Groups ask state to limit killing of wolves

OLYMPIA — Conservation groups are petitioning the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to limit the killing of wolves in response to livestock deaths.

The groups filed their petition late last Friday, asking the state to require ranchers to exhaust nonlethal options to prevent their livestock from being preyed on by wolves before killing the predators. The group contends the state killed seven wolves in the Wedge Pack in 2012 despite the affected rancher taking little nonlethal actions.

The groups say that rancher and sports-hunting groups have refused to consider their proposals, and that the state is moving forward with less protective wolf-control rules.

The groups filing the petition include the Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, Western Environmental Law Center, Gifford Pinchot Task Force, The Lands Council, Wildlands Network, Kettle Range Conservation Group and the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife did not immediately return a message.

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