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Wolf Update
Speech by Sharon Beck to Oregon Women for Agriculture Convention March 5, 2005

The cattle industry has been characterized by one of the Wolf advisory committee members as the "lone dissenting voice against the wolf management plan".

Other members have made personal attacks against the livestock industry and me personally.

A person named Janet London who works in Boring testified that "ranchers are allowed to have their animals over graze destroying the habitat and limiting food for native species." She called us welfare queens and said "predators keep other animals of the wild healthy by preying on the old and weak. Deer populations are on the rise which would be helped by wolfs thinning their herds." She said "get the Queens off public land for good. If the people who care were allowed to shoot the planets destroyers on site it would be a better place. Save the planet shoot a rancher."

There were nearly 1400 signatures on petitions asking the Commission not to adopt the plan, there were 18 signatures on a letter from legislators asking them to delay adopting the plan. There were hundreds of letters asking them to keep wolves out of Oregon. Signers were from every corner of the state, from rural communities, from the hunting and landowners stockmen and people who believe that we are a nation of laws like me.

But even so the Commission followed the command of the Governorís natural resources advisor and adopted that plan before the ink was dry, even though it is totally irrelevant, unnecessary, unaffordable and un-implementable.

The plan is authorized under the Oregon endangered species act illegally. The introduced Canadian Gray Wolf is not listed as an endangered species in Oregon. The gray wolf that is listed is the "native" gray wolf of Oregon and itís been declared extinct years ago and in fact "any wolf" is listed in Oregon law (609-205) as an "Exotic Animal" the keeping of which is heavily regulated in order to "avoid undue physical or financial risk to the public".

The Canadian Gray Wolf is under the jurisdiction of the federal government and therefore not non-game wildlife of Oregon as ODFW claims. It will become wildlife of Oregon if it is allowed to migrate here and is delisted from the federal list of endangered species. Since the environmentalists/animal rights groupís lawsuit prevailed in vacating the down listing to threatened, every management tool for Oregonians has been taken away. We can protect ourselves or other humans from direct attack by wolves but nothing else. We cannot even harass or haze a wolf suspected to be attacking our livestock without fearing up to $100,000 fine and a year in jail.

So what does the Oregon wolf plan provide now? Nothing, it must be federally delisted or down listed before most of the plan can take effect.

What does the plan provide upon federal delisting or down listing?

  • A guarantee that Canadian Gray Wolves will be fully introduced in both eastern and western Oregon where ever they want to go and will be fully protected unless they are caught in the act of attacking livestock.
  • A certainty that our livestock and pets will be attacked, maimed and killed at an exponential rate based on the exponential increase of wolf population.
  • That there will not be enough money to fully and fairly cover the costs to the livestock industry and the hunting public.
  • The wolf effect on already declining wild ungulates and other prey will be additive to that of bears and cougars and will go unabated until the wolf is delisted from the state list.
  • Wolves may decimate deer and elk herds before ODFW can take action against them to control their numbers.
  • Provides a very remote possibility that if Oregon ever has enough wolves in the eyes of the environmentalists they could be delisted.
  • Rules have been adopted for which there are no authorizing statutes. Every rule must be authorized by a statute before it is adopted.

What laws need to be changed in order to implement the adopted wolf plan?

  • The legislature must change the legal status of the Canadian Gray Wolf to "special status game mammal" under the "game mammal" laws. Why "special"? Because that is they only way environmentalists would allow any change in legal status. Everyone simply ignored laws that didnít fitÖlike the "Exotic Animal" being the only classification any wolf (Canus lupus) has under Oregon law.
  • ODFW thinks they need to change the "take" laws to empower ranchers to kill wolves damaging livestock despite (ORS 498.012) laws which say (1) Nothing in the wildlife laws is intended to prevent any person from taking any wildlife that is damaging land that the person owns or lawfully occupies or is damaging livestock Öand that (ORS 610.055) The Legislative Assembly finds and declares that it it the policy of this state that: (1) Appropriate measures must be taken to assist farmers, ranchers and others in resolving wildlife damage problems and (2) Federal, state, county and other local governments involved in wildlife damage control should mutually cooperate in their related efforts.
  • Compensation for wolf depredation on livestock. There seems to be little intent by the department to provide for "full and fair" compensation or indeed to do more than pay for the few animals confirmed as killed by wolves.
  • The legislature must provide money to implement the plan, about half a million minimum, and authorize the department to spend it.
  • We believe they must codify in wildlife law that it is legal to take a wolf that is an impending threat to a person.





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