Restoring Wolves and Other Species

Aug07

Climbing the Quartz Timber Sale

Reed Crossbow

The Quartz Timber sale is an 847-acre logging project set to take place in the Umpqua National Forest. The timber sale proposes to commercially log and burn older forest in the Cottage Grove Ranger District. We believe that insufficient consideration was given to the presence of imperiled spotted owls and red tree voles, both species dependent on older forests to survive. We met up with Reed Wilson from NEST (Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team) and the Benton Forest Coalition, and he walked us through how to survey for red tree voles.  Surveyors use a crossbow or a bow to shoot a line over large lateral branches and then climb up around 200 feet to look for red tree voles nests.

When the Forest Service conducted surveys, it reported only a couple abandoned red tree vole nests and dismissed the project area as unimportant for the species. Reed and his team over the course of a year found more than 70 active nests in the same areas. The Forest Service has now changed its tune, arguing that these forests are excellent vole habitat and because the species is thriving, there is no need to protect the voles in the Quartz Timber Sale area. 

Needless to say that the work that Reed and NEST do is imperative to the protection and understanding of these treasured old growth forest ecosystems. We are incredibly lucky to have them helping us defend Cascadia’s wild ecosystems in the forest, in the courts, and in the streets.  We will keep you posted on the Quartz Timber Sale.

Check out this short video on the red tree vole survey process!

Aug07

Deep Thoughts with Cascadia’s Summer Interns

Cascadia Raft Trip

Corinne Milinovich and Kristen Sabo, 2017 Summer Legal Interns

The 2017 Cascadia Wildlands summer was filled with countless Oregon adventures, great conversations, and monumental educational growth for us both. We had the privilege of drafting complaints and settlement memos, executing public information requests, drafting litigation memos, refining our legal research skills, drafting a northern spotted owl uplisting petition, and sitting in on settlement meetings and objection resolution meetings with government agencies. 

We were lucky enough to table for Cascadia Wildlands at multiple Oregon events, including the Northwest String Summit bluegrass festival outside of Portland and the Oregon Country Fair. We connected with new and old Cascadia Wildlands supporters, discussed the LNG pipeline, wolf populations in Oregon, and the Elliott State Forest victory.

Overall the summer was a huge success, and there were many highlights for both of us. In particular, the settlement meetings and legal drafting stood out. It was such a privilege to be at the table during the settlement meetings. Those experiences are truly invaluable and instrumental to our growth and understanding of the environmental legal world.

Throughout the summer, Nick gave us the opportunity to experience the Cascadia Wildlands litigation process on multiple levels and see full circle how an environmental lawsuit is successfully executed. As up-and-coming environmental lawyers, this summer internship has shaped our future, reinforcing our chosen career paths.
Our summer legal internship with Cascadia Wildlands allowed us to be present for tangible environmental victories, including but not limited to: saving the Elliott State Forest, preventing old-growth timber from being cut, preserving endangered species habitat and the passing of a suction dredge reform bill that prohibited suction dredging in essential salmonid habitat.

These victories, conversations with Cascadia supporters, and our expanded knowledge of the environmental legal world will guide us into our next year of law school. It was truly an honor to be a part of the Cascadia Wildlands family, this summer was an invaluable experience. A big thank you to Nick, Josh, Gabe, Kaley, Luke, and the Cascadia Wildlands community for an unforgettable summer!

Aug03

Oregon Killing Harl Butte Wolf Pack

August 3, 2017

For Immediate Release

Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, nick@cascwild.org(314) 482-3746

Oregon Killing Wolves Again in Imnaha Pack Territory

Harl Butte Pack Targeted in Response to Depredations on Forest Service Lands

Today, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife signed a kill order for the Harl Butte  Pack in Northeastern Oregon.  The Harl Butte Pack territory largely overlaps with the former territory of the Imnaha Pack which was killed last year by the Department.  The kill order comes in response to two recent conflicts with cows on public National Forests, where one calf was confirmed killed by wolves. 

"Cascadia Wildlands is disgusted that the Department is moving to kill wolves again in the Imnaha pack territory," said Nick Cady with Cascadia Wildlands. "It is becoming painfully obvious from every experience in Oregon and Washington that killing wolves leads to more conflict down the line and does not address the problem.  We are setting ourselves up for a perpetual cycle where we are throwing away public dollars and needlessly killing a still-recovering species."

The Department is operating under a wolf plan last updated in 2010.  The Department is obligated to update its plan every five years, but delayed this update to push forward the removal of wolves from the state list of endangered species.  This delisting decision is currently being litigated and was heavily criticized by Oregonians and the scientific community. 

"The Department is killing wolves under an outdated wolf plan, the revision of which is approaching three years overdue.  The Department has released a draft of this plan with a science update that calls into serious question the efficacy of killing wolves to prevent conflicts with livestock.  It is ridiculous that the Department is prioritizing killing wolves prior to finalizing a sound management policy."

The request for the kill order came from Oregon's livestock industry, which has recently argued in court that wolves are an invasive species.  The recent wolf-livestock conflicts occurred on public Forest Service lands, where grazing is heavily subsidized by the federal government.  

"This kill order is wrong and simply another aimless gift to the commercial livestock industry already bloated on public subsidies.  There are just over a hundred wolves confirmed in Oregon, and population growth this past year was stagnant.  The mission of the Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect recovering native species, not to meaninglessly pander to large commercial industries pushing for wolf eradication."

The kill order can be found here.

Jul20

Washington to Kill Wolves

WDFW NEWS RELEASE 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

July 20, 2017

Contact: Donny Martorello, (360) 902-2521

WDFW plans to take lethal action to change wolf pack's behavior

OLYMPIA – State wildlife managers plan to remove members of a wolf pack that has repeatedly preyed on livestock in Stevens County since 2015.

Jim Unsworth, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) authorized his staff to take lethal action against the Smackout wolf pack, based on four occasions where wolves preyed on livestock since last September.

Unsworth said that action, set to begin this week, is consistent with Washington's Wolf Management Plan of 2011, which authorizes WDFW to take lethal measures to address repeated attacks on livestock.

It is also consistent with the department's policy that allows removing wolves if they prey on livestock three times in a 30-day period or four times in a 10-month period, said Donny Martorello, WDFW's lead wolf manager.

That policy was developed last year by WDFW and its 18-member Wolf Advisory Group, which represents the concerns of environmentalists, hunters, and livestock ranchers.

"The purpose of this action is to change the pack's behavior, while also meeting the state's wolf-conservation goals," Martorello said. "That means incrementally removing wolves and assessing the results before taking any further action."

The Smackout pack is one of 20 wolf packs documented in Washington state by WDFW in 2016. At that time, the pack was estimated to consist of eight wolves, but it has since produced an unknown number of pups.

Martorello noted that the state's wolf population is growing at a rate of about 30 percent each year.

The pack's latest depredation on livestock was discovered July 18 by an employee of the livestock owner who found an injured calf with bite marks consistent with a wolf attack in a leased federal grazing area.

During the previous month, the rancher reported to WDFW that his employee had caught two wolves in the act of attacking livestock and killed one of them. The department has since determined that those actions were consistent with state law, which allows livestock owners and their employees to take lethal action to protect their livestock in areas of the state where wolves are no longer listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Over the past two months, radio signals from GPS collars attached to two of the pack's members have indicated that those wolves were frequently within a mile of that site during the previous two months, Martorello said.

"This rancher has made concerted efforts to protect his livestock using non-lethal measures," Martorello said. "Our goal is to change the pack's behavior before the situation gets worse.

Since 2015, WDFW has documented that wolves have killed three calves and injured three others in the same area of Stevens County.

Gray wolves are classified as "endangered" under Washington state law, but are no longer protected in the eastern third of the state under the federal Endangered Species Act. The state's wolf plan sets population recovery objectives and outlines methods for minimizing wolf-livestock conflicts

For more information on WDFW's action, see Update on Washington Wolves at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/.

WDFW's Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/livestock/action_criteria.html.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/reasonable_request.html.

Jul17

Field Checking the Quartz Timber Sale

 
The Quartz Timber Sale is an 847-acre logging project set to take place on our public lands in the Umpqua National Forest on the Cottage Grove Ranger District.  The proposed sale will commercially log and then burn forests up to 130 years in age.  Folks here at Cascadia were concerned about the potential short thrift given to the presence of northern spotted owls and red tree voles, both imperiled, old-forest dependent species.  We decided to get into the woods and see for ourselves what this patch of forest had to offer.
 
On our ground-truthing mission, we snaked our way through low elevation young forest.  As the road tangled its way through the trees and climbed in elevation, we came to a more traversable and level section of ground.  There we were able to hike through older parcels of the forest, lumbering around creek ravines and marveling at the larger old-growth trees that bared the scars of long-forgotten fires.  The combination of old-growth trees and younger trees creates a habitat that is ideal to many native Oregon species, including owls and voles. 
 
We concluded that it would be a shame to see these beautiful sections of forests heavily logged and roaded to facilitate commercial timber harvest on our public lands.  We hope you folks feel the same, and we encourage all of you to check out the sale yourselves.  Details on the Quartz Timber Sale are available here on the Forest Service website. Feel free to let the Forest Service know how you feel about this project.
 
Luke Mobley, Cascadia Summer Intern
Apr11

Press Release: Oregon Wolf Recovery Stagnant in 2016, Changes to Wolf Plan Concern Wolf Advocates

For immediate release
April 11, 2017
Contact: Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, 314-482-3746
 
Today the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife released its 2016 annual report for wolf recovery as well as its draft update to the Oregon Wolf Plan. Of particular interest, the annual report shows that wolf packs and breeding pairs documented in the state 2016 declined from 2015 numbers. Pack numbers dropped from 12 to 11, and breeding pairs from 11 to 8. (The state of Oregon defines “breeding pair” as a breeding adult male and female wolf that produce at least two pups which survive through the end of the year.) Overall population numbers in 2016 were largely stagnant from 2015, seeing a 2% uptick to a minimum of 112 wolves.
 
A number of proposed changes to the Oregon Wolf Plan are strongly opposed by Cascadia Wildlands, including the use of Wildlife Services’ involvement in wolf management in the state. The federal program housed under the US Department of Agriculture has been subject intense public backlash and litigation for its barbaric practices used against targeted wildlife, including the use of M-44 cyanide devices which eject lethal poison into the mouths of wolves, coyotes and even family pets.
 
Another significant concern in the draft update to the Wolf Plan is the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s provision to kill wolves as response to wolf conflict with ungulates, like deer and elk. Science has shown that the main driver of ungulate health is habitat conditions, not wolves.
 
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is expected to adopt changes to the Wolf Plan at its April 21 meeting in Klamath Falls.
 
Nick Cady, Legal Director at Cascadia Wildlands, issues the following statements on the draft changes to the Oregon Wolf Plan and the results of the 2016 annual report:
 
“While the wolf population in Oregon has begun to rebound in recent years, 2016 numbers show otherwise. This is alarming, and the trend provides all the more reason to strengthen safeguards for wolves during the Wolf Plan update, which will allow them to continue back on the historic path toward recovery.”
 
“We are incredibly discouraged with the provisions in this plan to kill wolves in response to conflict with ungulates, like deer and elk.  A consistent body of science has shown that the main driver of ungulate health is habitat conditions, not carnivore predation.”
 
"We are resoundingly opposed to the State’s utilization of Wildlife Services in the plan, specifically this shadowy agency's role in determining whether or not wolves were responsible for depredations on livestock.  These are critical investigations, and the lives of wolves hinge on their integrity.  In the past, Wildlife Services has grossly overestimated depredations attributed to wolves in Oregon, thereby showing their long-held bias toward livestock interests and against wolves. This agency has no place in carnivore management in Oregon, and we will continue to fight to have them eliminated from this critical function in the revised Plan."
 
“Cascadia Wildlands is encouraged by the state of Oregon’s continued focus on pro-active, non lethal measures to prevent conflicts between wolves and livestock before they happen. Non-lethal tools and access to them are essential to creating co-existence between wolves and humans.”
                                                           ####
 
 
Mar14

Cascadia Goes to Court to Defend Wolf Protections in California

For Immediate Release, March 14, 2017
 
Contacts:      
 
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, (541) 434-1463, nick@cascwild.org
Amaroq Weiss, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 779-9613, aweiss@biologicaldiversity.org
Greg Loarie, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2000, gloarie@earthjustice.org
Tom Wheeler, Environmental Protection Information Center, (707) 822-7711, tom@wildcalifornia.org
Joseph Vaile, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, (541) 488-5789, joseph@kswild.org
 
Conservation Groups Oppose Effort to Remove Wolf Protections in California
Organizations Seek Intervention on Industry Challenge to Endangered Status
 

SAN FRANCISCO— Four conservation groups filed a motion today to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to remove California Endangered Species Act protections from wolves. The lawsuit, against the state Fish and Wildlife Commission, was brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation and wrongly alleges that wolves are ineligible for state protection. 

The intervenors — Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Protection Information Center, and Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center — are represented by Earthjustice.

“Pacific Legal Foundation’s lawsuit is baseless,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s West Coast wolf organizer. “Gray wolves were senselessly wiped out in California and deserve a chance to come back and survive here. We’re intervening to defend the interests of the vast majority of Californians who value wolves and want them to recover.”

Brought on behalf of the California Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau Federation, the lawsuit alleges that wolves are ineligible for state protection because wolves returning to the state are supposedly the wrong subspecies, which only occurred intermittently in California at the time of the decision and are doing fine in other states.

Each of these arguments has major flaws. UCLA biologist Bob Wayne found that all three currently recognized subspecies of wolves occurred in California. Also — importantly — there is no requirement that recovery efforts focus on the same subspecies, rather than just the species. The fact that wolves were only intermittently present actually highlights the need for their protection, and the California Endangered Species Act is rightly focused on the status of species within California, not other states.  

“The gray wolf is an icon of wildness in the American West, and its return to California after almost 100 years is a success story we should celebrate,” said Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie. “Stripping wolves of protection under the California Endangered Species Act at this early stage in their recovery risks losing them again, and we’re not going to let that happen.”

The four intervening groups petitioned for endangered species protections for wolves in February 2012. After receiving two California Department of Fish and Wildlife reports, scientific peer review assessment of those reports, thousands of written comments submitted by the public and live testimony at multiple public meetings, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to protect gray wolves in June 2014.

State protection makes it illegal to kill a wolf, including in response to livestock depredations — a major issue for the livestock industry. But despite the industry’s concerns, a growing body of scientific evidence shows nonlethal deterrence measures are more effective and less expensive than killing wolves. In addition, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has been allocated federal funding that can be used for nonlethal conflict-deterrence measures and to compensate ranchers for livestock losses to wolves, which make up a very small fraction of livestock losses.

“The cattle industry has made clear that it views wolves as pests and that they filed suit to allow killing of wolves,” said Tom Wheeler, executive director at the Environmental Protection Information Center. “Wolves are a vital part of American’s wilderness and natural heritage, helping to restore balance to our ecosystems by regulating elk and deer populations. The path to restoring wolves is through protecting fragile recovering populations.”

Wolves once ranged across most of the United States, but were trapped, shot and poisoned to near extirpation largely on behalf of the livestock industry. Before wolves began to return to California in late 2011 — when a single wolf from Oregon known as wolf OR-7 ventured south — it had been almost 90 years since a wild wolf was seen in the state. Before OR-7 the last known wild wolf in California, killed by a trapper in Lassen County, was seen in 1924.

Since 2011 California’s first wolf family in nearly a century, the seven-member Shasta pack, was confirmed in Siskiyou County in 2015, and a pair of wolves was confirmed in Lassen County in 2016. An additional radio-collared wolf from Oregon has crossed in and out of California several times since late 2015.

 
Cascadia Wildlands educates, agitates, and inspires a movement to protect and restore Cascadia's wild ecosystems. We envision vast old-growth forests, rivers full of wild salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia bioregion.
Mar01

Oregon Wolf Recovery Chronology

2017
 
 
August 25, 2017:  ODFW has killed a fourth wolf in the Harl Butte Pack, a non-breeding female. They now believe the pack to number six adults and at least three pups.
 
August 23, 2017:  Both the Harl Butte Pack and the Meecham Pack in NE Oregon have been involved in      livestock depredations and ODFW is undertaking lethal take of some pack members in both instances.
To date, ODFW has killed three wolves from the Harl Butte Pack. More detailed information can be found here.
 
July 6, 2017:  OR-7 is officially a grandfather! California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) trapped and collared a 75 pound female gray wolf. It was evident that she had pups this past spring. A trail cam in the area caught the two adults and three pups on camera. Genetic data acquired through scat testing on the Lassen Pack in northern California reveals that the male of the pair is from the Rogue Pack  (OR-7 and his mate).
 
June 2017: Echo, a gray wolf who made an epic 500-mile journey in search of a mate, became the first wolf to visit the Grand Canyon in 70 years. In less than a few months she was gunned down by a hunter whose crime went unpunished. A lawsuit by conservation ally, WildEarth Guardians challenged and overturned the Government’s nearly 20-year-old McKittrick Policy, which required authorities to prove a hunter knew s/he was shooting an animal protected by the Endangered Species Act before being prosecuted. Now, when hunters shoot first and ask questions later the government can prosecute them if they kill endangered species. 
 
June 8, 2017:  ODFW Commission meets to discuss Wolf Plan. They discuss a variety of policy issues related to the Draft Wolf Plan. The Commission asks staff to explore adopting different standards for lethal control consideration when depredations are on public vs private land. There is no set a date for final adoption of a Wolf Plan.
 
May 26, 2017:  OR-7 caught on trail camera carrying food in his mouth. He is now 8 years old.
 
May 24, 2017:  Interesting interview with Brenda Peterson, writer and wildlife advocate, called “Back From the Brink: ‘Wolf Nation’.
 
May 23, 2017:  OR42 found dead in Wallowa County. It is probable she was the breeding female
of the Chesnimnus Pack.
 
May 19, 2017:  Oregon ranchers ask for local authority to determine wolf kills.
 
 
April 21, 2017:   ODFW holds its public hearing on the proposed changes to the Wolf Management Plan.
 
April 10, 2017:   Wolves who are occupying territory previously occupied by the Imnaha Pack have been officially named the Harl Butte Pack. A radio collar was put on a male in that pack in February .
 
 
2016
November 2, 2016:  California Department of Fish & Wildllife has confirmed the presence of two gray wolves in Lassen County. DNA samples confirm that the male is a two-year old who dispersed from the Rogue Pack. The female is not genetically related to wolves from Oregon, which is great news for the gene pool and genetic diversity.
 
OR-17 with a 2013 pup of the Imnaha pack. Photo by ODFW.

OR-17 with a 2013 pup of the Imnaha pack. Photo by ODFW.

August 4, 2016:  OR-33 continues to inhabit the areas of SE Jackson and SW Klamath counties. This is the same area inhabited by the Keno pair. OR33 is still traveling solo, so it is likely he’ll head to another area in search of a mate.
 
July 28, 2016:  Summer pup surveys done by ODFW and USFWS have shown at least two pups for the Rogue Pack caught on trail cameras.
 
In addition, it has been revealed that OR-28, a three year old female who dispersed from the Mt. Emily Pack has paired up with OR-3, an eight year old male from the Imnaha Pack in 2011. It is believed they produced one pup this year.
 
July 21 , 2016:  Since January 2016, two wolves have been photographed occasionally in the area previously used by the Umatilla River Pack. In late June, reproduction was confirmed via remote camera photographs of two pups. The AKWA map  shows the area typically used by wolves north of the Umatilla River where they are confined by geographic features and established neighboring wolf packs. Biologists will continue monitoring activities to learn more about these wolves.
 
July 21, 2016:  In early March 2016, four wolves were found within the traditional Imnaha Pack wintering area.  A 10-month-old pup was radio-collared and released.  That wolf dispersed from the area in mid-April.  DNA analysis showed that the wolf was not related to any Imnaha Pack wolves, likely indicating that a new group of wolves were using the area.  What is now believed to be the entire Imnaha Pack was removed in late March 2016 in response to chronic depredation.  As of July, resident wolf activity has been documented again in the area.  Biologists will continue monitoring activities to learn more about these wolves.
 
July 6, 2016:  Oregon Court of Appeals allows lawsuit against ODFW to go forward.
 
June 28, 2016:  Since May 2016, radio-collar locations show OR-30 primarily using a large area in the Starkey and Ukiah Units that he also frequented in summer 2015.  He also infrequently visits the Mt Emily Unit and is believed to be alone.
 
June 22, 2016:  OR-33 sighted by numerous people near Ashland.
 
June 2016:  Updated scat analysis on the Shasta Pack in California reveals that both the breeding male and female were born into the Imnaha Pack in NE Oregon. The pack also consists of one female and three male pups.
 
May 2, 2016:  Cascadia Wildlands files an ethics complaint to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission alleging false statements and misrepresentations by state legislators which led to the passage of HB4040. This bill legislatively removes gray wolves from the state endangered species list.
 
May 2, 2016:  OR-33 is tracked by USFWS to be near La Pine in central Oregon. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in November 2015 and has since traveled though 13 counties in Oregon.
 
April 26, 2016:  OR-37, an adult male, was radio collared in January 2016.  He crossed the Snake River to Idaho within 3 weeks, and later returned to Oregon at the end of March.  He has since used the area shown on the AKWA map and appears to be alone.
 
April 12, 2016:  Guest editorial by scientist, Adrian Treves, in Eugene Register-Guard that criticizes ODFW delisting decision. 
 
April 5, 2016:  OR-7, whose radio collar died in 2015, is seen on a trail camera for the first time since last year in a remote area of Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest.
 
April 1, 2016:  OR-29 and OR-36 have been traveling together since February, 2016. OR-29 is a radio-collared male that dispersed from the Meacham pack in December 2015. OR-36 is a radio-collared female collared in the neighboring South Snake pack, who appears to have dispersed also.
 
Walla Walla pack wolf in 2014. Photo by ODFW.

Walla Walla pack wolf in 2014. Photo by ODFW.

March 31, 2016:  ODFW guns down four members of the Imnaha Pack  for livestock depredation: OR-4, the alpha male of the pack and the father of OR-7 (Journey), OR-39, the likely pregnant alpha female of the pack, along with two of their yearling offspring. Four members of the pack remain. OR-4 was instrumental in wolf recovery in Oregon. He and his original mate, OR-2, created what became known as the Imnaha pack back in 2008. Since then he has fathered countless pups, all of whom inherited his strong, tenacious and vibrant genes.
 
A beautiful eulogy for OR-4.
 
One more eulogy.
 
Another remembrance of this magnificent wolf.
 
Article about killing of Imnaha pack in relation to state wolf plan.
 
Another commentary.
 
March 2016:  Oregon State Police continue to investigate wolf poaching cases from 2015. [OR-34 was shot in Sept. 2015 and OR-31 was shot in December 2015]
 
March 2016:  Gov. Kate Brown signs HB4040 making the ODFW delisting decision a state law and preventing the lawsuit brought against ODFW from proceeding. Guest editorial in response published in the Eugene Register-Guard.
 
February 29, 2016:  Annual ODFW Wolf Report for 2015 released today shows 110 known wolves in the state comprised of 12 packs, four pairs of wolves traveling together and four individual wolves. Eleven successful breeding pairs had at least 35 known pups that survived through the end of 2015. [A breeding pair is considered to be adult make and female with at least two pups that survive to the end of the year that they were born.]  A copy of the ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
Feb. 3, 2016:  Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the federal wildlife-killing program, Wildlife Services, in any future attempts to kill Oregon’s remaining wolves.
 
February 2016:  Oregon State legislature passes HB4040, a shocking move that ratifies into law the ODFW delisting decision and sets dangerous precedent by removing the public’s right to demand accountability of state agencies.
 
February 2016:  OR-33, a two-year old male who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack last month, is now in Klamath County. He seems to be traveling solo and since dispersing has made his way west into the Columbia Gorge, south into the Ochoco Mountains, moving through Fort Rock Valley and then heading south to the east side of the Cascades in Klamath County.
 
January 7. 2016:  OR-25 who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in March of 2015 is documented in Modoc County, California.
 
January 2016:  In late 2015, OR-28, a 2 year-old female from the Mt. Emily Pack dispersed to Umatilla County and then traveled on to the area of Klamath and Lake Counties. There is evidence of another wolf using this area. [To see a map of wolf territories in Oregon, see page 7 of the 2015 ODFW Wolf Report]
 
January 2016:  ODFW has designated the Shamrock Pack in NE Oregon, originally called the Chesnimnus Pair. OR-23, a female from the Umatilla River Pack, and a male wolf produced three pups that survived through 2015.
 
2015
December 23, 2015:  OR-31, a yearling of the Mt. Emily Pack, is shot by a poacher near the boundary of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
 
December 2015:  A legal challenge has been filed by Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild to contest the removal of state endangered species protections for gray wolves by the ODFW Commission in November. The suit states that the decision was not based on verifiable, best available science and that Oregon’s wolves are not recovered and thus, it is too soon to remove protections.
 
December 2015:  OR-28 has been detected in Lake County. She spent time in Klamath County last month.
Another wolf is in the same area as OR-28, a two-year old female from the Mt. Emily Pack in Umatilla County, as documented by this ODFW trail camera.
 
November 20, 2015:  ODFW updates their list of non-lethal measures to minimize wolf-livestock conflict.
 
November 10, 2015:  The ODFW Commission votes 4-2 to remove endangered species protections for Oregon's wolves. Commissioners Greg Wolley and Laura Anderson are the only ones to vote against the delisting. Over 90% of public comments submitted were overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining protections. More than twenty wildlife scientists submitted extensive testimony; all stating that removing protections would be premature.
 
October 29, 2015:  Scientists slam Oregon’s ‘fundamentally flawed’ proposal to strip wolves of state endangered species protections.
 
October 28, 2015:  OR-7’s radio collar is no longer functioning.
 
October 9, 2015:  Thousands of people submit written testimony, many show up in person to testify and more than twenty scientists submit detailed testimony at the ODFW Commission hearing to express their outrage at the possible delisting of wolves from the state endangered species list.
 
October 2015:  Scat analysis reveals that the alpha female of the Shasta Pack in northern California dispersed from the Imnaha Pack.
 
October 2015:  OR-22 was shot by a hunter who believed the radio-collared animal with ear tags was a coyote. The hunter turned himself in and was later fined, ordered to pay restitution and forfeit his rifle to the state.
 
October 2015:  OR-3, one of the brothers of OR-7 who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in May 2011, has been documented in Central Oregon. He had not been seen since his dispersal.
 
September 2015:  OR-34, a female from the Walla Walla Pack, is shot by a poacher.
 
August 2015:  California is home to its first wolf pack in over 90 years! Named the Shasta Pack, they are comprised of two adults and five pups. These wolves dispersed from Oregon and are living proof that wolves are returning to their historic ranges.
 
August 2015:  OR-25 is now in Klamath County. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in March this year. He is covering a lot of ground, as is common for dispersing wolves.
 
July 2015:  A trail camera/video from USFWF and ODFW show the yearling pups of the Rogue Pack playing. This brings the Rogue Pack to at least seven wolves, including five pups, OR-7 and his mate.
 
May 2015:  Cascadia Wildlands and Western Environmental Law Center file a Freedom of Information Act request to see all Forest Service plans for protecting wolves while selling off timber and building roads in Oregon and Washington’s national forests.
 
April, 2015:  OR- 25, a two-year old male, who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack last month is documented in southern Washington and then on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
 
February 2015:  Annual 2014 ODFW Wolf Report released this month shows 77 known wolves in the state comprised of nine packs, five pairs traveling together, and two individual wolves. There are eight documented breeding pairs that had 26 known pups that survived through the end of 2014. A copy of the ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
January 28, 2015:  ODFW announces it is moving into Phase II of the Wolf Management Plan in the eastern portion of Oregon when state wildlife biologists confirm there are seven breeding pairs in Oregon in 2014. This means livestock producers have more management flexibility in dealing with wolf-livestock conflict.
 
January 2015:  OR-7, his mate and almost yearling pups, three of whom survived the winter, have now been named the Rogue Pack.
 
2014
December 2014:  Wolves continue to be federally protected west of Oregon highways 395/78/95. Wolves east of this designated federal protection area are still protected under Oregon’s state Endangered Species Act. The state Wolf Plan sets a conservation population objective of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon. This is the first year this objective has been reached and thus entry into Phase 2 of the Wolf Plan begins. To review the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, click here.
 
By end of the year, nine packs are documented, eight in NE Oregon and one in SW Oregon) and includes two recently formed packs, the Meacham and Rogue Packs. Six new pairs of wolves were documented this year with a minimum total population estimated to be 77 wolves.
 
September 2014:  Genetic testing on scat samples reveal that OR-7’s mate likely comes from either the Snake River or Minam Pack.
 
July 2014:  It has been confirmed that OR-7 not only has a mate, but they have had their first litter of pups! The images via trail camera show OR-7, his mate and two pups. They are the first known wolves breeding in the Oregon Cascades in almost a century.
 
May 14, 2014:  CBC Radio interview with John Stephenson, ODFW wolf biologist about OR-7, his mate and probable pups.
 
May 2014:  This marks the third year in a row that ODFW has not killed any wolves for livestock depredation.
 
May 2014:  After traveling thousands of miles since his dispersal from the Imnaha Pack in December 2011, making his way into California and back up into Oregon, it appears that OR-7 may have found a mate. Trail cameras reveal a second wolf in the area where OR-7 is living. It was confirmed that she is female when the camera caught her squatting to pee.
 
February 2014:  The Wolf Conservation and Management Report is released by ODFW. Annual report for 2013 shows 64 known wolves in the state comprised of eight packs, four of whom include breeding pairs, and including two new packs (Mt. Emily and an unnamed pack in the Catherine Creek/Keating WMU). All packs are located in the far NE corner of the state. A copy of the 2013 ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
2013
December 31, 2013:  At the end of year, ODFW determines that there are seven packs, of which four are breeding pairs, plus three individual wolves, accounting for an approximate increase of 15 wolves in the overall population in the state.
 
December 2013:  Based on information from his radio collar, OR-7 took a day trip into northern California and then returned to Oregon.
 
August 30, 2013:  Conflict Deterrence Plan released for the Umatilla River Pack. Under new wolf management rules, ODFW and livestock producers are required to develop and publicly disclose Conflict Deterrence Plans in Areas of Depredating Wolves.
 
July 30, 2013:  There are two documented pups for the Mt. Emily Pack. As of today, there are pups confirmed in the Imnaha, Minam, Mt. Emily, Snake River, Umatilla River, Walla Walla and Wenaha Packs!
 
July 2013:  ODFW officially passes the new administrative rules that amend the management of wolves in Oregon.
 
May 30, 2013:  It is determined that the cause of death of OR-19 is complications related to canine parvovirus. This disease is common amongst domestic dogs, but can also affect coyotes, foxes and wolves. It is the first documented case of parvovirus in Oregon wolves.
 
May 28, 2013:  In relation to the court-ordered stay issued by the Oregon Court of Appeals in October 2011, administrative rule changes in the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan have been agreed upon. During 2012, all parties (ODFW, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, and the Center for Biological Diversity) were in negotiations on changes to rules in regards to lethal control of wolves.
 
The rule changes included agreement on the following (CBD withdrew from negotiations in fall of 2012):
1. Before ODFW can employ lethal controls, it must confirm four qualifying incidents within a six-month period.
2. Requires the development and public disclosure of wolf-livestock conflict deterrence plans that can be implemented by livestock producers.
3. Requires that these non-lethal measures be implemented prior to a depredation in order for the depredation incident to qualify for lethal control.
4. Adds a rule that any ODFW lethal control decision lasts for a 45 day period.
Rules changes in their entirety can be read here.
 
May 19, 2013:  OR-19, a female from the Wenaha Pack who had been collared six days previously, is found dead of unknown cause.
 
March 2013:  OR-7 returns to Oregon from California and is seen in Jackson County.
 
February 2013:  Annual ODFW Wolf Report for 2012 released this month shows 46 known wolves in the state comprised of one non-breeding pair, two individuals and six packs that produced at least 22 pups that survived through the end of 2012. All packs are living in the far NE corner of the state. A copy of the 2012 ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
2012
December 31, 2012: The court-ordered stay issued by the Oregon Court of Appeals on Oct. 2, 2011 preventing the lethal removal of depredating wolves remains in effect pending resolution of litigation filed by Cascadia Wildlands and allies challenging the Commission’s authority to authorize the killing of listed wolves under the Commission’s “chronic depredation” take rules.
 
December 21, 2012: Coinciding with the year anniversary of OR-7 setting paw in California, the Pacific Wolf Coalition is formed. Comprised of twenty-five wildlife conservation, education and protection organizations in California, Oregon and Washington, they are committed to envisioning populations of wolves restored over their historic habitats in numbers that allow them to re-establish their critical role in nature and ensure their long-term survival.
 
December 19, 2012: OR-16, a 1½ year old wolf from the Walla Walla Pack crossed into Idaho. He was shot by a poacher in Idaho less than a month later.
 
December 2012: OR-7 spent much of this year in California, becoming the first documented wolf in that state in 90 years.
 
November 2012: DNA analysis of scat confirms that OR-12 is the breeding male of the Wenaha Pack. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack and is the first wolf born into a pack in Oregon who dispersed and successfully bred with another pack in Oregon.
 
September 2012: ODFW confirmed pups for the Walla Walla Pack documenting two black pups traveling with the pack. OR-10 and OR-11 are also traveling with this pack bringing the pack number to 10 wolves (8 adults, 2 pups).
 
August 31, 2102: A new wolf pack, including a pair of adults and five gray pups, have been observed in the Upper Minam River drainage area.
 
August 2012: A survey on US Forest Service land southeast of Joseph revealed at least six pups for the Imnaha Pack this year.
In addition, the Wenaha Pack now have seven documented pups. The Umatilla Pair have at least two pups, which makes them an official pack now.
 
July 2012: The Snake River Pack has at least three adults and three pups. Here is video footage of the pup howling and the pack returning the howl. This is a major way in which the packs communicate with each other.
 
June 2012: There are four pups observed for the Imnaha Pack for this year.
Biologists also confirm at least four pups in the Wenaha Pack.
 
May 4, 2012: As of today, based on state government data, 254 wolves have been shot and 124 have been trapped in Idaho this hunting season. In Montana, 166 wolves have been killed this season.
 
May 2, 2012: The wolf found dead in early March near Cove, Oregon in Union County is  confirmed to be a poaching by Oregon State Police and ODFW. The investigation of the crime continues. Genetic testing showed the wolf was from the Imnaha Pack.
 
April 17, 2012: OR-7 returns to California.
 
March 14, 2012: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the district court ruling and allows the delisting of gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain states of Montana and Idaho (wolves are still listed in Wyoming due to the state's egregious management plan). Gray wolf hunting resumes.
 
March 7, 2012: Bill to overturn the ban on killing Oregon's endangered gray wolves is defeated in Salem.  Cascadia Wildlands and allies spent considerable time in Salem educating policy makers and testifying against this the reckless legislation.
 
March 1, 2012: OR-7 crosses back over into Oregon and is spending time in Klamath and Douglas counties.
 
February 2, 2012: Oregon Cattlemen's Associationbrings a bill to the state legislature to overturn the recently issued injunction that prohibits killing Oregon's endangered gray wolves.
 
2011
December 30, 2011: OR-7, or Journey, makes his way into California from Oregon, becoming the first wolf to return to the state in nearly 80 years. 
 
December 28, 2011: Oregon's four known wolf packs, the Imnaha, Wenaha, Walla Walla and Snake River packs, all had pups this past year. Oregon currently has approximately 29 confirmed wolves in the state according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. A copy of the entire ODFW 2011 Wolf Report can be viewed here.
 
December 12, 2011: Dispersing Imnaha Pack wolf, known as OR-7 (Journey), travels 730 miles  to southwest Oregon searching for mate and territory.
 
November 14, 2011: Oregon Court of Appeals extends ban on killing endangered Oregon wolves.
 
November 1, 2011: OR-7, who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in September is located in the Umpqua National Forest. This marks the first confirmed wolf in the Oregon Cascades in over 60 years.
 
October 5, 2011: Oregon Court of Appeals grants emergency stay of execution of two Imnaha Pack wolves.
 
October 5, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a legal challenge in state court to immediately halt the state killing of two of the remaining four Imnaha Pack wolves.  A memo on our lawsuit is sent to Governor Kitzhaber and key legislators.
 
September 26, 2011: At least two pups documented in the Walla Walla Pack by ODFW.
 
September 23, 2011: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife issues a kill order for the alpha male (pack leader) and a yearling in the Imnaha Pack after a confirmed livestock depredation near Joseph, OR, deeming the situation as "chronic."
 
June 6, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies send a letter to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife about the recent lethal control of two Imnaha Pack wolves, kill order for up to two more wolves, and the issuance of 24 "caught in the act" kill permits to private landowners.
 
May 18, 2011: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife kills second Imnaha Pack wolf in the past three days after attributing recent livestock depredations in Wallowa County to the pack.
 
May 3, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a legal challenge against US Fish and Wildlife Service's order to kill two Imnaha pack wolves. The kill order is issued after the death of a calf on May 1st  in Wallowa County is confirmed as a wolf kill.
 
April 14, 2011: Congress legislatively delists gray wolves in the northern Rockies from the Endangered Species Act as part of a rider attached to the federal budget bill. In addition to removing federal protections in Montana and Idaho, the unprecedented action also strips protections for wolves in eastern Oregon, eastern Washington and northern Utah. The delisting will likely mean sport hunting for wolves in Montana and Idaho this fall.
 
March 30, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands presents testimony in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the Oregon Legislature on a number of bills affecting Oregon's recovering gray wolf population.
 
March 18, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and eight co-plaintiffs settle our legal challenge to the Obama administration's Northern Rocky Mountains gray wolf delisting from the Endangered Species Act.
 
March 1, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands delivers a memo to all 90 Oregon legislators describing anti-wolf bills that have been introduced into the 76th session in Salem.
 
March 1, 2011: Yearling female from Oregon's Imnaha pack is  found dead. The cause of the death of the collared wolf is unclear.
 
2010
December 2010: Idaho and Montana senators propose to legislate delisting of gray wolves in the Rockies.
 
October 8, 2010: Conservation groups offer $7,500 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the person/s responsible for killing an endangered gray wolf from the Wenaha Pack in eastern Oregon.
 
August 5, 2010: Federal district court judge Donald Malloy in Missoula rules in favor of Cascadia Wildlands' lawsuit challenging the government's delisting of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act in the northern Rocky Mountains. Cascadia was one of 13 co-plaintiffs and was represented by Earthjustice in the case.
 
July 8, 2010: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a lawsuit and halt the hunt of members of Oregon's Imnaha wolf pack.
 
2009
Fall-Winter 2009: Over 250 gray wolves are killed in Montana and Idaho during sport hunts after wolves are delisted by the Obama administration.
 
September 8, 2009: Federal district court judge Donald Malloy in Missoula rules against Cascadia Wildlands' request for a Preliminary Injunction but suggested in his ruling that we are likely to succeed on the merits of the lawsuit. The lawsuit will likely be heard in early 2010.
 
September 5, 2009: Two wolves in Baker County's Keating Valley are killed after repeated depredations of livestock. The two wolves, which are apparently not part of an organized pack, represent approximately 20% of the known wolves in Oregon today.
 
June 2, 2009: Cascadia Wildlands and 12 conservation partners represented by Earthjustice legally challenge the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Idaho, Montana, and eastern Oregon and Washington.
 
April 2, 2009: The Obama administration's US Fish and Wildlife Service removes gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act, finalizing an effort initiated by the Bush administration. Idaho and Montana begin to plan a wolf hunting season.
 
2008
July 18, 2008: Federal District Court Judge Donald Malloy issues a preliminary injunction halting the gray wolf delisting in the Northern Rocky Mountains. This is not a ruling on the merits of the case, rather a placeholder while attorneys argue the claims.
 
April 28, 2008: Following up on its February 27 notice of intent to sue, Cascadia Wildlands and 11 co-plaintiffs file a lawsuit and preliminary injunction request to halt killing of gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Since the delisting occurred in March, dozens of wolves have been killed by sport hunters.
 
February 27, 2008: Represented by Earthjustice,  Cascadia Wildlands and 11 co-plaintiffs file a 60-day notice of intent to sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service over the removal of the Northern Rocky Mountains population of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act. The delisting will turn over management of the species to states in the inter-mountain West. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming all have management plans in place that would permit rampant killing of wolves.
Nov14

Coyote Killing Contest Placing Oregon’s Wolves in Crosshairs

Federal Agencies Urged to Halt Coyote-hunting Contest in Oregon’s Lake County
Contest Risks Killing Endangered Wolves, Breaking Wildlife Laws
 
PORTLAND, Ore.— Six wildlife conservation organizations representing nearly 212,000 Oregonians are calling on the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to stop a coyote-hunting contest planned for Nov. 19-20. The groups are concerned that in addition to being cruel and wasteful, the “Lake County Coyote Calling Derby” could result in killing of endangered gray wolves, in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
 
“This contest is unethical, cruel and risks violating federal law,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Wolves are fully federally protected throughout the entirety of Lake County, so federal wildlife and land management officials have a duty to do everything in their power to protect them.”
 
The hunting contest, which awards prizes for the most coyotes killed, is being sponsored by the Lake County chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association and by Robinson Heating and Cooling. The contest will take place on both Forest Service and BLM land, which cover large portions of Lake County. Despite this the contest organizers have not sought a required “special use permit.” Such a permit would trigger a review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because of the risk of killing federally protected wolves, which have been confirmed in Lake County by federal and state officials and are easily mistaken for coyotes.
 
“Coyote killing contests are nothing more than the indiscriminate, wanton slaughter of wildlife,” said Brooks Fahy, Executive Director of Eugene-based Predator Defense.  “Contest organizers often purport that killing coyotes will protect livestock and enhance prey populations like deer and elk.  Ironically, science is telling us just the opposite. When coyotes are killed, those that survive reproduce at higher levels.”
 
The conservation groups requested that both the Forest Service and BLM suspend the contest until permits are issued, the Fish and Wildlife Service has the opportunity to ensure no wolves will be harmed, and the public has the opportunity to comment.
 
“It is completely irresponsible for these federal agencies to allow a killing contest for an animal that closely resembles the endangered gray wolf in this region,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands. “Wolves are just beginning to establish a foothold in southwestern Oregon, and it would be tragic for that to be lost due to an overlooked coyote killing derby.”
 
Scott Beckstead, Oregon senior state director of The Humane Society of the United States said, “Killing contests are cruel, wasteful, and deeply at odds with the humane values of the vast majority of Oregonians. The event promotes a “shoot anything that moves” mentality and is bound to result in the killing of non target wildlife. We urge the USFS and BLM to deny permission for this event, and we urge the people of Oregon to demand that our state wildlife managers finally put an end to these festivals of cruelty.”
 
“Not only do these killing contest endanger a protected species,” said Wally Sykes, co-founder of Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, “but they are a symptom of a general disrespect for wildlife and a poor understanding of the complex relationships of prey and predator.”
 
The request was sent by Predator Defense, the Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, The Humane Society of the United States, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems and Oregon Wild.
 
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/
Predator Defense is a national nonprofit advocacy organization with over 15,000 supporters.  We have been working since 1990 to protect native predators and end America’s war on wildlife.  Our efforts take us into the field, onto America’s public lands, to Congress, and into courtrooms. http://www.predatordefense.org
 
Cascadia Wildlands defends and restores Cascadia’s wild ecosystems in the forests, in the courts, and in the streets. We envision vast old-growth forests, rivers full of salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia bioregion. Join our movement today.
 
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization. We and our affiliates provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and we professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. We are the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. We are driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade. http://www.humanesociety.org
 
Oregon Wild: Protecting Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife, and waters for future generations. http://www.oregonwild.org
 
Northeast Oregon Ecosystems works to protect and expand Oregon’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.

 

Oct07

Poll: Most Oregonians Oppose Hunting of Wolves, Favor Nonlethal Conflict Prevention

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2016
 
Contacts:
>Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, (314) 482-3746, nick@cascwild.org
>Amaroq Weiss, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 779-9613, aweiss@biologicaldiversity.org
>Catalina Tresky, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0253, ctresky@defenders.org
>Lia Cheek, Endangered Species Coalition, (617) 840-4983, lcheek@endangered.org
>Arran Robertson, Oregon Wild, (503) 283-6343 x 223, ar@oregonwild.org
>Lindsay Raber, Pacific Wolf Coalition, (928) 301-6321, coordinator@pacificwolves.org
 
PORTLAND, Ore.— A new poll conducted by Mason Dixon Polling and Research finds that the vast majority of Oregon voters — from both rural and urban areas — oppose using hunting as a management tool for wolves in the state and believe wildlife officials wrongly removed state protections from wolves. The poll also revealed that most Oregonians believe nonlethal methods should be the primary focus in reducing conflicts between wolves and livestock.  
 
Details of the poll results include the following:
 
•    72 percent oppose changing Oregon law to allow trophy hunting of wolves.
•    67 percent oppose hunting wolves as a tool to maintain deer and elk populations.
•    63 percent oppose Oregon’s removal last year of endangered species protections for wolves.
•    67 percent said they don’t believe wolves pose an economic threat to the cattle industry that necessitates killing wolves.
•    72 percent said nonlethal conflict prevention measures must be attempted before officials are allowed to kill wolves.
 
“It’s very encouraging — and far from surprising — that the survey indicates a broad majority of Oregonians believe we can, and should, find ways to coexist with wolves,” said Dr. Michael Paul Nelson, a professor at Oregon State University whose research focuses on ecosystems and society. “And it should be instructive to policymakers that these results demonstrate that people across the state — even in rural areas most affected by wolves — want our public policies on wolves to reflect the facts, not unsubstantiated rhetoric and opinions.”
 
The Oregon wolf conservation and management plan adopted by the state in 2005 is now belatedly undergoing a legally mandated five-year review. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is holding meetings, including one taking place today in La Grande and another on Dec. 2 in Salem, to accept public testimony on proposed updates to the plan. Conservation groups are calling for a revival of provisions that require clear, enforceable standards that helped reduce conflict from 2013 to 2015. The livestock industry and some in the hunting community are calling for policies that make it easier to kill wolves. In March Commission Chair Finley argued for allowing trophy hunts to fund conservation. Without revision the plan reduces protections for wolves, eliminates enforceable standards, and could allow hunting as soon as next year.
 
At the end of 2015, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed an estimated 110 wolves in the state, ranging across 12 percent of habitat defined by that agency as currently suitable. Published science indicates that Oregon is capable of supporting up to 1,450 wolves. The tiny population of wolves that currently exists occupies only around 8 percent of the animals’ full historic range in the state. Last year the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to strip wolves of protections under the state endangered species law, despite comments submitted by more than two dozen leading scientists highly critical of that decision. The commission’s decision is being challenged in court by Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild.
 
“It is clear from the feedback and analysis the state received that there was no scientific basis for delisting wolves in Oregon,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands and an attorney on the delisting case. “And to the extent that the state was responding to public wishes of Oregonians, this poll demonstrates that Oregonians did not support this premature delisting by the state.”
 
“Oregonians value wolves and feel that the state should be doing more to protect them, including resolving conflicts with livestock without resorting to guns and traps,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “With the state wolf plan review now underway, we hope the Fish and Wildlife Commission follows the science and refuses to make changes to the wolf plan based on fearmongering from those opposed to sharing our landscapes with wildlife.”
 
“Science shows that effective management of wolves does not involve hunting, and this poll clearly shows the people of Oregon stand with the science. We trust that any future management decisions made by the commission will represent the wishes of the people and current research,” said Danielle Moser of the Endangered Species Coalition.
 
“It's clear from the poll that Oregonians are in favor of conservation, not deputizing hunters to kill more wolves," said Arran Robertson, communications coordinator for Oregon Wild. “The idea that wolf-hunting is an appropriate tool to manage deer and elk populations is absurd. Rather than stooping to Oregon’s default policy of scapegoating and killing native wildlife, officials should focus on enforcing poaching laws and maintaining quality habitat.”
 
“Oregonians strongly support the recovery of wolves in our state,” said Quinn Read, Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “And they want to see common-sense management practices such as the use of nonlethal conflict prevention tools to allow wolves and people to share the landscape.”
“On behalf of the Pacific Wolf Coalition, we are pleased to hear from Oregonians,” said Lindsay Raber, coordinator for the Pacific Wolf Coalition. “This is an opportunity to learn from the public’s perspectives and values which will help inform and guide our continued efforts toward wolf recovery in the Pacific West states.”
 
The Pacific Wolf Coalition commissioned the poll, which was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research on 800 registered Oregon voters on Sept. 20-22, 2016. The margin of error is + or – 3.5 percent.
 
The mission of the Pacific Wolf Coalition is to optimize an alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting wolves in the Pacific West. Together we hold a common vision where wolves once again play a positive, meaningful, and sustainable role on the landscape and in our culture. For more information, visit www.pacificwolves.org.
 
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