May 27, 2013
For the last year, the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association has been closely watching the way wolves are being managed in Eastern Oregon, as it may signal what is to come in Eastern Washington.
Last year a group of environmentalist sued the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife over the lethal removal of wolves. While the lawsuit is being sorted out, the court issue a “‘stay” or temporary ban on killing wolves in the Imnaha pack. The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and the environmental groups have been working on the issue to repeal the ban. The case has been settled, but at great cost. In addition to limiting lethal removal, the agreement also asks ranchers to make their “wolf-conflict deterrence” plans public. The message here is clear: the public gets to decide what proper ranch management is an isn’t.Below is the notice of the settlement from the ODFW website: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/index.asp
May 28, 2013
Settlement of Oregon Court of Appeals case
In the fall of 2011, ODFW’s authority to take (lethally remove) wolves under the State Endangered Species Act was challenged by a temporary restraining order filed in the Oregon Court of Appeals by Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild and the Center for Biological Diversity.
Over the past year, these three organizations, ODFW and the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association have been in talks to try to settle the case outside of Court. The Center for Biological Diversity withdrew from these negotiations this past winter.
Last week, the remaining parties agreed in principle to a combination of rule changes and legislation that once enacted, will moot the court case. The key changes to the current rules regarding lethal control of wolves are:
- Before ODFW can use lethal control against wolves, it must confirm four qualifying incidents within a six-month time frame (previously it was two depredation incidents and no specific timeframe).
- Requires the development and public disclosure of wolf-livestock conflict deterrence plans that identify non-lethal measures for implementation by landowners.
- Requires that these non-lethal measures be implemented prior to a depredation for the depredation incident to count towards lethal control.
- Puts in rule that any ODFW lethal control decision is valid for 45-days (previously the timeframe for an ODFW lethal control decision was not standardized in rule; 45 days is consistent with what other western states have implemented).
The new temporary rules are online here http://www.dfw.state.or.us/OARs/110.pdf The Fish and Wildlife Commission will be asked to make these rules permanent at their June 7 meeting in Tigard.
“We are pleased the parties were able to come to an agreement,” said Ron Anglin, ODFW wildlife division administrator. “We look forward to finalizing both the rules and the legislation so the case can be fully settled and we can move forward on wolf conservation and management.”