Commission questions Wash. areas for wolf recovery

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) -- More than 50 people turned out for a public meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to discuss a proposed plan for managing wolves.

Many of those in attendance were sheep and cattle ranchers in Wranglers and cowboy hats. Livestock owners fear the plan allows for too many wolves.

The plan calls for 15 successful breeding pairs for three consecutive years to delist them.

Gray wolves were eliminated as a breeding species in Washington by the 1930s. Statewide, they are listed as an endangered species under state law. They are endangered under federal law in the western two-thirds of the state.

Wolves have never been reintroduced to Washington, but they have crossed over from Idaho and British Columbia. Today, there are five confirmed resident wolf packs here.