Monday, October 04, 2010

Oregon reworks controls on wolves

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has re-evaluated the state’s wolf management plan, including relaxing guidelines to allow ranchers to “harass” wolves causing problems with livestock. Gray wolves, which were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies in the 1990s, have migrated west to Oregon in recent years, decades after the predator had been killed off. The five-year plan approved Friday attempts to adjust to a growing number of wolves in the state. State officials have agreed on wolf population goals to get the animal off Oregon’s endangered species list. In the original plan, ranchers could get permits to harass wolves after the animals caused problems with livestock over a 48-hour period. Now the commission has changed the guidelines so that any wolf-livestock conflict is enough to furnish a permit. But some ranchers attending the meeting were not pleased that the state is not considering easier guidelines for them to kill wolves that hunt livestock. “As a rancher, I’ve got to have the tools in my toolbox to protect what’s mine,” said Tik Moore, a Baker County rancher, who had several calves hunted by wolves in 2009...more

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