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March 1, 2016, Salem, Oregon: The 2015 Annual Wolf Report by Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife makes official what Oregon ranchers know first-hand: the state’s wolf population has recovered dramatically, well beyond the goals of the Wolf Conservation & Management Plan.

According to the report, Oregon’s wolf population grew 36 percent in 2015, with a minimum population of 110 wolves and 11 breeding pairs.

“The threshold in the Oregon Wolf Plan for consideration of delisting wolves from the state Endangered Species Act is four breeding pairs for three consecutive years. We now have 11 breeding pairs,” said OFB Public Policy Counsel Mary Anne Nash. “Oregon Farm Bureau and Oregon Cattlemen’s Association urge lawmakers to pass HB 4040A, which would ratify the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission’s decision last fall to delist the gray wolf.”

The Oregon Wolf Conservation & Management Plan, established in 2005, was negotiated between the state, environmental groups, and ranchers. As the wolf population continued to grow, ranchers and farmers with livestock lived up to their conservation commitments, spending time and money on non-lethal deterrents, despite the risk of wolf attacks on their animals.

While HB 4040A would delist the gray wolf from the Oregon Endangered Species Act, wolves would still have the same protection under the Wolf Conservation & Management Plan.

“HB 4040A will not alter the current conservation requirements laid out in the Wolf Plan. The population will continue to grow,” said Rocky Dallum of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. “Ranchers have honored their end of the bargain. Conservation objectives have been surpassed and the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission has already voted to delist. It’s time for the legislature to do the same.”

Oregon Farm Bureau and Oregon Cattlemen Association are joined by the Oregon Hunters’ Association and Congressman Greg Walden in support of HB 4040A.

About Oregon Farm Bureau: The state’s largest general farm organization, Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the interests of the state’s family farmers and ranchers in the public and policymaking arenas.

About Oregon Cattlemen’s Association:  The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) works to promote environmentally and socially sound industry practices, improve and strengthen the economics of the industry, and protect its industry communities and private property rights.

Photo credit: Cacophony