Films highlight challenges with environmental movement
A free showing of the movies “Crying Wolf” and “Blue” by film maker JD King will be held in Chewelah and Colville next week, Feb. 24 and 25.
The film “Crying Wolf” about the wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park and the effects of the reintroduction on the Western States will be shown at the Chewelah Senior Center, located at 204 E. Main, on Tues., Feb. 24, at 6:30pm.
The film “Blue”, which portrays some of the dire challenges posed by the environmental movement, will be shown the following night, Wed., Feb. 25, at the Ag Trade Center, located at 317 W. Astor, in Colville at 6:30pm.
JD King will be at both events to answer questions about the films. To view trailers of the films or for more information, visit www.bluebeatsgreen.com.
Stevens County Commissioner Wes McCart stands outside a hearing room Feb 18 on the Capitol Campus in Olympia after telling a House committee that northeast Washington counties are preparing to take action if state game managers fail to curb livestock predation by wolves.
OLYMPIA — A Stevens County commissioner Wednesday told legislators that northeast Washington counties may intervene to stop predation by wolves if state wildlife managers fail to protect livestock.
“If you don’t come up with a solution, we will come up with our own solution,” the commissioner, Wes McCart, told the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
McCart said later in an interview that county commissioners have talked with county prosecutors about what they can do to manage wolves.
“It’s not an idle threat,” he said. “I have folks who cry almost everyday because of their losses, and that’s not going to continue.”
McCart didn’t outline a plan of action, but he said he’s been asked before about specifics.
“My answer is, we will take the appropriate action at the appropriate time, and it will be legal,” he said. “We know that if we don’t — if we go off by ourselves — it puts us in a defensive position and vulnerable to a lawsuit.
“We will declare a defensible action,” he said. “We don’t just shoot from the hip.”
With time running out on this session for wolf-related legislation, northeast Washington legislators are making a last push for relief from wolves killing sheep and cattle.
“I can’t go back home and tell people we’re not going to do anything for a year or two,” Okanogan County Rep. Joel Kretz said. “Social acceptance (of wolves) in my district started low and has plummeted.”
Kretz’s proposals to take wolves in northeast Washington off the state’s endangered species list or transfer wolves closer to Western Washington to hasten recovery don’t have enough support in Olympia.
More recently, he introduced House Bill 2107, which would require the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to reopen the state’s wolf recovery plan and measure the plan’s success by counting packs instead of breeding pairs.
Kretz said the plan needs to be reconsidered because wolves have packed his corner of the state, but not the entire state. Until, wolves are more widely distributed, they will remain a protected species, according to the recovery plan.
WDFW supports the bill, but it’s opposed by environmental groups. Defenders of Wildlife Northwest representative Elizabeth Ruther told lawmakers they should let the current plan play out. A citizens’ advisory group already gives the department guidance on wolf recovery, she said. “We respectfully think this is the wrong time for the this bill.”
The House committee took no action on the bill. The deadline for policy bills to pass the committees they were assigned to is Friday. The legislation could also stay alive if the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee passes an identical bill introduced by Ferry County Sen. Brian Dansel.