August 3, 2017
For Immediate Release
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"The Department is killing wolves under an outdated wolf plan, the revision of which is approaching three years overdue.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.