Oregon panel OKs ‘last resort’ wolf-killing rule


by JEFF BARNARD, Associated Press

Posted July 12, 2013

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday adopted provisions of a lawsuit settlement that will make Oregon the only state in the West where killing wolves that attack livestock is a last resort.

The rules adopted by the commission amend Oregon’s Wolf Management Plan, along with statutory provisions enacted by the Legislature that will be signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber.

The rules require ranchers to show they have taken non-lethal steps, such as alarm boxes and low strings of fluttering plastic flags known as fladdery, to protect their herds before the state will send out a hunter to kill a wolf. There must also be hard evidence, such as GPS data showing a radio-collared wolf was in the area when a cow was killed, that wolves have attacked four times.

In return, ranchers get new rights to shoot wolves that they see attacking their herd, but only if those non-lethal protections are in place, and attacks have become chronic.

The settlement represents a new level of cooperation between conservation groups and ranchers, who have long fought over restoring wolves in the West, where they were wiped out by bounty hunters in the early part of the 20th century.

Ranchers downplayed the significance of the settlement.

“I don’t think it’s a whole lot different from the wolf plan already being implemented,” said Kate Teisl, executive director of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. “Now there’s just more documentation. Ranchers are out there doing all they can to keep their animals alive, including the non-lethal measures.”

But wolf advocates said it was that documentation of non-lethal steps that was groundbreaking.

Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild said the old plan talked about conservation of wolves being a priority, but it was so ambiguous that it was ineffective.

“It’s now up to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the livestock industry, and the conservation community to honor the agreements that we have made,” he said. “If we do so, I am optimistic we will continue to see conflicts between wolves and livestock continue to be rare, and the need to kill wolves even rarer still.”

Brett Brownscombe, natural resources adviser to the governor, said making the rules clear was important as Oregon’s wolf population continues to grow, and the Obama administration moves toward lifting federal protections for wolves in areas they have yet to repopulate.

Oregon Wild and other conservation groups had sued the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, claiming that a kill order on the Imnaha pack, the first to establish in Oregon as well as the first to attack livestock, threatened to wipe out the pack. Conservation groups claimed the actions violated the Oregon Endangered Species Act, which still protects wolves in the eastern two thirds of the state, where federal protections have been lifted.

The Imnaha pack only has one more strike against it before a kill order can be imposed, but so far, it has not been linked to an attack.

The Oregon Court of Appeals barred the state from killing wolves for more than a year before the settlement was reached between conservation groups, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, and the governor’s office. During that time, the number of wolves in Oregon went up, while the lethal attacks on livestock went down. In Idaho, where the Oregon packs had migrated from, the numbers of lethal livestock attacks went up, along with the numbers of wolves killed, primarily by trophy hunters and trappers.

copyrighted Hayden wolf walking

15 thoughts on “Oregon panel OKs ‘last resort’ wolf-killing rule

  1. Oregon is better than the rest at least. Imagine if killing people who practice and/or support the abuse & slaughter of “livestock” was a first (or last) resort! While wolves only kill what they must to survive. Anyone reading who supports the wolves, yet not vegan? I’d like to hear your reasons, not browbeating you, just trying to help you reconsider.

    • Laura, consider leaving out poor people who eat what’s in the pot at the soup kitchen and not by choice! Bless it and eat it, they say. By the time it is in the stewpot at a soup kitchen, it’s next stop would be the landfill. It’s not creating a market for meat, it is not wasting societies leftovers. Many elderly must take part in this because funding for alternative programs has been cut deeply. In the north we await our crops to grow. Red meat is toxic, it actually causes the body pain. Personally, I am gluten free, try to be GMO free and just not quite at vegan because of my dietary restrictions and that before I knew I was Celiac, I became infested with polyps in my digestive tract from taking prilosec. So malnutrition stalks me as does cancer and chronic pain. I am at the point of food or meds and awating the garden to come in. So don’t hate me if I eat some gov’t cheese. I rescue wolves, I need all the energy I can get! And I give thanks for that surplus cheese to the creatures and the volunteers.

      • Thank you for your work with wolves! About the vegan thing, I’m talking to snooty “foodies” who enjoy indulging in and boasting about their gourmand “treats” from slaughterhouses and slave confinement camps called dairy & egg farms, not to those who get what they can from charities. I have a friend who helps out at a food charity and there’s always lots of fruits & veggies, nuts, beans, etc., that are ignored because people don’t recognize the better nutritional value from those foods and prefer the high calorie “tastier” animal products mistaking that for better nutrition. If it’s to be thrown away that’s even worse. But if animal carcasses, etc., weren’t demanded in the first place by the privileged who often waste them, charities would have only non-animal foods to give away, and the recipients would be healthier as well.
        See Richie here who once almost starved to death as celiac patient and saved his life by going vegan specific to his needs:

      • I’m sorry about the cheese. They give you a small bag at the food bank. It was taped up. Turned out to bè cheese and flat bread and a tomato and a potato. I made a pizza out of it. That food is for 3 days for 2 adults…creativity required!

      • The point of spreading the word about veganism is not about making people feel they have to apologize for the animal products they’ve consumed in the past, it’s about informing them of the horrendous cruelties inherent in the meat industry (including dairy–cows can’t produce milk without being impregnated, and their calves usually end up stuck in a veal crate).

  2. Yes, Jim, I actually know first hand. I married into a dairy family when I was a homeless kid. My grandparents died and I took the first offer of a roof over my head. I didn’t want ti go into ‘the system’. I used to go up to the barn and get raw milk out of a big tank and fill two fruit juice containers with it and walk back home. As time went by, I got to know the cows and calves. It wasn’t up to me to care for them but they lived in a beautiful field across from my house, strictly organic, grass fed and free to roam all day. They had woods too and a fresh water stream. This, I guess was not typical? I was alone in the boonies a lot and I would go talk to the cows and sing to them. Cows like music. They are sweet animals. They would lick me with their rough tongues. They liked the salt on my skin. It was s family farm with one hired man. He didb’t much care for cows. I suspect he was unhappy with his lot in life. He swore at the cows and he hit them with his caine. They kicked Horarce a lot. They had a need to be treated with kindness and respect. They don’t to be treated with abuse. They were really nice,

    • Lucky for the cows you were there to give them the love and respect they deserve. I had a girlfriend who was a milker on a dairy and though she was much kinder to the cows than most dairy workers, the company ran too many animals through the milking barn to spend any quality time with them. You were lucky not to have seen it where you were, but all but the smallest dairies keep the calves confined in either windowless barns or in veal crates. Google search veal production, if you want to see how most calves have to live. It’s not a pretty sight, but it is part of the reason people promote veganism over vegetarianism.

  3. I know, Jim, I detest veal because the evil way they make the meat pink …keeping iron out of the diet of the calf. And in Europe, veal calves were not born live, it was years ago. I was a teenager and I am old now. I’m no expert on veal, it totally grosses me out! I wish it were illegal.
    After Horace died, a kinder young man came to take care of the cows. He was going to college to study how to be a farmer, which we all thought was the funniest thing we ever heard. But he had a wife and kids plus school, plus the cows. Much too much. So when the cows calved, he tied the calves up to the posts in the calf shed on the side of the barn and was feeding them but they all got the scours ( the runs) and I went in to check on them and they were up to their knees, for real, in runny poop. The next thing I knew,the cows were all gone, calves gone land sold and turned into an over 55 trailer court. That story is true and if that graphic doesn’t turn people off to veal, they should see calves being born via being torn out of their mothers with a filthy chain. Much of the antibiotic use is because it’s a filthy business to not just let nature take it’s course in a nice, grassy field set aside for that, with a good strong fence to keep predators out…but then I didn’t have to go to college to learn how to milk cows..hahaha! 🙂 The worst thing is the feedlots full of calves, thousands of them. Dead among the living because the dead can’t be seen easily. We had to live next door to a giant feedlot business almost 35 years ago. As gross as the milk cow’s calves were in NH, the feedlots were life, hanging by a thread and unnoticed death. If I ever had a cow, it would have faired better than me. I will say this, I did note at an early age that the men who beat their cows most likely beat their wives and took a razor strap to their children.

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