A wolf opposition group is using billboards to call for the reduction of wolves in Washington state.
The Pacific Northwest is somewhat divided when it comes to wolves.
On one side, ecologists and environmentalists argue that wolves play a crucial role in the ecosystems they use for habitat.
On the other side are hunters and ranchers who say wolves are a threat to livestock, elk, deer, and the public.
“We feel there is not a broad enough awareness about the impact of wolves in Washington state,” said Jamie Henneman, spokeswoman for Washington Residents Against Wolves (WRAW), according to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. “There has been some (awareness) with the impact on livestock, but the impact is much, much greater.”
WRAW recently launched a billboard campaign to raise awareness on the negative effects of wolves in Washington. The billboard is pictured below.
Henneman said the campaign is trying to show that wolves are competing with other predators for limited resources.
“We have this non-native species coming in and disturbing this,” Henneman said. “We appreciate the predators as a really important role in the ecosystem … (but) we already have this handled in Washington.”
Gray Wolves are actually native to Washington. They were eliminated in the 1930’s, and while they were never reintroduced to Washington, they are returning to the state from the surrounding region.
Wolves benefit the environment by eating weaker and wounded prey, which has a trickle-down effect on the entire ecosystem, even the rivers. You can learn more about that in this video.
But wolves are dangerous to live near. They can be a serious threat to residents who live in rural areas, particularly in eastern Washington. Wolves prey on livestock, domesticated pets and in rare instances, humans.
Both sides of the wolf debate in Washington have legitimate concerns about wolves. Wolves will continue to trickle into the Pacific Northwest, no matter what. So what do you think should be done? Have your say in the comments section.