After environmental groups pulled out of facilitated meetings on sticky issues with Oregon’s wolf management plan last week, state managers say they plan to bring updates to the Fish and Wildlife Commission later this winter anyway.
“We did hear what was important to folks, and where there is some agreement,” ODFW’s Shannon Hurn told the Capital Press in a story out this afternoon.
The four in- and out-of-state organizations claimed that the new version would allow depredating wolves to be lethally removed quicker and in a letter to the governor said instead ODFW “must focus on prioritizing meaningful, transparent, enforceable, and effective non-lethal measures and only allow wolves to be killed in active defense of livestock.”
They withdrew before yesterday’s Wolf Plan Stakeholders meeting with RMEF, the Oregon Hunters Association and cattlemen’s and farm groups in Clackamas and got widespread press coverage because of it.
One ranching member of the group initially likened the move to a “bid to try and get attention. Like a little kid throwing a tantrum.”
In Washington, a group with representatives from different instate camps successfully agreed on lethal removal protocols after quick, repeated depredations and stressed nonlethal work as well. They’ve held together despite outside pressure.
Back in Oregon, a member from Oregon’s hunting community, Jim Akenson told the Press he was ready to move ahead with ODFW’s plan revisions, but also called for population caps for wolves in certain parts of the state over fears of impacts to big game herds.
Meanwhile, in the southwest corner of the state, the Rogue Pack was blamed for an eighth livestock death since October. The wolves run in Jackson County, in the still federally listed portion of Oregon.
Elsewhere in the Northwest, Stevens County Commissioners issued an advisory to citizens in different parts of the Northeast Washington county to keep an eye on their pets, livestock and any attractants that might be lying around outside after wolves had reportedly approached “very close” to homes.
Also in this part of the state, the Press reported that a Ferry County rancher who shot and wounded a Togo Pack wolf had been cleared following a state investigation.
WDFW wolf manager Donny Martorello said the man, who had been checking his cattle and heard barks and saw pups, then the charging alpha male, “felt threatened for his personal safety, and was within his rights to protect himself.”
The wolf was later shot and killed during a lethal removal operation.
And WDFW reported in its monthly update that in December field staffers had been surveying the state’s known packs as well as following up on “reports outside of known pack territories in the Methow and areas south of I-90 to try and locate recent wolf sign.”
The agency urged members of the public to continue uploading sightings, images, audio, etc., to its reporting database., calling the information “incredibly helpful” for confirming more packs on the landscape.