MISSION, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is in the midst of determining whether it will delist the gray wolf. Meanwhile, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is still studying the issue. Tribal Communications Director Chuck Sams says they are monitoring the wolves on the reservation and, at this point, have seen no major problems.
“We actually still have plenty of healthy herds of elk and deer, so we’re not seeing a depredation of wildlife that had been talked about,” he said. “We haven’t had many issues, of course, regarding the chasing of our livestock.”
Sams says CTUIR plans to take a stand, but they want to be sure before they do.
“We may have a different stance than most people on it, but at the same time we understand people’s concerns with it,” he said. “We just want to make sure those concerns are well founded, and that there are ways that we have that can help the rancher and farmer to ensure the protection of their own property.”
The commission began considering removing the wolf from its endangered list at its October meeting and will resume that discussion in November. The panel has three choices: (1) Delisting the wolf statewide, (2) delisting the wolf in Eastern Oregon, or (3) doing nothing. The gray wolf is on the federal endangered species list west of Highway 395, but is no longer considered endangered in Eastern Oregon.