FISH AND WILDLIFE
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: To allow the public to kill gray wolves in the act of attacking their domestic animals in areas of the state where wolves are not listed under the federal Endangered Species Act and where wolf population levels are stable and not likely to be impacted by lethal removal actions.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 232-36-051.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.020, 77.04.055, 77.12.047, 77.12.240, and 77.36.120.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: The gray wolf population is expanding quickly in the state and there have been recent and escalating reports of wolf attacks on pets and livestock. The lambing and calving season has arrived and additional attacks are anticipated as livestock move onto open range. In addition, the number of people, pets and other domestic animals (pack animals) spending time outdoors will increase as the weather improves, raising the potential for encounters and attacks by wolves. Current regulations are limited to owners of commercial livestock and require them to obtain a permit from the department which is often not feasible in responding to an attack from a wolf. The department plans to initiate standard rule making immediately.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: April 26, 2013.
(1) An owner of domestic animals, including livestock, the owner's immediate family member, the agent of an owner, or the owner's documented employee may kill one gray wolf (Canis lupus) without a permit issued by the director, regardless of its state classification, if the wolf is attacking their domestic animals.
(a) This section applies to the area of the state where the gray wolf is not listed as endangered or threatened under the federal endangered species act.
(b) Any wolf killed under this authority must be reported to the department within twenty-four hours.
(c) The wolf carcass must be surrendered to the department.
(d) The owner of the domestic animal must grant or assist the department in gaining access to the property where the wolf was killed for the purposes of data collection or incident investigation.
(2) If the department finds that a private citizen killed a gray wolf that was not attacking a domestic animal, or that the killing was not consistent with this rule, then that person may be prosecuted for unlawful taking of endangered wildlife under RCW 77.15.120.
(3) In addition to the provisions of (1), the director may authorize additional removals under RCW 77.12.240.