Oregon Wild Statement on Proposal to Strip Protections from Gray Wolves

Several sources have reported the Obama administration is proposing a rule to remove endangered species protections from wolves across most of the lower-48 United States.

The proposed rule has yet to hit the federal register, but has already drawn strong criticism from prominent conservationists and scientists around the country. The proposal would affect the western two-thirds of Oregon where only one wolf (Journey / OR-7) is known to live.

Below is the statement of Rob Klavins, Wildlife Advocate for Oregon Wild:

Will the Real Conservationists Please Stand Up?

I am – quite literally – a card-carrying wildlife advocate (it's my job title). Though not everyone is as big a wildlife geek as I, I'm comfortable knowing I stand with the vast majority of Americans in valuing native wildlife.

I'm lucky to spend my days working to protect the wildlands, wildlife, and waters that play an irreplaceable role in maintaining our quality of life.

I just wish part of my job wasn't necessary.

One Thousand Wolves Killed In Western United States

The conservation group Oregon Wild is announcing that over 1,000 wolves have been legally killed for sport in the Western United States since they were stripped of federal protections in a 2011 congressional budget deal. At the time, the estimated wolf population in the region was between 1,700 and 2,000 animals.

Oregon Wolf Gunned Down in Idaho

Various sources have confirmed that an Oregon wolf known to biologists as OR-16 was killed Saturday near Lowman, Idaho. The wolf was fitted with a tracking collar by state biologists after being accidentally trapped last November. The 85-pound yearling male was in good health and later found to be a member of the Walla Walla Pack.

Idaho hunter shoots former Imnaha Pack wolf

EMMETT, Idaho - An Idaho hunter who apparently didn't realize his wolf tag was no longer valid shot and killed a collared male wolf from northeast Oregon's Imnaha Pack.

Rendezvous Reflections

Written by a participant in the 2011, Oregon Wild Wolf Rendezvous:

Last weekend, I was privileged to be able to take a journey to northeastern Oregon, where the first wolf pack to return to Oregon resides.  It is an area of great beauty, bounded by the majestic Wallowa Mountains and bordered by the amazing Zumwalt Prairie.  It is also an area of great controversy and contention, an area in which the main enterprise is cattle ranching, and in which many of the cattle ranchers are rabidly anti-wolf.

Hiking with wolves

I’ve spent a lot of time in wolf country and even more time advocating for wildlife in offices and meeting rooms. Still, I’ve never seen an adult wolf in the wild before. With only 21 wolves (now 20) in the state, not many Oregonians have. In fact, as our friend – photographer Joe Whittle pointed out, as far as we know, no one outside of ODFW has taken a picture of an Oregon wolf.

Oregon Wild Press Statement on Unconfirmed Wolf Poaching in Umatilla National Forest

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) confirmed with the Associated Press yesterday that a male gray wolf from the Wenaha Pack was found dead in the Umatilla National Forest. The wolf was fitted in early August with a radio collar to help agency officials track the movements of the pack – one of only two wolf packs known in Oregon. Oregon Wild has heard from multiple sources that the wolf from the Wenaha Pack was illegally shot and discovered on Thursday, September 30.

Finding Common Ground

The rural-urban divide may be as real in Oregon as anywhere in the United States, and the existence of native predators like wolves, cougars, and bears is just one of many potential flashpoints. Portland’s Forest Park may not be wild enough for wolves, moose, and cowboys. Enterprise may not be big enough for the Blazers, ballet, and hipsters. Still, Oregon is big enough for all of those things, and whether hunter or hippy, some things do unite us all – or should.

Let's not make it easier to kill wolves

Decades ago, wolves across the West were shot out of existence. Protected by their status as an endangered species, they've begun to make a comeback. Sadly, this fall they will again be running from bullets.

Already this year, poachers were caught red-handed in Washington after killing one of the first wolves to return to that state.

In Idaho, scientists and conservationists are fighting anti-wolf interests in court to stop a state-sponsored slaughter after the species was removed from federal protection.

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