comments uncalled for
U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that
would remove the grey wolf from the federal Endangered
Species list. The bill passed on a 196-180 vote.
measure would strip wolves of federal protection in
California, and the western two-thirds of Oregon and
Washington. Wolves already have been de-listed in Idaho and
the eastern one-third of Oregon and Washington.
Cattlemen are hailing the measure’s passage. It now goes to
the U.S. Senate where, because chamber rules require 60
votes to end debate, it faces extremely long odds.
take exception to comments made by Rep. Peter DeFazio, a
Democrat who represents Oregon’s 4th District, in defense of
keeping federal protections on wolves. He called the bill “a
talking point for a few idiots.”
recognize there are honest disagreements about wildlife
policy, but insulting the intelligence of your opponents is
hardly the stuff of thoughtful debate. The cattle and sheep
producers of the West are not idiots and they deserve more
respect from an elected representative.
also think DeFazio should consider those who have to deal
with the wolves first hand.
DeFazio told the House about Oregon’s famous “wandering
wolf,” OR-7. OR-7 hailed from northeast Oregon. He wandered
to California, came back into the southern Cascades where he
found a mate and has produced pups. He and his progeny,
seven or eight wolves in total, comprise the Rogue pack — so
named not for their behavior but after the river valley
where they roam.
what? We are not having catastrophic predation on cattle in
Southern Oregon,” DeFazio said. “We could accommodate more
Rogue pack has a taste for livestock. It was credited with
five confirmed kills in a three-week period earlier this
month. Producers say the toll is higher, but those kills
have not been confirmed by state wildlife officials.
Are the losses to depredation
in Western Oregon “catastrophic?” Certainly not, if you
aren’t running cattle or sheep on public and private grazing
Maybe DeFazio would have a
different opinion if his livelihood was being devoured on
the hoof and there was little he could do about it because
the federal government tied his hands.
The gentleman from Springfield
need not fear. His district will get more wolves. But should
ranchers be forced to continue to bear their losses?
We have always believed that
wolves have a place in the wild. But we’ve never believed
that cattlemen and sheep producers should be required to
provide a free buffet.
It’s time to end the
protections for wolves as they continue to multiply and
spread across the region without any help from wildlife
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