By Roger Harnack
Two of the four elected officials representing North-Central Washington in the nation’s capitol were among those signing a letter today calling for removal of the gray wolf from the endangered species list.
Reps. Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris Rodgers both signed the letter – along with 73 other members of congress – sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell did not.
Hastings heads the House Natural Resources Committee and represents part of Okanogan County in the 4th Congressional District.
McMorris Rodgers represents Ferry and part of Okanogan counties as the 5th Congressional District congresswoman.
“The full delisting of the gray wolf is long over due,” the letter said.
The letter supports a proposal submitted in June to remove the delist the gray wolf as either “endangered” or “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. It also opposes listing the Mexican wolf as a separate, endangered sub-species. It is the second letter sent to Ashe.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains in 2009 and in the Great Lake region in 2011.
Hastings said the current situation has created a confusing management and regulatory scheme that has left some states – including Washington, Oregon and Utah – in the unsustainable and random situation of having wolves listed on one side of a highway and delisted on the other.
He was referring to U.S. Highway 97 through Okanogan County, where wolves west of the highway are considered endangered and wolves east of it are not even threatened. More....