Oregon’s livestock producers, environmental groups, and the state have reached an agreement over wolf management. This ends a lawsuit filed in 2011 over two wolves believed to have killed several cows and calves in Northeast Oregon.
The plan calls for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to work with ranchers on non-lethal options to scare off wolves, and to document those efforts. Methods might include disposing of remains that might attract wolves, and supervising or fencing off birthing or nursing cows.
If ranchers adhering to the plan can confirm at least four qualifying livestock deaths within a six-month period, the state could kill the wolves responsible.
Josh Laughlin with Cascadia Wild says there will be livestock losses from time to time, and that will mean some wolf deaths.
“The reality is - and a lot of wolf advocates like ourselves don’t like to mention it - there will be wolves killed under this rule. That will be a very rare circumstance.”
Laughlin says it was important to create a path forward for all parties as the wolf population grows. Oregon is home to about fifty wild wolves.