Center for Biological Diversity

Save Oregon's Struggling Wolf Population

Imnaha aplha male
The Imnaha pack's alpha male.
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In 2008 wolves established the first Oregon wolf pack in more than 60 years with formation of the Imnaha pack. Since then two other packs have established.

But it hasn't been smooth sailing for Oregon's wolves. In response to pressure from the Oregon Cattlemen's Association, the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife has been aggressively responding to a small number of livestock depredations by killing members of Oregon's very small wolf population, including two wolves earlier this year. In part because of these killings, Oregon's wolf population has swiftly dropped from 21 to just 14 wolves.

Now that the Center and allies have gotten a temporary stay on further killings of wolves, it's time for the state to take a step back and reevaluate its approach to wolf management. Oregon's wolf population is too small to sustain killings in response to depredations. Instead, more work needs to be done to help ranchers change their practices and reduce wolf-cattle conflicts.

In the rare cases where those practices are not effective, Oregon has a compensation program for livestock losses, which is not the case for loss of livestock to other predators or disease, both of which result in orders of magnitude more loss.

Please write Governor Kitzhaber and ask him not to oppose the stay but use it as an opportunity to chart a different course for wolf management in Oregon.
You can also send comments through the governor's Web site at http://www.oregon.gov/Gov/contact.shtml, call his office at (503) 378-4582 or fax him at (503) 378-6827. The governor's Web site will only accept comments from U.S. residents.

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Imnaha pack alpha male photo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Please take action by October 28, 2011.