A bill that would have given local governments in Eastern Washington more authority to kill and move wolves is likely dead.
House Bill 1674 was introduced to the Washington Legislature earlier this year. However, it failed to get a hearing in the fiscal committee, a key step in the passage of any law.
The bill was introduced by Republican state Rep. Joel Kretz and would have allowed the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in conjunction with county governments, to manage gray wolves as if they had been removed from state endangered or protected status within counties which had documented three breeding pairs or if the state has 15 breeding pairs for at least three years.
Per the state's current recovery plan, wolves can only be delisted at the state level after 15 successful breeding pairs are documented for three consecutive years, or after officials document 18 breeding pairs in one year. Under either scenario, however, the pairs must be distributed evenly throughout the state's three wolf management areas.
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