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Wallowa County takes lethal action on wolf pack

August 30, 2017

Harl Burre Wolf Pack: Incremental Lethal Take Decision After Depredations On Cattle

Via Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

A series of wolf depredations on cattle in Wallowa County has finally come to a head with the decision for an incremental lethal take on the Harl Butte Wolf Pack. There have been seven confirmed dead depredations in the past 12 months, which include two separate events in the week of July 20th through 27th.

An official request was submitted on July 28, 2017 by those concerned with the issue in Wallowa County. As is standard practice and consistent with the wolf plan, all options were considered to address the situation, with the final decision being made by the ODFW Commissioners.

This decision was released in early August, stating through trapping and shooting, two adult wolves will be removed from the pack. As of this time, they are confident that there are five adults in the pack.
“As an organization, we are extremely disappointed that they are not taking out the entire pack with all the depredations that have occurred and all the work that has been done on the Oregon wolf plan,” said Executive Director of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Jerome Rosa. “To not take the entire pack? This is code for our ranchers that cattle will continue to be killed.”

It is theorized that the Harl Butte pack are remnants from the infamous Imnaha Pack of wolves who were in the same geographical region. The Imnaha Pack was responsible for 42 depredations, with four in one month, before a lethal take was performed March of 2016. By not removing the entirety of the pack, ranchers will see more of the same as the dry summer has moved the pack’s natural food source of large game animals higher into the mountains, making rancher’s cattle easy targets.

“We are disappointed that they are only taking two [wolves] and [know] that it’s not going to be effective. We have seen this happen before and we fully expect more cattle to be killed. It’s a very unfortunate way to do business,” said Todd Nash, a Wallowa County resident and the chairmen of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association’s Wolf Committee. The OCA’s Wolf Committee works to defend rancher’s rights to protect their livestock from wolf depredation.

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association stands by the practices of the wolf plans to protect all parties involved in the rehabilitation of the Oregon wolf and applaud the ODFW Commission’s decision for a lethal take on the Harl Butte wolf pack. We hope that Wallowa County ranchers may be able to sleep peacefully at night, knowing that these dangerous and ruthless killers have been removed.

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Karen Rhinevault August 30, 2017

I am concerned with whether or not the kills are always confirmed to be wolf kills, as opposed to other issues (predators/illness/theft/loss by natural causes). Also, as a farmer, who has raised livestock on private land, I believe that a wolf kill on private land is a completely different issue from one on public land. A rancher has a right (in my view) to protect stock on his/her own land, but on public land, the wolf has a right to live as it normally would and that right is equal to the invasive domestic livestock. Not saying this is the case in Wallowa but in many counties, I believe that much loss is wrongly attributed to wolves. I am well aware how easy it is for animals to come to harm or even to disappear when grazed over large acreages.

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