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Originally published Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 5:31 AM

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State's slaughter of wolves pushes the wrong button

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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"You see, this hard core conservative actually needs meat eating liberals to buy... MORE
"I would also like Mr Judd to explain why it is the rancher's responsibility to... MORE
This was on public lands and the rancher REFUSED to follow any of the other SUCCESSFUL... MORE

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Any local grad students around who want to write a thesis on crisis mismanagement? Just follow around the state officials in charge of Washington's fledgling wolf-recovery plan.

The Washington state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Aerial Sorties spent much of last week — and God knows how much public money — paying helicopter sharpshooters to exterminate most of the Wedge Pack wolves in Northeast Washington.

This was necessary, they said, to "hit the reset button" on wolf activity in one region where more than a dozen cows and calves from the Diamond M Ranch, which grazes some cattle on remote public lands, had been killed by wolves alleged to be feeding exclusively on livestock.

We know it's a tough dilemma. But, reset button? That's a joke, right?

Surely, the next pack of wolves to move into the area will see the same tasty, lumbering beef blobs, with no extra protective measures taken by a skinflint rancher, and intrinsically know to stay away.

If not, perhaps they'll get the word from one straggler wolf that the state left behind to spread the news. When all else fails, you can usually get wild animals to respond to peer pressure.

More high-caliber logic:

Medium-Rarity: It's a sad development, but probably necessary to keep defenseless livestock from being killed, said a bunch of people over plates of fresh veal cutlets in the U District the other day.

Speaking of Which: When they're done with that button, can we borrow it to get a reset on the wanton destruction of the state's fish stocks and old-growth forests?

All New Meaning to "Skiing the Bumps:" Environmentalists and some nearby Navajo tribal members are severely constipated over plans by a ski resort, Arizona Snowbowl, to become the first in the world to use 100 percent (treated) sewage effluent to make artificial snow. One thing's for sure: When people down in Flagstaff say they're having a crappy snow day, they won't be kidding.

Sorry, but: Suggested new Snowbowl run names: Royal Flush. Rim shot. Mellow Yellow.

Speaking of Snow Guns: It's really going to provide a stark contrast between Snowbowl and more hoity-toity resorts, such as Aspen and Telluride, where snow-making machines pump out crystals made from single-malt Scotch.

Replacement Ref Hangover: Faithful reader Brad reports that he and his wife, on vacation in Europe, were at the Birmingham, England, airport Wednesday when the security agent at the front of their line saw their U.S. passports and said, "I hope you're not from Seattle!" The guy was wearing a Green Bay Packers ring. Notes Brad: "Not a good omen whilst getting ready to go through the machines."

BREAKING: Someone down in Sodo is tweeting that the Seattle Mariners are still playing their 2012 season. The M's are the sports world equivalent of "Grey's Anatomy." They just keep going on and on and on for no apparent reason.

And Finally: California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that will pave the way for future "self-driving cars." They're already working on a unique Washington state version, the Toyota Passive-Aggressive Prius, which automatically putters at 55 mph in the left lane.

Ron Judd's column appears each Sunday. Reach him at rjudd@seattletimes.com

or 206-464-8280.

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