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Defenders of Wildlife’s Statement on Lethal Removal of Four Oregon Wolf Pack Members


Contact: Melanie Gade, mgade@defenders.org (202) 772-0288

Date: March 31, 2016

Defenders of Wildlife’s Statement on Lethal Removal of Four Oregon Wolf Pack Members

SALEM, Ore. —Defenders of Wildlife released the following statement in response to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s announcement today that it lethally removed four members of the Imnaha wolf pack in northeastern Oregon.

Quinn Read, Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife:

“It’s a very sad day for all of us at Defenders of Wildlife. Our Senior Northwest Representative, Suzanne Stone, has spoken to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; it has decided that it is in the best interest of the Imnaha Pack as a whole, and for local ranchers, to lethally remove four wolves.

“Defenders of Wildlife has long worked in Oregon and other Western states to identify solutions so that wolves can recover and coexist with humans. Unfortunately in this case, two of these wolves were unable to hunt wild prey anymore due to age and unrelated injuries. Hopefully the surviving members of the pack will continue to thrive in the more remote national forest areas where they have largely avoided livestock for years.

“Going forward, Defenders of Wildlife recommends the following three steps:

  • Devise, test and implement additional proven nonlethal tools to avoid and reduce wolf and livestock conflicts;
  • Obtain new sources of funding to help livestock owners implement nonlethal on-the-ground measures to prevent livestock-wolf conflicts;
  • Immediately update Oregon’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, ensuring that (i) the precautionary and protecttive measures for wolves remain and (ii) ambiguity is resolved in the plan’s definition of “chronic depredation.”

“We remain committed to partnering with local agencies, communities and landowners to improve the guidelines to address livestock-conflicts in Oregon, and sharing our expertise on proven nonlethal tools and strategies to reduce potential conflicts moving forward.”


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