Wolf attack protection bill product of hard work, says Kretz

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Wolf attack protection bill product of hard work, says Kretz


When Senate Bill 5187, allowing property owners to defend their pets, livestock and family against an attacking gray wolf looked all but completely dead, stakeholders and the Fish and Wildlife Commission sat down and crafted an emergency rule to address this important issue affecting areas in the state with wolf packs.   Deputy Republican Leader Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, praised the commission, the governor's office, fellow legislators, county commissioners and the many constituents who spoke up about the need for a modest measure of protection from the rapidly-expanding wolf population in northeast Washington.   “I believe in giving credit where it is due. I have to commend the governor and his staff for their hard work and willingness to deal with a tough issue. It took a lot of independent and thoughtful work to get us to this point,” said Kretz, who serves on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “I really appreciate how everyone came together to tackle a controversial issue and help us work to find a solution. There was a lot of effort put into this issue. We thought the bill to address wolf attacks was dead several times. But, I have to thank everyone who stayed at the table. In addition to the governor's office and staff,  Representative Kristine Lytton and the commission listened to my concerns and those of my constituents in the Seventh District. I am grateful for their efforts.”   Kretz added that this emergency rule is a small step and just part of the puzzle to address the growing wolf population and the need for a solid plan for dealing with depredation on private property. Wolf packs, he said, are expanding far faster than the Wolf Management Plan accounts.   “We made some progress with this emergency rule and it does get us to a point where we can start to talk about what is next as we make adjustments to the Wolf Management Plan due to the migrating and expanding wolf population,” Kretz said. “I hope this dialogue continues as we discuss more control options in the future. I know I'll stay at the table and offer ideas. My hope is constituents and others continue to work toward solutions that address public safety and the protection of livestock, pets and people.”   Senate Bill 5193 also passed the Legislature. It creates a voluntary method to aid the fund for non-lethal wolf-deterrent methods.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov