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Conservation Groups Challenge Wolf Kill

Four conservation groups filed suit Tuesday in federal court in Portland to stop the killing of two wolves in northeast Oregon.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday announced plans to kill two young wolves from the Imnaha Pack. The agency said an investigation determined a calf carcass found Saturday near Joseph was the product of a wolf kill.

Josh Laughlin is with Cascadia Wildlands, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit.

Josh Laughlin: “We have an opportunity to create a wildlife success story by recovering wolves in Oregon and with under 25 wolves in the state it’s crucially important that wildlife agencies follow the law prior to this lethal control they’re proposing. And we believe they’re not following the law.”

But Fish and Wildlife says it has the authority to kill wolves when one pack kills at least two livestock. The agency says wolf attacks on livestock in eastern Oregon are chronic despite non-lethal control measures.

The Service plans to capture and kill two juvenile wolves. The idea is that will discourage the pack from attacking livestock without affecting breeding.

Two wolves from the same pack were under a state kill order last summer, but that was lifted after conservation groups challenged it.

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