Killing wolf pack cost state $77,000

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The state Fish and Wildlife Department spent nearly $77,000 to kill seven wolves in a pack that had been preying on cattle in Stevens County in northeast Washington.

Only one wolf was killed in a 39-day ground hunt that cost nearly $55,000. The other six wolves were killed in a four-day period in September using a helicopter and a marksman that cost $22,000.

The Spokesman-Review reports the cost was disclosed in a letter the Department of Fish and Wildlife sent to state Sen. Kevin Ranker of Orcas Island, chairman of the legislative committee overseeing the department.

Ranker has criticized the decision to kill the Wedge pack and is planning a legislative hearing next year.