For the last two months, wildlife managers in Washington state have been shooting wolves in the Profanity Peak pack from a helicopter. The director of Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife authorized the killings back in August.

Stakeholders on all sides continue to grapple with a controversial management decision that would allow Washington state wildlife officials to exterminate an entire wolf pack in the Northeast corner of the state.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

In the past month, wildlife officials have shot six wolves from a helicopter in the Colville National Forest  of northeast Washington state. That’s likely to come up during a two-day work session for members of Washington state’s Wolf Advisory Group that begins today. 

When Washington state wildlife officials announced they would eliminate the Profanity Peak wolf pack, they were operating under a new management plan that came about after months of deliberation with various stakeholders ranging from livestock producers to conservation groups.

But some parties felt left out of the discussion.

The remaining members of a wolf pack in northeastern Washington targeted for extermination by the state are playing hard to get. Late Friday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife pinned another dead calf on the Profanity Peak pack, but disclosed it was unsuccessful in hunting down any of the pack's five surviving members this past week.

Mark Goebel / Flickr

The British pound fell to a 30 year low after the vote. The euro also faltered while the U.S. dollar strengthened. Having a higher valued dollar is not all bad, of course – especially if your summer includes European adventure plans and you want to save some cash on vacation. 

More than 1,000 square miles of wildfires are burning in Washington state. In the remote Okanogan Valley in the north-central part of the state, many cattle ranchers are scrambling to save their herds.

Ranchers in Omak, Wash., have lost animals, barns, pasture and winter haystacks to the wildfires. But some people still have their cattle, and at the town's Ag Tech Feed Store, owners Monte and Laurie Andrews are trying to help keep those ranchers in business.

Anna King

In Washington state, an estimated 500 to 600 cattle have been lost in dramatic wildfires this summer. Kent Stokes is a fifth-generation rancher. His family lost hundreds of head in the Carlton Complex fires near Twisp in north-central Washington.

Kay Ledbetter / Texas A and M AgriLife Extension Service

Northwest cattle ranchers are struggling to get their herds out of the way of raging wildfires. Some herds have been lost, others badly injured.

Mercy for Animals

A lawsuit lead by the ACLU is challenging Idaho's brand new, so-called “ag-gag” law. That's the law aimed at stopping undercover animal rights activists from making videos of abuse at farms and slaughter houses. As Jessica Robinson reports, Idaho's law isn't the first to be challenged on free speech grounds.

Last year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit against a Utah law very similar to Idaho’s. Both laws criminalize shooting video without the farm owner's permission.

Amelia Templeton

This week, water regulators are ordering dozens of ranchers along Southern Oregon’s Williamson River to shut down their irrigation pumps.

It’s the latest round of shutoffs near the headwaters of the Klamath River. The state says it is necessary to protect treaty rights of tribes who live downstream. But the water shut-off jeopardizes a multimillion-dollar cattle ranching industry.

For EarthFix, Amelia Templeton reports.

Rancher Brings Pollution Battle To WA Supreme Court

Nov 14, 2012
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Supreme Court heard arguments today Tuesday that will decide how much control environmental regulators have over runoff pollution.

Washington Considers Another Impact Of Wolves: Skinny Cows

Oct 30, 2012
Anna King / Northwest News Network

Washington ranchers who can show that wolves are making their cattle lose weight could get reimbursed under a new proposal. The rule before the Fish and Wildlife Commission would expand a compensation program for ranchers living in wolf country.

A California animal rights group is publicly asking Burger King to sever its ties with an Idaho dairy. The demand from Mercy for Animals comes after the group shot undercover video at a dairy barn over the summer. Scott Graf reports from Boise State Public Radio.

The director of Washington's Fish and Wildlife Department Friday said he hopes never again to have to order the killing of an entire wolf pack, as happened last month. In Olympia Friday, cattlemen and wolf lovers offered the agency radically different ideas for how to avoid a repeat.

Photo Credit: Tom Banse

Ranches and feedlots are looking to cut their feed costs in the short term and even have an eye on making the cattle themselves more efficient.

Firefighters have mostly contained the Holloway fire, a massive blaze on the Oregon-Nevada border. But Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports there is still no clear solution for the cattle left homeless by Oregon’s summer fires.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

A small ranch in southeastern Washington is the site of some big disputes playing out between environmental regulators and farmers.

The question: How much control can the government have over pollution from agricultural runoff?

As part of EarthFix and Investigate West’s series on the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Courtney Flatt takes a look at a court case that could determine how strictly the state regulates polluted rainwater runoff.

Photo by Amelia Templeton

Officials say the massive Long Draw fire in South East Oregon stopped actively burning over the weekend. The fire consumed more than 900 square miles of rangeland. Amelia Templeton reports, ranchers are searching for their cows.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

In the remote valleys of southeast Oregon both birds and cattle flourish. This is where mountain streams feed an oasis of lakes and marshes in the high desert. Cattle ranchers and wildlife advocates have been fighting over that valuable grassland for decades. Now, they’ve struck a delicate truce that keeps both birds and burgers in mind. Correspondent Anna King has our story from way outside of Burns, Oregon.