WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, and Kettle Range Conservation Group filed a lawsuit on June 17, 2020 to ensure that the U.S. Forest Service protects endangered gray wolves on the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington where livestock ranching activities have incited conflict. This woeful negligence by the federal agency has resulted in the deaths of 26 wolves since 2012, including the total destruction of both the Profanity Peak Pack and the Old Profanity Territory Pack.
Specifically, the lawsuit challenges the Forest Service’s revised Colville National Forest Plan for failing to evaluate how the agency’s federally permitted livestock grazing program adversely affects wolves—a species eradicated from most of the contiguous United States by the 1920s. The groups are also challenging the Forest Service’s approval of cattle grazing for Diamond M Ranch, which is responsible for the majority of wolf deaths on the Colville National Forest since 2012, without requiring any measures to prevent these wolf-livestock conflicts from recurring.
“The blood of these wolves is on the Forest Service’s hands. Just because the agency didn’t pull the trigger, doesn’t mean the agency didn’t supply the gun and ammunition,” stated WildEarth Guardians’ Wildlife Coexistence Campaigner, Samantha Bruegger. “The Diamond M Ranch livestock grazing allotments, on 78,000 acres of the Colville National Forest, have been notorious as the place where wolves go to die. We want to change that and we think the agency can and should demand ranchers who receive grazing permits must coexist with wolves on national forest land.”
Read the press release.