North Cascades and elsewhere in the West is becoming increasingly fragmented and degraded due to human activity and climate change. The imperiled species will gain new protections with a recent decision...

  • Grizzly restoration plan elicits strong opinions

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated Nov 16, 2023

    The idea of restoring grizzly bears to the North Cascades brings up strong emotions, which were evident among speakers at a packed house in the Winthrop Barn on Friday night (Nov. 3). A public meeting was held to gather comments and provide information on a proposal to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem, a 9,800-square-mile area in Washington, which includes the Methow Valley, that once supported a healthy population of grizzlies before they were hunted...

  • WDFW proposes 'downlisting' state's gray wolf protections

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated May 26, 2023

    Gray wolves in Washington, now listed as an endangered species under state law, would be reclassified as a sensitive species based on a recommendation by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The public is invited to comment on the recommendation, which is a result of a “periodic status review” that is conducted by WDFW every five years for wildlife that are listed as endangered, threatened or sensitive. The announcement opens a 90-day comment period that ends Aug. 16. WDFW staff is recommending dow...

  • A 'desperate' year for bears in search of sustenance

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated Sep 29, 2022

    Hungry bears have been unusually persistent and destructive in seeking food near homes in the Methow Valley this year, in some cases repeatedly breaking through electric fences to get at beehives. Living with bears is always a fact of life for Methow Valley residents, but bears this year seem to be "more desperate to eat" and bolder about foraging near homes, said Jason Day, a law enforcement officer with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "It all started back...

  • Fish and Wildlife Commission rejects proposed wolf rule

    Ann McCreary|Updated Aug 4, 2022

    Washington's wildlife commissioners have chosen not to enact a new rule that was developed with the goal of reducing the number of wolves killed under state orders due to conflicts with livestock. The rule would have designated areas of "chronic conflict" and required state wildlife officials to verify that livestock owners in those areas have taken appropriate measures to prevent conflicts before the state kills wolves after attacks on livestock. The vote by the Washington Fi...

  • State's gray wolf population increased in 2021

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated Apr 21, 2022

    The gray wolf population in Washington topped 200 animals last year, with 33 packs in the central and eastern parts of the state at the end of 2021. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently released its yearly wolf population report, which tallied 206 wolves, a 16% increase over the 2020 count of 178 wolves. Of the 33 packs documented in 2021, 19 had successful breeding pairs. In 2020, WDFW counted 29 packs with 16 breeding pairs. Three packs with...

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