SALEM, Oregon – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will not let a refusal from four wolf conservation groups to attend a final meeting on changes to the Oregon Wolf Plan slow them down. Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife stayed away from the meeting Monday. Ranchers and other stakeholders were there.
“We went ahead and had that meeting,” ODFW Communications Coordinator Michelle Dennehy said. “We are planning to move forward with presenting a revision of the plan to the commission on March 15, and that would be a meeting in Salem.”
Dennehy said that in the series of meetings that began this summer, some common ground was found.
“Ranching, hunting, and wolf conservation groups did find agreement on some topics, but there were some controversial topics that, unfortunately, there really was not agreement on, which is not surprising.”
One of those areas of no agreement had to do with how many acts of depredation had to be confirmed before lethal action could be taken against a wolf pack. Agreements were reached on wolf-collaring priorities, the desire to increase the use of nonlethal techniques of discouraging wolves, and increasing funding due to a more widespread wolf population. The Oregon Wolf Plan went into effect in 2005, and ODFW officials say it definitely needs to be revised to take current conditions into account.