By Ann McCreary
Methow Valley News 

WDFW proposes 'downlisting' state's gray wolf protections


Last updated 5/26/2023 at 1:01pm

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 downlisting wolves based on “significant progress toward recovery since their original state endangered listing in 1980, when there were no known breeding wolves in the state,” said Julia Smith, WDFW wolf policy lead.

The reclassification recommendation recognizes “that wolves are not yet established in western Washington and should remain protected.”

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