Lorna Smith, executive director of Western Wildlife Outreach, an independent wild carnivore education organization based in the state of Washington, will moderate the meetings.
Each meeting will include an opportunity for the public to submit questions to the presenters about wolf recovery and management.
The public meetings are scheduled for:
- Jan. 16 – Center Place Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, 6-8 p.m.
- Jan. 17 – Office Building #2, at 14th Ave. and Jefferson St., Olympia, 2:30-5 p.m.
- Jan. 18 – Magnuson Park’s Garden Room, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, 6-8 p.m.
Virtually absent from Washington for more than 70 years, gray wolves have dispersed into the eastern portion of the state and the North Cascades from adjacent populations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and British Columbia.
WDFW has confirmed the presence of eight wolf packs in Washington. There is also evidence of unconfirmed packs near Kettle Falls in northeastern Washington, in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington and in the North Cascades, as well as transient wolves.
Gray wolves are currently listed as endangered under state law throughout Washington, and under federal law in the western two-thirds of the state.
Washington’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan establishes a goal of 15 breeding pairs of wolves distributed among three regions of the state for three years – or 18 pairs in one year – before the state can delist gray wolves as an endangered species.
More information on wolves is available at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/ .