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Wolf Predation in Methow Valley 5/24/2012
State and federal wildlife managers have determined that wolves likely killed and ate a calf on a Methow Valley ranch May 18 and that the landowner would qualify for compensation.
The landowner would be the first in the state to qualify for compensation under criteria established by the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan adopted late last year.
Fish and Wildlife officials say it is not possible to say for certain that wolves caused the injuries that resulted in the death of the calf, although evidence at the scene supports that conclusion.
According to a press release….The calf was mostly consumed by the time the department was called in,  but photos taken by the rancher and tracks located in the area are consistent with wolves
The 3,000-acre ranch near Carlton where the incident occurred is in an area traditionally used by the Lookout wolf pack, and that remote, motion-triggered cameras had photographed two wolves nearby in recent weeks. 
The Lookout pack is one of five wolf packs confirmed by WDFW in the state.  The department is currently working to confirm other wolf packs.
WA State Fish and Wildlife,  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA’s Wildlife Services Program met earlier this month to examine the evidence and develop a response to the loss of the calf. All three agencies are involved, because wolves are protected as an endangered species under both state and federal law.
The primary goal of the state’s new wolf management plan is to protect gray wolves as they reestablish themselves in Washington, but it also includes provisions to compensate ranchers who lose livestock to wolf predation.
Ranchers can be compensated up to $1,500 per cow for wolf predation classified as “probable.” The plan also allows ranchers to be paid up to twice that amount for lost livestock that are “confirmed” to have been killed by wolves on ranches over 100 acres.
Ranchers who believe they have lost livestock to wolf predation should contact WDFW immediately at 1-877- 933-9847.