A judge in Thurston County, Washington, sided with environmental groups and issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) from lethally removing one or more wolves from the Togo pack in northern Ferry County.
Earlier in the day, WDFW Director Kelly Susewind had authorized the staff to take lethal action in response to six confirmed livestock depredations by the pack since last November, including three confirmed incidents in the last 30 days.
Judge Chris Lanese granted the restraining order sought by the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands. The judge said the plaintiffs’ complaint met the criteria for a temporary restraining order under the state Administrative Procedures Act.
Lanese told WDFW and the plaintiffs to return to court on Aug. 31 for a hearing on a preliminary injunction, to determine whether to replace the restraining order with a longer-lasting court order.
In announcing his decision, Lanese specified that his ruling applied only to the Togo lethal removal decision.