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Friday, April 17, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Gray Wolves' Return Subject Of Monday Meeting

Times Staff

Wolf-watchers, take note: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will take public comments and answer questions about reintroduction of the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho at a Seattle meeting Monday.

It's the first step in developing an environmental impact statement for reintroduction to those areas, said Doug Zimmer, Fish & Wildlife spokesman. The EIS will guide federal officials in determining whether the wolf should be reintroduced in those areas, and how it should be managed if it is.

Why should Seattleites care? Aside from being a controversial topic expected to draw comments from friends and foes of the wolf nationwide, the Yellowstone EIS could serve as a model for a plan to manage wolves that are rehabitating Washington state.

State wildlife agents already have identified six packs of wolves in Washington's Cascades, and more are expected to migrate from Canada to the state's protected forests.

Monday's meeting, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Shorline Community College's Lecture Hall 1605, is an open house. Biologists will be on hand to show a videotape of wolves in the U.S. and answer questions from the public.

Formal public hearings will take place in May 1993. The Yellowstone wolf EIS will be released in 1994, along with a federal

decision.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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