A cattle rancher in southern Oregon hopes his wolf-related nightmares will soon get some relief. Members of Oregon’s expanding wolf population killed or injured at least 12 steers over a five-month span. He suspects the number is greater since investigators could not determine the cause of death in other depredations.
“We never had to worry about these problems (before). Now you wake up in the middle of the night and you wonder what the hell is going on out there,” Jim Popson, a rancher in southern Oregon, told the Daily Astorian. “I just feel like we should be able to take care of the problem the way we see fit. I think this will help, with the delisting.”
Professional wildlife managers under direction of the Trump administration recently announced the removal of gray wolves from the list of endangered and threatened species, placing management of the species in the hands of state wildlife agencies. The Obama administration also announced the wolf species as recovered in 2011, only to have environmental group file legislation after which a federal judge relisted citing technicalities.
”As ranchers, we remain optimistic that we will be able to protect our livelihoods and ability to produce a safe, affordable, domestic food supply, while working in tandem with wildlife managers for balanced management and realized success,” said Ashley House, executive vice president of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, told the Daily Astorian.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that wolf populations met recovery criteria and state wildlife agencies should manage them, just as they manage elk, bears, deer, mountain lions and other wildlife.
After the most recent delisting announcement, environmental groups again filed notice that they intend to sue.
(Photo source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)