Salem, Ore., (03/15/16)— After a short session that sported many twists and turns, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association was glad to hear the Governor chose to sign HB 4040 into law Tuesday morning.

“OCA thanks Governor Kate Brown for signing this bill,” said Jerome Rosa, executive director for the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. “We would also like to thank Chair Witt in the House and Chair Edwards in the Senate for moving this bill through their respective committees.”

Many ranchers drove thousands of miles across Oregon to show the Legislature their support for HB 4040. One of those was Eastern Oregon rancher and OCA member Cheryl Martin.

Martin estimates she drove around 1,200 miles between her home of North Powder and Oregon’s Capitol over the last couple months, but she believes it was worth it. “The ranchers and the people of Oregon that wanted to see the wolf plan succeed communicated with the Legislature and the passing of this bill confirms our voices were heard. That is reassuring.”

Martin sees the passing of the bill as a gesture from the Legislature that lets ranchers know they can count on the Oregon Wolf Plan being followed. “Governor Brown and the Legislature’s decision to pass HB 4040 solidifies ODFW’s delisting decision and allows us to continue move forward with the wolf plan.”

John O’Keeffe, president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, mentioned the bill was important for many reasons, including avoiding costly litigation. “It allows us to go forward with wolf management on the ground and hopefully not get bogged down in litigation.”

He also noted the way both Democrats and Republicans were able to work together to ensure the bill passed and commended the Governor for her decision to sign the bill. “We’re grateful the Governor chose to continue the bipartisan spirit that got us here.”

OCA worked closely with Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Hunters Association and many others to help HB 4040 become law.

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association was founded in 1913 and 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.

By Kayli Hanley