Washington State U Settles with Wolf Researcher for $300K

May 17, 2018

Robert Wieglus, director of the Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University, will accept a $300,000 settlement to leave the institution, the Associated Press reported. Wieglus sued the university over alleged violations of academic freedom, in relation to his research on wolves. He has argued that Washington’s policy of killing wolves who prey on cattle actually increases cattle predation because it destabilizes packs. Recommending non-lethal options instead, Wieglus angered some local ranchers who support the killing of wolves. 

Facing complaints from ranchers, the Washington State Legislature cut Wielgus’s funding and demanded he be removed as principal investigator on a project, according to the Associated Press. Wielgus later sued the university, saying it punished him for political reasons. The university said in a statement that Wieglus will resign at the end of this semester and “release all claims and employment rights in exchange for two payments totaling $300,000, with funds coming from the state.” In reaching this agreement, it said, neither party acknowledges any wrongdoing.

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