Curtis Martin, president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, said the bill was designed to strengthen an administrative rule in the state’s wolf management plan that allows Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to kill wolves that are chronically attacking livestock.
The state has a plan to kill two members of the Imnaha pack in Wallowa County, but conservation groups have sued the state to stop the plan from moving forward.
The so-called wolf "kill bill" would have helped the state make its case in court.
“ODFW has the authority to manage the wolf population,” Martin said. “But there was some ambiguity in the rule.”
Wolf advocates including Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild are celebrating the end of the legislative session – because it came without the "kill bill" passing:
"Today wolves, along with Oregonians who care about wildlife, can breathe a sigh of relief," he said. "It's time for Oregon's leaders to stop responding when the same special interests that drove wolves to extinction in the last century cry 'wolf' yet again."
Lawmakers did approve a new compensation bill that offers tax credits to ranchers for livestock lost to wolves. The tax credit compensation comes on top of a $100,000 allocation for compensation passed last year. As The La Grande Observer reports Rep. Bob Jensen of Pendleton was hoping to get more help for ranchers who lose livestock to wolves:
“Wolves plus cattle equals wolf-killed cattle,” said Jenson. "It was my intention to raise a little more money to provide assistance for those who can document loss to wolves. I don’t pretend this is the answer, but it may take some of the sting out when a wolf kills an animal.”