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Washington working on wolf management

Officials from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission discussed a plan that will decide whether or not wolves will become delisted as an endangered species in the state, the Associated Press reports.

The plan proposes to keep 15 breeding pairs of the animals, which are currently on the endangered species list, for three years before a delisting can happen, according to The Wildlife News.

The topic is highly controversial. On one side are wildlife enthusiasts and conservation groups who support the plan in an effort to prevent the species from being eliminated, as it was in Washington in the 1930s. They were never formally reintroduced to the state but there have been five resident wolf packs confirmed, according to the AP.

Opponents of the plan are generally ranchers and farmers who say that the wolves are a risk to their livestock, and thus their livelihood. Groups such as the Washington Cattlemen's Association and the Hunter Heritage Council want wolves listed as a game species that can be hunted.

Either way, the plan is a "blueprint" toward eventually delisting the species and classifying them as a game species. The final decision on the plan will be made in December.  
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