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Washington state giving out $350,000 in non-lethal wolf deterrence grants

Washington state is giving out two grants worth more than $350,000 to groups focused on deterring wolves without killing them.

For years, ranchers have complained that growing wolf populations in Northeastern Washington are killing their livestock, and the issue can be contentious between ranchers who’ve had their cattle killed by wolves, and those opposed to lethal removal orders of said wolves.

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Recently, wolf-related meetings were canceled after Facebook posts began threatening violence. The threats related to agency plans to kill cattle-killing wolves and from those against the wolves.

The grant recipients are a cattle producers association and a nonprofit. The Cattle Producers of Washington are using the funds for a project that involves conflict specialists in Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Okanogan counties, while the nonprofit Northeast Washington Wolf-Cattle Collaborative is using the funds to improve the performance and use of range riders as a deterrent to wolf depredations.

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These past few months have seen wolves kill and injure a number of cattle. The WDFW killed several of the offending wolves, which was met with outrage and lawsuits from conservation groups. There was also anger on the part of ranchers who felt that the WDFW hasn’t responded fast enough to the cattle killings.

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