For Immediate Release
19 Oregon Legislators tell ODFW: No Wolf Hunting
Today, the conservation organization Oregon Wild praised a group of 19 state lawmakers who sent letters to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission urging them to reject sport hunting and trapping when revising Oregon’s Wolf management plan. A proposal has been floated by ODFW staff to create a sport trapping and hunting program for these iconic animals, with just 110 wolves currently known to exist in the entire state.
From the letter:
Deputizing members of the public to hunt or trap wolves for ODFW is a slippery slope to an open hunting and trapping season. ODFW policies should reflect the values of the majority of Oregonians, many of whom do not hunt or fish. In fact, a recent Mason Dixon poll of 800 registered Oregon voters found 72% of Oregon voters oppose sport hunting of wolves. Opposition was even stronger in rural areas outside of the Willamette Valley, where 74% oppose sport hunting of wolves. Yet, the updated Wolf Plan could establish a precedent for a general hunting and trapping season that would greatly increase polarization and controversy over wolf management.
According to records obtained by Oregon Wild, some politicians and lobbyists from the livestock industry are urging the state to quickly adopt a wolf sport hunting season in order to reduce or eliminate wolf populations.
“Wolves were hunted, trapped, and poisoned into extinction in Oregon 70 years ago based on a campaign of fear and misinformation,” said Steve Pedery, Conservation Director for Oregon Wild. “It is good to see these 19 lawmakers standing up for science and reality-based wildlife management in Oregon.”
The letter comes a year after the passage of HB 4040, a bill that attempted to restrict Oregon citizen’s ability to challenge ODFW’s controversial decision to strip endangered species protection from wolves. A court challenge of that decision remains ongoing. When the bill was being debated in March of 2016, ODFW staff and backers of the bill denied plans to promote wolf hunting and trapping after endangered species protections were removed.