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June 21, 2018

ODFW to provide kill permit after three depredations by wolves in Wallowa County

ODFW will provide a kill permit to a rancher in Wallowa County who requested lethal removal after three of his calves were injured by wolves in his pasture last week. The permit will allow the rancher or his agent to kill one wolf on the privately owned pasture he leases and his adjacent public land allotment. The permit expires July 10, when he removes his cattle from that pasture. ODFW staff also has the authority to kill the one wolf.

A wolf or wolves in the Joseph Creek area in the Chesnimnus Unit injured three calves in the same privately-owned, open land pasture of the rancher’s over three separate incidents during a three-day period last week. ODFW confirmed the injuries as wolf-caused during two investigations on June 13 and 14.

The area where the depredations occurred is within the Chesnimnus Wolves Area of Known Wolf Activity. Three wolves were counted in this area at the end of 2017 but as there are no working collars in this group, it is unclear if the wolves involved are new wolves using the area, or remnants of the Chesnimnus Pack. ODFW is working to learn more about these wolves and will place a radio collar on a wolf if there is an opportunity.

Under the Wolf Plan rules, livestock producers must be using non-lethal methods and document unsuccessful attempts to solve the situation through these non-lethal means before lethal control can be considered. Also, there can be no attractants on the property (such as bone piles or carcasses) that could be attracting wolves.

ODFW did not identify any attractants on the property when investigating the depredation incidents. In terms of non-lethals, the producer has been checking livestock repeatedly since they were placed in pasture earlier in June; maintained human presence around the cows/calves including checking them during the night; penned the cows/calves in a smaller area after the first two depredations; removed injured livestock from the pasture to avoid attracting wolves; monitored the area for wolf sign and changes in cattle behavior; and arranged for an agent to spend several nights with the cattle after the first depredations.

Removing a wolf is intended to stop further depredations on this producer’s cattle. Authorizing incremental take and providing a kill permit is typically the first step ODFW takes when livestock producers using non-lethal measures cannot stop losses and ODFW believes depredations will continue. In this case, one or more wolves are routinely using this area and cattle will be at risk in this pasture until July 10.

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Wolf Management

The Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and associated technical rules guide all ODFW wolf related activities. Wolves throughout Oregon are delisted from the state Endangered Species Act (ESA). Wolves are still protected by the Wolf Plan and Oregon statute.

Wolves west of Hwys 395-78-95 remain protected by the federal ESA. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the lead management agency for wolves that occur west of Hwys 395-78-95.


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The goal of Oregon’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is to ensure the conservation of gray wolves as required by Oregon law while protecting the social and economic interests of all Oregonians. Minimizing wolf-livestock conflict and reducing livestock losses to wolves is an important part of the Wolf Plan.

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