Submitted by Dylan Brown
Public Information Officer, Washington State Senate
OLYMPIA – Sen. Shelly Short has been inducted into the Hunters Heritage Hall of Fame for her efforts in the Legislature. It is the highest honor presented by the Washington-based Hunters Heritage Council and is awarded to elected officials or citizens who have gone above and beyond to work for hunters’ rights.
“I am deeply honored to be inducted into the Hunters Heritage Hall of Fame,” said Short, R-Addy. “Hunting is such an integral part of our local custom and culture in the 7th District. For generations, our communities have done their part to help wildlife populations flourish and to preserve hunting for our children and grandchildren.”
Those wildlife populations include ungulates – the large, hoofed mammals such as deer and elk that are popular prey for wolves in the northeast Washington region Short serves as a lawmaker. Recently, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported a 30 percent increase in the state’s wolf population, with much of the growth occurring in Northeast Washington. With the continuous growth in wolf population, predator management will continue to be a critical issue for the state Legislature.
Short added, “I am concerned that our ungulate populations struggle to thrive amid increasing predators and a lack of active predator management. I want you to know that I will continue to be a voice for hunters, to shine a spotlight on the lack of predator management and to push for and information on our ungulates that is based upon actual, on-the-ground observations, instead of modeling.”
The University of Washington is undertaking a predator/prey study into northeast Washington, in part, to analyze impacts from wolves on ungulates. The study goes beyond mortality to include factors influencing predator-prey behavior that may affect overall health and survivability.
Short joins Hunters Heritage Hall of Fame members Ed Owens, Bobbie and Mike Thorniley, former Rep. Jim Buck, former Sen. Brian Hatfield, Sen. Mark Schoesler, Sen. Kirk Pearson, Rep. Brian Blake, Sen. Dean Takko, and Rep. Joel Kretz.
The hall-of-famers all “have been the ultimate champions of the hunting community. Every hunter owes a debt of gratitude to these fine individuals,” said Mark Pidgeon, Hunters Heritage Council president.