Range riders track wolves in eastern Washington

Wolf-livestock conflicts have increased, and ranchers and environmentalists are gathering data to mitigate the clashes.


In recent years, a rebounding wolf population in eastern Washington has stirred controversy. Wolf poaching and livestock-wolf conflicts have increased, forcing local Fish and Wildlife officials, ranchers and environmentalists to come up with ways to find common ground and reduce clashes. One way they've done that is to incorporate conflict prevention directly into ranchers' daily lives: Since 2012, range riders have been tracking both wolves and livestock with GPS collars, following their respective positions on horseback to track and prevent potential conflicts.

For more on Washington's wolves, read our recent story about the deep political divides their arrival has reopened.

Photo: A range rider keeps track of cattle in the Colville national forest, the territory of the Smackout wolfpack. By Chase Gunnell