Oregon Wild Statement on Wolf Kill Orders
Below is the statement of Wildlands Advocate, Rob Klavins:
"The elimination of wolves is one of Oregon’s greatest environmental tragedies. Their recovery has the potential to be one of our greatest conservation success stories. Oregonians value our state’s wildlife and wild places. They welcome the chance to hear the howl of a wolf in the Eagle Cap and see the return of native wildlife as an opportunity to right the wrongs of the past. As wolves return to their place on the landscape, we should redouble our efforts to coexist with native wildlife.
"With only 23 confirmed wolves in the state, the decision to kill two is a serious blow to their recovery. It is disheartening that just hours after responsibility for wolf management was handed back to the state, the decision was made to kill two endangered wolves. Today’s decision demonstrates that Oregon’s wolf plan gives the state more than enough tools to deal with conflict. This represents the second time in as many years that endangered wolves have been killed to appease livestock losses. Wolves also face threats from poachers and a purposeful campaign of misinformation and fear. The last thing we need to do is make it any easier to kill wolves.
"Given the information we have, it appears that ODFW has complied with the wolf plan and will kill two wolves in response to a small number of livestock losses (see note). Responsible stakeholders have stood by the compromise embodied in the wolf plan. Anti-wildlife interests have not.
"At recent legislative hearings aimed at undermining the weak but workable plan, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association proudly claimed they were never party to any such compromise. This week, livestock interests lamented killing two wolves wasn’t enough. They called for removal of the entire pack – nearly two-thirds of the state’s entire population.
"Wolves tend to grab headlines when they stir controversy, but are welcomed by most Oregonians - including many in Oregon’s wolf country. They see wildlife as a boom to tourism and welcome the positive benefits of a vital landscape. Some in the livestock industry are cooperating and working to reduce conflict, but others seem more interested in whipping up controversy at any opportunity to undermine wolf recovery.
"If the wolf plan is going to lead to a never-ending cycle of killing wolves to appease interests who won’t be satisfied until all wolves are again exterminated, then wolf recovery will never be successful. We will have missed our chance to prove people and native wildlife can coexist. Oregon can do better and Oregon Wild will continue to make sure of it.