Harl Butte Wolf Pack: Incremental Lethal Take Decision After Depredations on Cattle

Salem, Ore. (Aug. 3, 2017) – A series of wolf depredations on cattle in Wallowa County has finally come to a head with the decision for an incremental lethal take on the Harl Butte Wolf Pack. There have been seven confirmed depredations in the past 12 months, which include two separate events in the week of July 20th through 27th.

An official request was submitted on July 28, 2017 by those concerned with the issue in Wallowa County. As is standard practice and consistent with the wolf plan, all options were considered to address the situation, with the final decision being made by the ODFW Commissioners.

This decision was released on August 3rd stating through trapping and shooting, two adult wolves will be removed from the pack. As of this time, they are confident that there are five adults in the pack.

“As an organization, we are extremely disappointed that they are not taking out the entire pack with all the depredations that have occurred and all the work that has been done on the Oregon wolf plan,” said Executive Director of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Jerome Rosa. “To not take the entire pack? This is code for our ranchers that cattle will continue to be killed.”

It is theorized that the Harl Butte pack are remnants from the infamous Imnaha Pack of wolves who were in the same geographical region. The Imnaha Pack was responsible for 42 depredations, with four in one month, before a lethal take was performed March of 2016. By not removing the entirety of the pack, ranchers will see more of the same as the dry summer has moved the pack’s natural food source of large game animals higher into the mountains, making rancher’s cattle easy targets.

“We are disappointed that they are only taking two [wolves] and [know] that it’s not going to be effective. We have seen this happen before and we fully expect more cattle to be killed. It’s a very unfortunate way to do business,” said Todd Nash, a Wallowa County resident and the chairmen of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association’s Wolf Committee. The OCA’s Wolf Committee works to defend rancher’s rights to protect their livestock from wolf depredation.

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association stands by the practices of the wolf plans to protect all parties involved in the rehabilitation of the Oregon wolf and applaud the ODFW Commission’s decision for a lethal take on the Harl Butte wolf pack. We hope that Wallowa County ranchers may be able to sleep peacefully at night, knowing that these dangerous and ruthless killers have been removed.

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.

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