State seeks nominees to serve on wolf advisory panel

At a time when wolves have been in the news for attacking livestock, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking candidates to serve on the committee that advises the department on wolf recovery and management.

The department director will appoint up to 12 Washington state residents to the Wolf Advisory Group for the next two years. The group makes recommendations to guide the department’s implementation of the 2011 state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

The advisory group was created last year with nine members, representing ranchers, wolf advocates and hunters. The term for the current members expires Dec. 31.

“Wolf recovery and management raises challenging issues and concerns, and the group’s advice and counsel has been — and will continue to be — extremely helpful,” said director Phil Anderson in a news release.

The agency this summer had to kill a wolf after other efforts to stop the Huckleberry Pack in Stevens County from preying on a sheep herd. Members of the Profanity Peak Pack have killed a cow and calf in Ferry County.

The agency might expand the group to as many as 12 members to ensure it represents a range of perspectives on how the state can achieve the goals set in the wolf plan.

The department will accept applications from interested citizens and nominations from organizations that wish to be represented. Existing group members can reapply.

Members should be available for meetings beginning as early as January 2015. The group holds at least four one-day meetings per year, and special meetings are sometimes conducted to address emerging issues. Upon request, advisory group members will be reimbursed for travel expenses to attend meetings.

The new appointees’ terms will run through December 2016.

Applications must be submitted in writing and address the following items: