After months of discussion aimed at establishing an updated wolf management plan in Oregon, several environmental groups say they’re leaving the process. They claim state wildlife officials want to make it easier for residents to kill wolves in order to protect their livestock.
“There’s a huge cost. There’s a toll there,” Rodger Huffman, rancher and Oregon Cattlemen’s Association representative, told the Associated Press. “I don’t think anybody can expect to get everything you want, and so to pick up your marbles and say, ‘I’m going home because I’m not getting my way’ is a little bit unprofessional.”
Two of the groups, Cascadia Wildlands and Center for Biological Diversity, previously filed suit against the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife over wolf actions there. A judge dismissed those claims.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife counted 124 wolves during the winter of 2017-2018, marking an 11 percent increase over populations from one year earlier.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that wolves should be subject to state management just as agencies manage elk, bears, deer, mountain lions and other wildlife.
(Photo source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)