Washington Legislature to examine killing wolves

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SEATTLE — A key state lawmaker says he'll hold a hearing on the state Fish and Wildlife Department's decision to kill a pack of wolves that had been preying on cattle in northeast Washington.

Sen. Kevin Ranker of Orcas Island heads a committee overseeing the department. He told KING he wants to clarify the policy on killing wolves to help ranchers.

The department says it had no choice but to remove the pack after it became accustomed to killing cattle instead of wild game in the Wedge area of Stevens County north of Kettle Falls.

A helicopter was used to track tagged wolves and shoot the eight-animal Wedge pack in September.

The pack was killed at the same time the department is trying to re-establish the endangered species in the state.

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