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Wolf plan
The wolf-management plan adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission describes the measures that will be taken when wolves -- listed as endangered by the federal and state government -- cross the border into Oregon from Idaho. The measures include:


 

Wolves may be considered for removal from the state endangered-species list once the population reaches four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in Eastern Oregon.


 

Landowners can distract wolves, without a permit, from a livestock operation or area of human activity by firing shots into the air or shouting.


 

A landowner needs a permit to injure a wolf with rubber bullets or bean-bag projectiles, or kill a wolf in the act of attacking livestock.


 

Wildlife officials may relocate a wolf to resolve a localized, immediate problem.


 

To read the plan, go to www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves.

What's next
The state wolf-management plan is being sent to federal officials for approval, which is supposed to happen within the next three months.


 

In the 2007 legislative session, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff will assist in introducing a bill that includes additional protections for livestock producers dealing with wolves.

Ranchers upset by approved wolf plan

Livestock owners want to be able to kill threatening wolves

Oregon Fish and Wildlife commissioners voted Thursday to approve a state wolf-management plan without the additional protections that livestock owners said they need.

Livestock owners want the right to kill a wolf that threatens their sheep or cattle and state-funded compensation for livestock losses.

However, commissioners cannot take those actions on their own; the changes must be put into law.

Despite legislators not passing laws during the 2005 session to help livestock owners, the commissioners plan to fight to get the laws passed in 2007.

Wildlife experts predict wolves that cross into Oregon from Idaho soon will establish packs.

Wolves are native to the state but were extirpated more than 50 years ago.

Wildlife advocates argue that livestock owners are asking for too much because they don't want wolves in the state at all.

"The public, wildlife officials and wolves that enter Oregon are in a much better place" because of the state's wolf-management plan, said Amaroq Weiss of Defenders of Wildlife.

Livestock producers are frustrated to have any plan for wolves in place.

"The livestock industry spoke out very clearly against the entire plan because it violated property rights and offered no reasonable management of wolves," Mike Colton, the Baker County Livestock Association president, said at the commission meeting Thursday.

Colton explained that the Oregon Cattlemen's Association is organizing a plan to restrict access to private lands for hunting or any other public use unless the commission decides to rescind the wolf plan.

Short of removing the plan, livestock producers want a state-funded compensation fund and the unregulated right to injure or kill wolves that are causing harm to livestock.

"We need the right to protect livestock without a permit," Colton said. "It's still in the plan that you have to catch the wolf in the act of attacking livestock. I'd be better off trying to win the lottery than see that."

Craig Ely of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said he is hopeful that the amendments to help landowners will be approved in 2007.

"For me, the real satisfaction will come when we have the first wolf here and we communicate with the livestock industry and we follow through with all of the commitments we made to them," Ely said.

bcasper@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 589-6994

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Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM  Pacific


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