Following four confirmed cattle kills by the wolves in northeastern Washington, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife managers ordered the killing of wolves. As a result, effectively 10 percent of the wolf pack was eliminated.
The cost to reintroduce wolves and build their populations over the years has likely cost in the millions of dollars. In the meantime, after millions — if not billions — of dollars have been spent over the years on any number of measures to bolster salmon runs, sea lions continue to multiply and feast on salmon.
A recent population survey counted thousands of these predators just on the West Coast. They have taken over docks from San Francisco to Astoria, and cost the Port of Astoria thousands of dollars a month in lost revenue. All the while, they take a significant portion of the salmon runs that have been so costly to rebuild.
Thank you Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., for backing a bill to kill sea lions to protect fish runs. Maybe our leaders are finally going to address this problem. In the meantime, I guess sea lions are safe as long as they don’t start killing cattle.
Patrick St. John