HOWL Colorado

Oregon’s wolf population: Agency puts politics ahead of conservation

[large thumbnail url=”oregons-wolf-population-agency-puts-politics-ahead-of-conservation” filename=”editorial” year=”2011″ month=”10″ day=”03″] [thumbnail icon url=”oregons-wolf-population-agency-puts-politics-ahead-of-conservation” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”10″ day=”03″] In The Oregonian’s Sept. 27 editorial “Howls aside, stick to the wolf plan,” the editors supported the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s decision to kill two of the four surviving wolves of the Imnaha Pack, arguing that if no one is happy, it must be the right call.

Given that Oregon’s endangered wolf population has plummeted from 21 to 12 in a single year and this decision would functionally exterminate Oregon’s first wolf pack, the editors’ argument just doesn’t hold water.

The choice made by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue the kill orders, and Gov. John Kitzhaber’s support for this verdict, put politics ahead of conservation and ignored the will of the overwhelming majority of Oregonians, who flooded the department’s offices with calls and emails.

Increasing anti-wildlife rhetoric has created a poisonous environment in northeast Oregon, where the Department of Fish and Wildlife has already killed four wolves in the past two years. Despite improved education about the role that wolves play in a healthy environment and other positive benefits, some livestock producers represented by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association still believe the only good wolf is a dead wolf.

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