Oregon Wolf Conservation Plan Revisions Needed
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has developed a wolf plan that is supposed to be flexible, fair and balanced, that gives people who will be harmed by wolves, tools to deal with them in a way that also satisfies the desires of those who want Oregon repopulated with wolves. The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the plan over the objections of those who will be most affected. Rather than giving choices to protect our property, it takes them away, putting ranchers at great risk of social, economic and physical loss. It is not fair, it is not balanced and any flexibility is biased toward preservation of wolves.
Wolves are presently terrorizing eastern Oregon, killing cattle and sheep and because of the Oregon Wolf Conservation plan ODFW has utilized all the escape valves they built into their rules to keep from protecting Oregon’s livestock industry. They are losing credibility in the eyes of the ranchers, tempers flare and frustration is our constant companion. Even after the first wolves in Oregon killed 25 head of livestock no action was taken. Now with the first pack to establish in Wallowa County killing livestock every few days despite ranchers taking every non-lethal preventative measure, it is time for changes to be made in the Wolf Plan.
Experience tells us that the wolf numbers will grow at least 33% a year and the predation on livestock and wildlife will double. With Oregon in a severe recession livestock dependant eastern Oregon communities with wolves are not sustainable and obviously unnecessary state spending isn’t either; therefore we again ask for your help. The Wolf Plan, first adopted in 2005, is currently undergoing a five-year review. Please contact the ODFW Commission and ask them to make the necessary changes to wolf plan that allows us our constitutional right to protect ourselves and our property. Public Comment on the Oregon Wolf Conservation Plan can be sent to: ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.
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Can Ranchers and Wolves Co-Exist?
A Symposium Hosted by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and Eastern Oregon University Range Club
(La Grande, OR—May 4, 2010) The wolf population is expanding in Northeast Oregon as evidenced by increased wolf sightings and conflicts. At the upcoming wolf symposium, “Can Ranchers and Wolves Co-Exist?,” industry experts from Idaho and Minnesota will address wolf interactions with livestock as well as the overall social, environmental and economic impacts the presence of wolves have on Oregonians.
The symposium is open to the public, with no admission charge, and will be held in La Grande at Eastern Oregon University’s Badgley Hall in the first floor auditorium from 1- 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2010. This symposium is especially timely for citizens and livestock producers who want to be better informed about wolf issues when the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is opened for its first 5 year review this year. It will also be informative for veterinarians and others interested in diseases found to be carried and transmitted by over 60% of the wolves in Idaho.
“We are excited to get everyone in the same room to address these challenges with key environmental and wildlife experts seated at the table,” said Bill Hoyt, President of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. “This is an incredible opportunity to have a discussion that could lead to a well-balanced solution.”
The keynote speaker, Jim Beers, former chief of national wildlife refuge operations for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, now writes extensively and speaks to various organizations throughout the country about the federal wolf program and the cumulative impact of wolves on rural American life. Beers has written two dozen articles on wolf history and wolf management and has spoken to more than 2,000 attendees at public meetings from Arizona and New Mexico to Montana and Oregon.
Also on the agenda is Casey Anderson, who was born in Pendleton, grew up on a ranch and is currently managing the OX Ranch in Idaho. He will address wolf interactions with livestock, depredation, compensation and cattle behavior as well as the recent Idaho/Oregon Wolf Research Study made possible with funding by the Oregon Beef Council. With more than 20 years of ranch management experience, Anderson has been recognized by the Natural Resource Conservation Service with the “Excellence of Range Management Award” and received special recognition from the Society of Range Management.